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Candice Hayes-McInnis, Accountant
July 1, 2019

Numbers mean so many things to people. Math, fear, confusion, etc. We all have trauma or excitement based on what our parents, teachers and friends taught us about numbers and money. We use numbers all the time. We use them to announce a baby’s birth with pounds and ounces. We measure academic performance with numbers and percentages, in ACT and SAT scores. We rate candidates with numerical votes. We measure our food with fractions. Our travel is guided by numbers of miles and speed calculations. And, of course, as an Accountant and financial advisor, I am constantly working with people and numbers. Wealth and income are determined by numbers. Numbers are used as taxes are withheld, paid or avoided. Net worth is calculated by the number that remains after assets are acquired and debts are paid. Numbers are everywhere.

For me, numbers mean a story, particularly as I work with MORTAR’s entrepreneurs. Numbers tell stories of their plans, progress or areas of opportunity. I love to create new stories for folks who enter MORTAR’s Entrepreneurship Academy in debt or collections, with bad credit and no savings…transforming them to financially literate entrepreneurs who are bootstrapping their own business because we created a plan that increases their earnings or enables them to gain access to more capital. I love to hear people pitch their businesses with knowledge of what a quality equity investment looks like. So, whether we are delving into readiness measures like: how our participants are monitoring their cash flow, price or break-even points, or they’re preparing financial statements for a business plan…the key to a successful business is paying attention to the story that your numbers tell.

Everyone wants to be a success at business. Everyone wants to have the title Boss, Owner or President. Butch Graves, the CEO of Black Enterprise said, “No one cares about your title, they want to see your BALANCE SHEET.” Financial literacy, proficiency and stability are the first stair steps on the way to MORTAR’s mission of helping entrepreneurs from marginalized neighborhoods create and sustain wealth and leave a legacy. I am honored that they have chosen Providom, my non-profit firm, to provide assistance in accounting and all things financial for their class participants and Alumni Network.

Too often, entrepreneurs take a reactive stance with regard to the attention to detail that tracking the numbers requires.  They are often consumed with the day to day operations of the business, which they deem most important. Eventually they find that was a mistake as the numbers are a very crucial component. We want to ensure that MORTAR’s participants take a proactive stance to embrace each part of their story; that includes what the numbers are speaking. As we help entrepreneurs overcome their fears and replace them with courage and excitement about tracking their growth and progress, we believe we’ll have many more fantastic stories in the future! #weareMORTAR