Learn about our 15 Point Discovery Checklist!

You became an entrepreneur because you had a dream; or invented a better way of doing things or simply wanted the independence of running your own business. But as you’ve realized, there is a sizeable financial learning curve, a curve that many business owners don’t understand until it’s too late.


Many small and medium sized businesses say “yes” to these issues. Are you one of them?
• Are you tired of being cash-poor even when you show an annual profit?
• Is your bookkeeping completed in one massive, stressful end-of-year effort?
• Are you spending endless hours manually completing your accounting and want a better way?
• Do you, for any reason, need a different financial outcome?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Step By Step Accounting is ready to help!

We are your financial guide who doesn’t just perform basic accounting services but delivers dedicated teaching and deep-dive financial support to small and medium businesses.

Variety of Services to Fit Your Needs

Your business structure, profit and loss, and payroll will look different from other businesses.

Why, then, should your accounting be treated all the same?

By offering a diverse menu of accounting support, we allow you to select the amount of service that is perfect for you, your employees, and your overall business. You’ll be able to choose the services to meet your needs, such as Quickbooks Online bookkeeping and training, payroll support, accounts payable and receivable, and even Fractional CFO services.

An Approach Based on Empowering You

At Step By Step Accounting, we won’t just prepare your P&L statements, complete balance sheets, and forecast expenses; instead, we teach you how to utilize your finances. This develops you into a more substantial, confident business owner who fully understands the needs of your business.

When you work with us, you’ll get financial coaching from a CPA to take your understanding of your finances to an executive level.

Proudly Serving Small to Medium Sized Businesses

While we are equipped to serve clients of virtually any size and scope, we are especially adept at serving clients who have fewer than 50 employees.

Step By Step is ideal for businesses operating in the agricultural, veterinarian, hospitality, legal, retail, salon/beauty, lawn care or professional services industries, but we are able to serve nearly any company.

Our Services

Step By Step Accounting is more than your typical accounting firm. We are dedicated to making
transformative changes by providing financial coaching to enhance how your business operates and thrives.

To help you achieve your goals, we provide a variety of services.


Comprehensive Set Up and Clean Up of QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online, commonly called “QBO,” is one of the most important and widely used programs for small businesses and organizations. Still, proper file set up, as well as clean up and systems analysis, is essential. We work with companies to provide effective QBO setup, integration of apps and Chart of Accounts assistance.

When providing QBO clean up services, we can reclassify transactions and categorize incomes, which is extremely beneficial for maintaining properly organized information. We can also help with your bank accounts by providing complete account reconciliations.

You can count on us to clean up and organize your profit-and-loss statement so you can see an accurate financial bottom line.


QBO Training

Teaching is a fundamental part of Step By Step Accounting. With this in mind, we provide training that makes you an effective business owner. Our personalized one-on-one guided training can be done virtually or at your office or worksite which allows you to be in a comfortable, familiar setting as you learn to use QBO to your maximum advantage.

Training includes written procedures for all the major processes that we cover. In addition to this one-on-one training, you’ll also receive 30 days of unlimited support, which can be provided through email or phone at your convenience.

Our training program is tailored to fit your specific needs.


Monthly QBO Bookkeeping

Another component of QBO that is essential to your business’s success is ongoing bookkeeping. Not all companies have the same needs, so we will offer three levels of bookkeeping services so you can select the right one for your operations.

Example bookkeeping services
• Reviewing monthly transactions
• Reconciliations for checking accounts
• P&L, balance sheet reporting (provided monthly)
• 30-minute review of finances (phone or video)
• Revenue and expenses annual forecasting
• Budget to actual reports
• Annual 1099 filings


Payroll Support

Through our payroll partner this includes payroll processing, payroll withholding for state, and federal taxes, reporting of new hires, report filing and annual W2s.

If you need human resourses and benefits programs we can introduce you to our partner company.

We are here to support all your payroll needs.


Accounts Payable and Receivable

You will never have to pay a bill again if you select our accounts payable services. We provide an “AP” email address and upload site for all of your invoices and receipts. We turn your documents into actionable data and import them into QBO. We then can pay each invoice after your approval and create audit-proof substantiation for each business expense.

For accounts receivable, we can provide invoicing and billing solutions, electronic receipt of payments, aging reports, follow-up procedures for past-due invoices, and dispute resolution. All this with the goal of improving your cash flow!

Take these tedious and stressful tasks off your desk.


Fractional Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

As opposed to day-to-day accounting, our CFO service focuses on key financial elements, taking a long-term, broad-vision approach to your company’s finances. CFO services include securing financing, planning, cash forecasting, and budgeting. You can work with our team to plan and execute growth strategies while receiving in-depth analysis of targets and reports on the industry in which you operate. You’ll get CFO services that include setting internal controls, creating policies, and designing procedures for your company.

Get Reliable, Success-Driven Accounting Services for Your Business

If you want an accounting partner who takes a deeper approach to your accounting, contact our staff today. You deserve an accountant who is dedicated to your success, so email our team and let us be your guide!

Our Step by Step Process

At Step By Step Accounting, we take an active, engaged role in your business, allowing us to serve your needs and deliver excellent results.
This level of engagement is not created instantly but requires dedication and resilience not seen from typical accounting firms.
That's why we break it down in an easy step-by-step process to show you how we create a foundation of long-term success for your business.


Step 1: Initial Meeting

First, we want to get to know you! We offer personalized, in-depth accounting services. Our first step is to meet with you and, if needed, some of your key employees.
This meeting will help us understand your business model, strengths, weaknesses, accounting challenges, and sources of income.

While the exact time can vary, this initial meeting generally takes about an hour. We look forward to meeting you! If we both decide that we would be a good fit, then we will move forward together to Step 2, the Discovery Phase.


Step 2: Discovery

During this phase, we will look through your important financial documents, including accounting records, bank statements, business reports, loan contracts, and any other information that is directly tied to the finances of your business.
This allows us to establish a firm understanding of your business's overall financial picture by learning where your revenue comes from, what creates the largest expenses, how losses are impacting operations, and much more.
This Discovery phase usually takes about two weeks.


Step 3: Report Preparation

Next, we prepare a report based on the gathered information. This step usually takes one to two days and requires less participation on your part.
We would contact you with any additional questions, but you can sit back and wait for Step 3 to be completed.


Step 4: Presentation

Our team will provide you a presentation based on the results of your report that outlines detailed steps on what changes you can make to improve your financial success.
We will present recommended services, such as cash flow forecasting, balance sheet reporting, and QuickBooks Online Training. You’ll be able to choose the services to meet your needs, such as Quickbooks Online bookkeeping and training, payroll support, accounts payable and receivable, and even Fractional CFO services.


Step 5: Getting Started

We are ready to start making improvements! Now, you can enjoy all the benefits of working with Step By Step Accounting.

Our goal is to make you a more prosperous, prepared, and knowledgeable business owner. By working with us, you
will have the tools to create a solid financial foundation that, with wise management, will last well into the future!

About Step by Step Accounting

At Step By Step Accounting, our focus is based on helping clients achieve their financial and professional goals. Through guidance, support, and consistent teaching,
we not only deliver thorough accounting services, but we also advise clients to become more confident with their finances.

By combining accounting and teaching, we can help numerous businesses across North Dakota and the United States.

In-Depth Services Rooted in Teaching

We are not your typical accounting firm. Melissa L. Miranda, the owner and creator of Step By Step Accounting, strongly believes in the value of educating clients on their finances.

Through monthly financial review meetings, one-on-one conversations, and comprehensive support, Step By Step Accounting makes business owners more knowledgeable and confident with their finances. Weaving together both transformative accounting services and financial coaching helps clients achieve their financial goals and establish a solid foothold in their industries.

We take a deep-dive approach to a business's finances. Before we take on any client, we guide them through our new client step by step process. The first step is getting to know them and what their wants and needs are. Check out our Step by Step process.

While we can take on virtually any client, we enjoy serving solo-entrepreneurs, partnerships, and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.


Meet Melissa L. Miranda, CPA

Growing up on a dairy farm, Step By Step Accounting owner Melissa L. Miranda learned the principles of hard work, persistence, and planning. Before even attending college, she saw first hand the importance of cash-flow planning and organized record-keeping on the farm with her own dairy animals in 4-H and FFA.

She is a proud graduate of North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, where she completed a double major, studying both accounting and business administration. Graduating magna cum laude in 2012, she quickly applied her knowledge and experience to both the public and private sectors.

While providing basic bookkeeping services for a family friend, Melissa realized her love of working directly with small business owners. Having nearly a decade of experience with QuickBooks Desktop, Melissa started learning the cloud-based version of the program and converted her first client to QuickBooks Online (QBO). It turned out to be a breakthrough, as she realized the immense value of secure accounting records that can be accessed and utilized in real-time.

Melissa saw the need for service-oriented, teaching-based accounting and advisory services, primarily geared towards small businesses and eventually brought these principles into her own business, which she named Step By Step Accounting.

Melissa's mission is to help small business owners understand their finances and achieve their goals as she knows the impact that strong businesses have on communities and families.

In her personal time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and reading a good book. She also loves visiting family in Brazil, where she lived for two years.

You deserve an accountant who shares your passion and commitment, so let us help you right away!


Janell Harlow, CPA, Senior Accountant

Janell Harlow is a Senior Accountant for Step By Step Accounting. Janell grew up in the Red River Valley, and attended Concordia College where she earned her Bachelor's Degree.

She then went on to take accounting classes at the University of North Dakota to become a CPA. Over the past 20 years, Janell has served as a CPA for a wide range of businesses through public and private accounting firms.

Her career came full circle when she joined Step By Step Accounting, using the same client-centered, coaching-based approach as the first firm she ever worked for.

She brings strong organizational skills to our team, as well as a passion for working with entrepreneurs to bring their business to the next level.


Vicki Schlenker, CPA, Senior Accountant

Vicki joined Step By Step Accounting in the fall of 2022 as a Senior Accountant. Vicki attended NDSU where she earned a degree in accounting with a minor in computer science.

After receiving her CPA license, she quickly dove into work as an accountant and brought to Step By Step 25 years of experience in accounting within nonprofit organizations.

Vicki also has experience in HR, including the revamping of employee handbooks, and assisting in the creation of various policies and procedures.

With her wide array of skills and great attention to detail, Vicki is an excellent asset to our team and our clients at Step By Step.


Contact Us

Whether you are ready to work with a trusted accountant right away or want to learn more about our comprehensive services, please reach out to us!

West Fargo, North Dakota, USA

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