This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jacqueline Souza, the multi-tasking pro who is the president of Souza & Associates and also serves on the . Jacqueline knows great customer service and talks about a moment where she received excellence in customer service, what she does with the Chamber, and more!
Heather Taylor: Tell me about and the services you have to offer the Calabasas area.
Jacqueline Souza: Our main services include professional bookkeeping, business management and notary work. We also provide complete payroll processing and basic divorce litigation support.
Taylor: On your website, you say that accounting is your calling in life. What makes it so?
Souza: I love numbers and I love helping people with their personal and business finances. I felt that our society lacks strong customer service skills and my dream is to reintroduce “customer services” one client at a time. Through my experience, I've realized that while people want someone who knows their stuff, they also want someone who takes the time to listen and also has integrity with the utmost professionalism and the ability to be flexible.
Taylor: Describe a time where you got the best in customer service.
Souza: Most recently I ordered a flower arrangement from a florist called Flowers from the Heart and it was delivered when I wasn’t home. When I got home I saw it and I started to cry because it had the wrong color flowers in it. The florist, Melinda Seltzer, worked on getting the color flowers I wanted and came to my home and fixed the arrangement without any problems or extra charge. In fact, I cried again but this time it was because of how beautiful it looked. That to me is exceptional customer service!
Taylor: You also serve on the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce. What do you do there and how does your title allow you to connect within the community?
Souza: I am the sheriff of the Calabasas Chamber. The sheriff is the person that wrangles in the deputies or ambassadors of the chamber for the various events that go on within Calabasas. We also try to make connections within “like” businesses and support the Calabasas business community as issues arise. The Chamber is always there for businesses and they can come to us for any problems they have and we can easily guide them to the right person or committee to solve it.
Taylor: What are some easy accounting or bookkeeping tips you can pass on to businesses just starting out?
Souza: If you're starting a new business keep this in mind:
- Be organized right off the bat with all of your papers, receipts, statements, etc.
- Purchase a program like QuickBooks so that the business owner has a handle on their finances from the beginning.
- Seek advice from a CPA (certified public accountant) if you haven't already just to make sure you understand the unique expenses for your type of business
Taylor: Final question- what’s your favorite hot spot in Calabasas?
Souza: I love everything about the