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Owner and Entrepreneur Story – Cairn Accounting


Owner and Entrepreneur, Andrew Brady of Cairn Accounting helps small businesses with all aspects of accounting, including tax filing, reconciling bank accounts, and quarterly state tax returns – all for one flat annual rate. This unique approach to accounting services provides business owners a stress-free accounting support service, rather than not knowing how much they’ll end up paying throughout the year. Cairn Accounting specifically supports small to medium businesses.

When asked why he became an entrepreneur, Andrew says with a chuckle, “I like working with myself.” He goes on to explain he likes knowing his business depends solely on what he does to support it and isn’t dependent on other leadership to make decisions about his livelihood. “I decided taking the business risk on myself was easier than taking the risk on someone else.”


Andrew started his professional accounting career as an accountant at a CFO firm. He found the clientele there weren’t the people he was really passionate to support. “Typically, the type of business that can afford that sort of service is a large company. I wanted to help small, local businesses. The owners are typically more down-to-earth and willing to create positive working relationships.” He struck out on his own at a young age and built a successful accounting firm that served local community businesses. It wasn’t until someone offered to buy the company from him that he felt the weight of his success.

“It was very validating to have someone put a dollar value on what I’d built,” says Andrew. “That was probably my biggest and most gratifying success as a business owner, to date.” Andrew explains seeing the fruit of labor, the finished product of all his building is one of the things he loves about entrepreneurship. He was hooked.


After that, Andrew worked with a Venture Capital Firm, in an effort to continue supporting new and small businesses. Unfortunately, a shift in management caused a major loss in personnel. Andrew worked hard to make the firm successful, but the market didn’t work in his favor. After eight months without pay, Andrew had to tap out. “It is so heartbreaking and frustrating to create a business, go without pay for a year, and still have to close the doors.”

While his second business failed, Andrew wouldn’t be kept away from entrepreneurship. He knew a well-known secret among business owners, entrepreneurs and successful leaders. Failure is just a precursor to success. Rather than be scared off by the failure, Andrew launched into Cairn Accounting, with the same heart for supporting small business owners.

And why Cairn? “Well, I actually moved to Washington from Utah because I love hiking. So, it just made sense to name the business as the common landmark one sometimes finds on trails. Sort of a wayfinding signal, as our finances can be.”


One of the many reasons Andrew enjoys entrepreneurship is the relationships he builds with other business owners. “If I were working for a company, the pool of people I meet and talk to on a regular basis would be maybe 20, 30 people? As the owner of an accounting firm helping small businesses, I have the opportunity to meet hundreds of other business owners – some of whom have become my mentors, or at least shared some great thoughts and wisdom with me.”

Andrew embraces the Shakespearian quote his favorite mentor shared with him, “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes its so.” So, when faced with a challenge at work, rather than let the challenge overwhelm him with negativity, and when he’s in need of inspiration to push forward toward furthering success and thriving, Andrew looks to his rhinos.


“Yes, rhinos. I have art of rhinos in my office to remind me of a book I read called, ‘Rhinoceros Success: The Secret to Charging Full Speed Toward Every Opportunity’. It’s sort of a comedic visualization book. It advocates for us to charge forward, meet the challenge head-on and get to the task at hand to complete it.”

Andrew emulates that philosophy when giving advice to other young entrepreneurs, telling them, “Just do it! I see a lot of people in my line of business who write business plans for years but never actualize their plans. If you really want to be successful, you must make the leap of faith, take the risk and the action to create your business.”

If you’d like to learn more about Cairn Accounting, visit his website at cairnaccounting.com.

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