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Not Your Average Consultants

QuickTrainer, Inc…Fitness trainers? No, they’re not fitness trainers. They’re QuickBooks consultants and trainers. They help small businesses efficiently utilize QuickBooks to manage their business accounting data.

Who is QuickTrainer, Inc…a bunch of pocket-protector, stuffy shirts? No way! QuickTrainer is owned and operated by Jim and Denise Merritt. They are anything but “pocket-protector, stuffy shirts”. When you first walk into their facility, you feel relaxed and at home---from the sound of water running over pebbles in the water fountains to the big, oversized leather sofa. Look around and you’ll see pictures of their family, Jim’s guitar, and his and his daughters’ golf clubs. It feels like you’ve entered their home. Jim and Denise have, from the beginning, strived for a homey fee. I suppose it stems from their gift for hospitality. They have been told many times that they have that gift.

One of those times was most recently in July of 2006 when they were given a big send-off by their church family back in Roswell, Georgia. Yes, I said Georgia. The decision was made last April to make the move from Alpharetta, Georgia to Wilmington, Jim and Denise had often thought of retiring to Wilmington. Jim was born and raised here. Denise was born here and her parents moved to Atlanta in 1962 when she was just three months old. (She tells the story told by her parents of her laying in an empty, wooden Coke crate on the floor of their vehicle while they drove to Atlanta.) Denise is about as close as you can get to an Atlanta native.

Then how did Jim and Denise meet if he was in Wilmington and she was in Atlanta? The story goes that she was in Wilmington visiting family during July 4th weekend of 1985. They dated long distance for almost a year before Jim found a job in Atlanta and moved there in June of 1986. Soon afterward, he proposed and they were married in November of that same year. In 1995, the couple was blessed with their first child, Makayla, a beautiful, curly, red-headed daughter. Then, in 1998 their second daughter, Jackie, was born; again, a beautiful, curly, red-headed daughter.

After almost 20 years of marriage and the loss of Denise’s mother to breast cancer, they decided it was time to move to Wilmington so their family could be closer to Jim’s mother and the girls’ Grandma; thus, the reason for the move.

The Merritt’s have settled into Wilmington easily. The girls are attending a local, private Christian school and have made many friends. The family attends Port City Community Church (a.k.a., PC3) and “it feels like home”. Jim enjoys playing golf; once carried a 1.7 USGA handicap, but gave up golf for years in order to spend more time with his daughters. Now that the girls are getting older, Jim is once again beginning to tune his golf swing and is looking forward to golf in 2007. He recently bought the girls a set of clubs and they ask Dad at least twice a week if they are going to play golf today.

Denise works in the business part-time. She leaves the business in the early afternoon to pick up the couple’s daughters. One of her many passions are making memories via scrap booking. Come over anytime and she will show you one of her many collections of scrap books, each of which tell a family story of history and memories.

Each of the daughters has a book which Mom and the girls have frequently worked on together. There’s a book which reveals stories of mission trips Jim has taken. Jim say’s jokingly, ‘there may one day be a book for our dog, Maggie”. Denise replies in her joking way, “shut up Jim”. Needless to say, Denise is making friends and finding other women with as much a passion for scrap booking as she has.

So, how did this couple get into QuickBooks consulting? Jim got his start with having had Profit & Loss and budgeting responsibility as a senior manager with an Atlanta-based software development company. Jim laughingly says he knew enough to be dangerous with accounting concepts. However, he was blessed to have two very good teachers when he began his QuickBooks consulting journey with an Atlanta-based CPA firm in 2001. One CPA in particular, Glenn Sutter, was especially gifted and patient in his teaching style. Glenn had seen just about everything in his career and offered a lot of insight on the “do’s” and “don’ts”. Jim learned a lot from Glenn and has continued to grow in his accounting and QuickBooks knowledge. He has had his QuickBooks Pro Advisor certification since 2001. It seemed the most logical thing to open his own business so he could help small business owners in Wilmington and surrounding areas efficiently utilize the software to manage their business financials.

QuickTrainer opened their doors here in Wilmington on October 16, 2006. Since then, QuickTrainer has been so successful that Denise left her job with a local bank to help in the day-to-day operations of QuickTrainer.

The first QuickBooks experience Denise has was by using it for their personal finances. In 2005, she went to work for an architectural and engineering company whereby she gained even further experience and discovered a passion for the software’s capabilities. She believes in the product!

Looking forward into 2007 and beyond, the couple anticipates numerous growth opportunities. However, they caution, “We anticipate steady but measured growth. We will not allow this business to grow so fast whereby one client suffers from our success. We will be proactive in hiring and training new staff. Slow and steady…” The couple is united in this approach.

QuickTrainer offers a range of services, including 1-on-1 consulting (your place or ours), in-house classes, data entry, and monthly, quarterly and year-end reviews.

QuickTrainer would like to see all small business owners take ownership of their financial data. “This is your business and you should not measure your success only by the amount of money in your checking account. At the same time, you don’t need to be an accountant to understand the data. It’s the financial data that allows small businesses to make informed business decisions.”

Homey, warm, inviting, relaxed, casual, personable…when you enter the doors of QuickTrainer, you should feel at home and know “we’re glad you’re here”.

Article was originally written by and published in a Wilmington news magazine in 2007.

From the StarNews Online:

Talk and Squawk

By Shannan Bowen

Published: Monday, August 10, 2009 at 9:42 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 10, 2009 at 9:42 a.m.


@DeniseMerritt: Daughter was told to buy school clothes at least 1 size smaller than she is. Volleyball workouts will cause weight loss. (Tuesday)