With new demands, expectations, and rewarding moments, leadership continues to change year after year. Difficulty in building a thriving company culture and managing a team in a way that constantly points to that culture and vision are some of the major aspects of leadership that have changed over the years. Particularly, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders had to innovate even more in this area regularly to keep employees connected and on the same path as the rest of the organization.
Furthermore, being intentional with the connections to one another, showing empathy for each other’s thoughts and perspectives, and encouraging understanding interdepartmentally are some other aspects of leading a successful business. In today’s world, a leader must push the envelope on these actions daily to ensure employees have their sights set on the company’s vision. “It’s harder to do when you are apart, but the challenge is worth tackling,” says Tony Zorc (Founder and CEO of Accounting Seed). Tony has been the torchbearer for Accounting Seed since its inception and has played an inevitable role in the company’s proliferance.
The Journey towards Entrepreneurship
Tony has a degree in accounting and has been working as a CPA for over 20 years. He has avid experience working in the professional services and software development industries—where he has held several different roles from a Software Architect to a CFO. Tony pursued entrepreneurship out of necessity at first, as he needed to provide for his family and his 9-5 jobs were not cutting it for him.
Though, Tony has always been an entrepreneur at heart. He loves the thrill of pursuing the dream and seeing it come to execution. He believes that to be a successful entrepreneur, there have to be more driving factors than money. Those factors are the opportunity to be innovative, to be someone who challenges the prescribed ways of doing something and executes on those ideas. This drive to do things in a better way inspired Tony to start Accounting Seed –the world’s first accounting platform.
Since the early days of Accounting Seed, Tony has been striving to give his customers a better way to run their business. He believes that this commitment has kept him motivated to keep pushing on regardless of the confronting challenges. “Now when I am working on an upgrade for our platform or collaborating with the marketing team on the content direction, I think back to those moments and it keeps me passionate,” says Tony. He further adds that being an entrepreneur has taught him about empathy. “You can’t create a successful product or service without fully understanding the needs, struggles, and joys of your customer base,” he adds.
One-stop Affordable Solution
Accounting Seed was founded in 2008 and officially made it onto Salesforce in 2011. As the world’s first-ever accounting platform, Accounting Seed offers a level of customization, flexibility, and automation that is rarely found in other accounting applications. The company’s goal is to work closely with the customers, discover the true needs of their business, and provide a vision for success through the platform.
“If you can put logic to it, you can make it happen in Accounting Seed. That’s the beauty of it–there is no software maker telling you what to do,” says Tony. At Accounting Seed, each business can run their accounting their way. From non-profits to large manufacturing companies, Accounting Seed is a solution for all industries that is comparatively more affordable than several other options.
Helping People Embrace Change
Technology is always evolving and Accounting Seed is committed to bringing the best technology in the accounting space. According to Tony, the biggest challenge faced by Accounting Seed is finding people who are dedicated to understanding technology. Tony mentions that the big challenge within this is people don’t believe it is possible –they do not believe they can understand technology on an intimate level. Thus, one of the major goals at Accounting Seed and TonyZorc.com is to help people (employees, customers, partners, etc.) understand that change can be great.
Leading the Transformation
In the initial days of Accounting Seed’s establishment, Tony did every job from sales, marketing, development, to even stocking the snacks in the breaking room. Today, as Accounting Seed is a fully staffed company, Tony’s job is to determine the product vision, lay out the path to the marketplace, and guide his team to reaching their goals under that vision year after year. He also works closely with the product team and marketing team to guide the direction of the product and plan content creation, respectively.
Tony’s role as a CEO became crucial when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Transitioning to being a fully-virtual company seemed difficult to him initially as he was so used to being in the office and collaborating in-person with each team. “It was a new level of trust that has proven to be successful and worth it,” he adds. Moving forward, Tony envisions Accounting Seed to be a virtual-first company.
Setting the Tone
Alongside Accounting Seeds, Tony expects other companies around the world to be virtual-first. He believes if the company continues to do business with a ‘people-first’ mentality, it will thrive virtually as well as in person. Moreover, Accounting Seed is set to grow 30-40% in 2021 with its new team and the innovations it is bringing to the market.
“We had to change and adapt fast to stay relevant, which is how we are still thriving in 2021,” asserts Tony. He believes that it is the leader’s job to set the tone for that type of change and show others what it means to adapt.
Thinking outside the Box
Having successfully led Accounting Seed to where it is today, Tony advises the young leaders to think outside of the box. He wants the next-generation leaders to be iconoclasts—an individual, who changes the prescribed or established way of doing things, finds a better way, creates a plan for change, and executes it.