In April of 2021, Karen Sphar, the Executive Vice President of the Southport & Oak Island Chamber of Commerce took some time to interview Chris Mallery, the Founder and CEO of Top 2 Bottom Business Solutions. Take eight minutes to watch now as Christopher shares his passion for helping small business owners regain that work – family balance. A transcript of this interview follows below the video:
YouTube Transcript of Video Interview:
KS: Good morning everyone this is Karen Sphar, Executive Vice President of the Southport Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, and today on Faces of Commerce we are with Christopher Mallery. He is the majority owner of Top to Bottom Business Solutions
KS: Good morning Christopher.
CM: Hey – good morning Karen. Thanks for having me!
KS: Tell me a little bit about Top to Bottom Business Solutions, what what do you do?
CM: Yeah that’s fantastic – our biggest piece of business is is bookkeeping. So we do data entry, to monthly bank reconciliations, to accounts payable, accounts receivable for small to medium-sized businesses around the state and the country. We also offer payroll services and we’ve got offices in Wilmington and in Charlotte.
KS: But you do service the Southport / Oak Island area correct?
CM: Yes we do! Absolutely.
KS: I know you’ve got a passion for the small business community and Southport Oak Island has a huge small business community.
CM Yes! Yes, it does. And Kitty McClellan who represents us with the chamber and is a a fantastic part of our team. She works hand in hand with the Southport chamber and really loves that area and the growth that they’re seeing.
KS: Well, Christopher, tell me how did you get into this business?
CM: Yeah – that’s a great question. I spent about 15 years in the the restaurant business and, you know, multiple different management positions. Spent – the last five years I was in the business planning my escape from working 90 to 100 hours a week. Had worked with an accounting firm in Charlotte in my time as a restaurateur – you know having a hiring an outsourced company to do our accounting work. You know begged and pleaded with him over a few years to give me an opportunity for me and my family so that I could have a family, have a social life of anything. And he agreed to bring me on board, mentored me for quite a few years. I came out to Wilmington area to start a new office and now I get to to help small business owners achieve the work-life balance that I was never able to obtain in the restaurant business and it feels really good, to be able to to have found something that i could be passionate about that also helped me with my one of my biggest issues from the past.
KS: That’s wonderful. You know a lot of small businesses they’re in their their workplace a lot of hours and bookkeeping sometimes gets put to the back burner and and that’s that could be a dangerous habit for a small business owner and I think you kind of take over that responsibility for them, correct, and work with them?
CM: Yeah – absolutely. You know some of the things – some of the things we see it’d be it’s mind-boggling to talk about but seeing clients send out invoices at eight or nine o’clock at night when they should be spending time with their family. Bringing us – we consistently get clients who’ve haven’t been keeping up with their books and their accounting software and they need it cleaned up. And there’s just so many more important things for a small business owner to do – doing their trade or sell, selling and growing or planning for the future. All of those things can’t happen if, or are much more challenging to be able to accomplish if you don’t have good consistent books to make decisions about your business. And what might take a small business owner 15 or 20 hours a month would take you know us or another good bookkeeper at just a few hours a month and it’s such a better investment of time, and time is the most expensive thing that we have.
KS: So it’s really a matter of putting your priorities toward trying to make sure that you’re not being run by your business – that you’re running your business instead of it running you correct?
CM: Working on your business instead of in it. That’s spot on Karen, for sure.
KS: So tell me a little bit about the difference between bookkeepers and cpas and you kind of all work together?
CM: Yeah you know I get that – you know when we’re- any kind of marketing we doo, we we consistently get that question – “I’m looking for an accountant” and it’s a – it’s a deeper question than that. It is – we all are working towards the same goal of helping business owners achieve financial freedom and you know the best tax compliance possible. Our role as bookkeepers we are still accountants we just do the bookkeeping function – is to keep your day-to-day invoicing, your billing, your books, your balance sheet nice and clean so that when you get to your CPA or your enrolled agent to do your taxes at the end of the year, it’s easier for them – it’s less challenging for for the business owner. One of the biggest horror stories we get every year is “I didn’t keep up my books last year and I have 75 questions from my CPA can you help me?” We can help kind of bridge that gap. We love the sandbox that we’re in and we don’t – we’re not interested in doing that tax work or tax planning that that CPAs and enrolled agents are so so good at.
KS: So basically the days of the box of receipts and handing it to your CPA to do your taxes are over, correct?
CM: I think they are dwindling just like fax machines!
KS: I hear you. Well, how do people get up with you Christopher?
CM: Fantastic -If you know Kitty McClellan you definitely can always reach out to her. My website is T2BBSolutions.com. And you can call us at 910-400-4717. And furthermore one thing we do not charge for and we will never charge for is the original assessment that we do for a client. We’re consistent – we get in front of a handful of business owners every week and we look at their accounting system, their accounting software and most importantly we get to understand -and maybe my the most fun thing that I do- we get to understand how they operate their business on a financial – money in, money out. And a lot of times we can help them just by having a different perspective make things easier and more efficient in their business without even them becoming a client sometimes. And we do those calls all the time, those meetings, so that’s that’s definitely something that I wanted to make sure I got across today.
KS: Thank you Christopher. Well I appreciate the passion that you have for our small business community your telephone number one more time?
CM: It’s 910-400-4717.
KS: Wonderful – well I hope you have a wonderful day and keep everybody balanced!