Meggan Ciaccia, PA

Enhancing The Present, Creating The Future

For Meggan Ciaccia, accounting is about more than numbers.

Meggan Ciaccia, PA Shareholder, Ciaccia, P.A., Certified Public Accountants

“Those numbers tell a story about the people behind them,” says Ciaccia, shareholder of Ciaccia, P.A., Certified Public Accountants. “It shows where people are in their lives and their business, where they’re struggling, what they value most. It paints a picture about who that person is, so understanding the human side of accounting is a critical component that people often don’t think about.”

Ciaccia’s unique work philosophy is something she takes very seriously, because helping people has always been a life goal. In fact, she was on her way to earning her master’s degree in social work when she suddenly had a life-changing revelation. “I went into college as a teenager thinking I wanted to change the world,” she says. “Then I realized there are a lot of different ways to affect people’s lives.”

“I’ve always had a partner to work with, and now I get to step up and rely on myself and the connections I’ve made, and that’s really exciting.”

She thought back to her childhood when she would watch her dad go to work every day. As an accountant, he was a part of helping small business owners meet their financial goals, which meant starting the business they always wanted or providing a livelihood for themselves and their employees. At 26, she started taking classes to sit for her CPA exam.

“I knew I would be helping people, just in a different way,” says Ciaccia. “I’m helping them change their present and their future by giving them the tools to use money to reach their goals.”

“So many business owners see the role of the CPA as someone just to do your taxes at the end of the year,” she adds. “The reality is that if you’re a small or medium-sized business, your accountant can be a key strategic partner in helping you grow your business.”

Ciaccia spent a decade working with her dad at his accounting firm until 2013, when they went into business together. This month, Ciaccia is taking a monumental step in her career by taking over the practice entirely, changing the company name from Montecino & Ciaccia, P.A. to Ciaccia, P.A., Certified Public Accountants.

“It’s a crazy, scary and exciting transition,” she says. “I’ve always had a partner to work with, and now I get to step up and rely on myself and the connections I’ve made, and that’s really exciting.”

Many of those connections, she says, have been with other women in business. Ciaccia just finished a 2-year term as president of the South Jersey chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners – a position she said challenged her to grow as a leader. She took advantage of local and national training sessions, mastermind retreats and seminars, but what helped her the most, she says, was her relationship with other South Jersey women.

“They’ve mentored me without even knowing they were mentoring me and have helped me come into my own as a woman in business and a leader in this area,” says Ciaccia. “I think we underestimate the power those connections can have.”

 

3 Accounting Tips for Business Owners

1. Stay up to date – The most important thing a business owner can do, Meggan Ciaccia says, is to keep track of their bookkeeping regularly.

“It’s easy to fall behind, but when you stay up to date on your bookkeeping – whether that’s through an accountant or through your own system – it not only lets you see where your company is financially at all times, but it puts you in a position to react quickly if you need to provide these documents for any reason, like when the PPP loans came out,” she says.

2. Partner with people who have your best interest in mind – For Ciaccia, working with a CPA is about more than just entering numbers into a report.

“You want someone who is going to have actual conversations about where your finances are, what to change, what the trends look like,” she says. “It makes a big difference when you have someone who is looking at your payroll year to year to see if it’s too high, or if it’s time to bring on another employee. Someone who just gives you the numbers is only doing half the job.”

3. Have a business plan – Businesses can’t work toward their goals if they don’t know what goals they’re trying to reach, says Ciaccia.

“Know where you want to be in the next 3-5 years and a rough idea of how you will get there,” she says. “After the circumstances of the last year, we need to stop saying ‘When things go back to normal.’ Take control of the present and future of your business and start setting goals now.”

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