Tell me about who you are, what you do, and your why?
My name is Marisela Bateman. I started my own CPA firm at the end of 2017. It’s been my life-long goal to own a CPA firm. I come from a fairly poor family…I am one of seven children – the only girl and the only one to complete a graduate degree. My parents were already very proud of me, yet somehow that just wasn’t enough yet.

I looked up to one of my accounting professors in school a great deal, Mr. Palacious. He and his daughter owned a CPA firm. I loved that it was a family business. I wasn’t sure what type of accountant I wanted to be, but he inspired me to pursue the field of accounting.

Now, as the founder and CEO of Bateman Accounting & Consulting, we focus solely on outsourced accounting and consulting services (i.e., we do not prepare tax returns or audits!). We offer customizable accounting services from quarterly financial reviews for start-ups to the items usually referred to as bookkeeping (the day-to-day tasks of finance and accounting such as payroll, invoicing, etc.) for businesses up to $20 million in annual revenue.

Part of what makes what we do so special is that our services can eliminate a small business’ need for an accounting department. Oftentimes, the accounting review and separation of duties is what gets missed when all you have is a bookkeeper or internal administrator. When only one person is responsible for the full accounting cycle, there is no backup plan, and the business can suffer greatly during turnover or other unforeseen circumstances. Our team of accountants alleviate both of those risks. Some companies that have a bookkeeper already take advantage of our consulting services, such as outsourced CFO or Controllers, where our team performs a thorough review of their accounting periodically to ensure things are in order and/or help prepare budgets, management reports, etc. Another plus is that our entire business is cloud-based, which gives every client 24/7 access to their financials.

Getting to do customizable work like this is incredibly fulfilling because I get to help businesses in exactly the ways they need to be helped, as affordably as possible. I’ve seen startups struggling with cash flow grow to having millions in the bank. I’ve yet to see a business we’ve helped fail!

This is a short version of a very long story. Put simply, I live a non-traditional life. I had my daughter when I was 18 and a freshman in college, my son when I was 24 and a senior in college. The statistics were not in my favor on what I could accomplish as a single parent. I wanted to prove to myself that I could finish what I started and eventually own a CPA firm, and it was equally as important to me to set an example for my kids. I want them to see me push myself, despite all the bumps in the road…that nothing was going to stop me from following my dreams.

This is my why – my kids – to be a role model for them, so they know they can live the lives they want and follow their own dreams.

How are you tapping into your Ellivate Alliance Membership?
It started with the Immersion Weekend. This was completely outside my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to do it. I initially signed up because I wanted to support Sarah on her new journey, and it blossomed into something much bigger than that. The connections I’ve made each step of the way since then, and the support I’ve received, have been invaluable.

When I left my previous business, my former employer brought litigation against me. It came as a shock. I was reeling and trying to find my way. As scary as it was, some of the Alliance women were in my corner and helped me through it with support and connections. I’m not sure how I would have handled that without the support I received.

There are women in the Ellivate Alliance that I haven’t even met, yet I still know they’d be there for me, and I look forward to the opportunity to be there for them. I’ve also started working with some of our members: Sydney Sherman and Terrell Sherman, co-founders of Faire.

What has been the most valuable aspect of your Ellivate Alliance Membership so far?
The comfort of knowing that there are people like me out there, going through the same things I am. It gives me a sense of community and reminds me that I’m not alone. I’m so excited about the support the Alliance not only allows me to receive, but also to give!

What are you most excited about with respect to the Ellivate Alliance?
The endless possibilities!! It’s just going to keep getting bigger, and that means better! I can already see the growth, and as more women join, there will be so many stories to share and a growing community.

I know how much it has helped me, and I see it helping other women! When I hear other women talk about wanting to branch out on their own, I can’t tell them about the Ellivate Alliance enough! Sometimes I worry that I can’t do it justice by my words, so I just keep telling them to experience Immersion firsthand so they’ll know what I mean!

I’ve had a difficult time trusting people in the past, but the energy of the Alliance allows people to be real – truthful and vulnerable. It lets me know that I’m part of something different than anything I’ve ever experienced before. I’m just so thankful to be part of it!