ORLANDO, Fla. – So, you want to be an entrepreneur. Listening to “Black Men Sundays” is a good start, but be aware that balking at the busywork of bookkeeping doesn’t have to kill the dream. If you feel like it’s too much for one person to take on, you’re probably correct, and there’s help out there.
This week on “Black Men Sundays,” host Corie Murray interviews Kellé Thorpe, founder and CFO of Kommas with Kellé, a firm committed to helping clients push profits and productivity while avoiding burnout.
This, of course, has anecdotal roots. It’s the same position Thorpe once found herself in at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“March 16, 2020, when the world shut down, I was walking into a top 10 lobbying firm on Capitol Hill in their C-Suite as their CFO and chief administrative officer. I was the only Black woman in the firm — not in the C-Suite, in the firm — and I was only the second Black person that worked in the firm. So there was two of us, and I was the only Black woman, so as you can imagine in a time where we were already dealing with the beginning of COVID, and then the Black Lives Matter movement happens and a whole lot happened in 2020, during that time I had a couple of old employers reach out to me because they were pivoting in their law firms’ skills and opening up solo practices and they wanted me to help them because they know how passionate I am about businesses starting with a great foundation of accounting. So I told them, ‘Look, I’m in this intense role right now, it’s a lot happening, but I’ll help you guys on the weekend when I can.’ Fast forward to December of that same year, I was like, ‘You know what, there has to be something else. I’m burning myself out in someone else’s company,’” she said.
Her firm launched that year to provide bookkeeping and accounting services, what she says can allow CEOs to attain the work-life balance they envisioned back when they decided to become entrepreneurs in the first place. Thorpe describes her role as if she’s “your CFO in your back pocket.”
“I provide financial strategy to small business owners so they can know what the story is behind their numbers,” Thorpe said. “Our firm also does the bookkeeping. So, many business owners here, the first person you should get when you start out your business is a good bookkeeper, and while that’s very true, the second person you should get in that financial realm — once you realize you want to be in that thing full-time — is a CFO. So, my company Kommas with Kellé, we have a team of people that do both the bookkeeping side and the financial strategy side, which is the CFO side, and that’s what sets us apart from being your normal bookkeeping firm.”
Hear the full interview in Season 3, Episode 8 of “Black Men Sundays.”
Black Men Sundays talks about building generational wealth. Check out every episode in the media player below.