Meet our Founder – Inna Korenzvit!
Originally featured in VoyagePhoenix Magazine
Meet Inna Korenzvit of KORE Accounting Solutions in Scottsdale
Today we’d like to introduce you to Inna Korenzvit.
Inna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in the former Soviet Union into a working-class family. Despite their long working hours and our very meager living conditions, I grew up in a loving and caring family. Unfortunately, my father passed away at a young age when I was just a child, and shortly thereafter, my mother, my older brother and I decided to leave the USSR to escape political and religious persecution. When we crossed the border and embarked on our journey to a new and better life, our physical possessions consisted of three suitcases, $42, and the clothes on our backs.
I was a young teenager when our family arrived in Canada, by way of Italy (so that we could get documentation to enter Canada). Neither I nor my mother spoke English, but our determination to work hard, learn, and succeed had kept us going. I had an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age, and almost as soon as we arrived in Canada, I started my own baby-siting service. After graduating high school, I finished hairstyling/cosmetology school and opened my first “official” business called “Just for Kids” – a hair salon for kids, which was inside a children’s clothing section of a department store. While running my salon and working part-time in sales and accounting at another company, I put myself through four years of college, graduating with a Business degree from Toronto’s York University.
Just before graduation, I met my husband, and we married shortly thereafter. We’ve been happily married for 34 years. Since my mother was kind enough to babysit for us, I was able to continue working after our first two sons were born. I found that working in accounting gave me the flexibility I needed as a mother of two toddlers, while allowing me to apply my organizational and problem-solving abilities to help my customers.
When he was 7 months old, our second son, Zakhary, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Faced with this devastating diagnosis, we became determined to do everything we could to help our son exceed the dismal prognosis given to us by his doctors. Ultimately, my husband and I decided that I would quit my job, we would give up some of our physical comforts, and I would concentrate on taking care of our family full time. After fighting for several years to get medical services for our special needs son, we decided that the poor diagnostic and treatment options available in Canada were untenable, and we decided to move to Arizona, where my husband’s company had offered to relocate us. During a previous visit to Phoenix, we were impressed with the much higher quality of care and medical choices available, and we also realized the warm climate was much more conducive to Zak’s development than the constant inclement weather of Toronto. While it was hard to leave our family and friends behind, moving to Arizona was the right choice.
We moved to Scottsdale in early 1995, where I stayed home, raising our four boys. I believe to this day that the most important job for any woman is to make sure that their children grow up to be educated, self-confident and contributing members of our society. While motherhood was more than a full-time job, after a couple of years, I took on part-time work to stay current with my accounting knowledge and to supplement our family’s income.
As my children got older and became more independent, I wanted to rejoin the workforce. That choice was made easy for me when in 2010, during the height of the recession my husband lost his job. I was ready to return to work full time. After looking at what opportunities were available, the only job offers I would get was as a sales clerk for $8/hr. Not only would that not even come close to supporting a family of 6, but I felt that with my skills, education, and experience, I could offer more value than that, and that’s how KORE Accounting Solutions was born.
Tell us more about KORE Accounting.
Since its inception, KORE Accounting Solutions has grown and evolved. One of the biggest and best changes I made, and also among the hardest was to transition from an hourly rate to a fixed-price model.
The catalyst for this change was being nominated and selected by Intuit in 2016 as a “Firm of the Future”. As part of this distinction, KORE Accounting, along with four other bookkeeping and accounting firms from across the country, were given the opportunity to participate in an extensive 6-month workshop with thought leader, innovator, and Value Pricing expert, Ron Baker. This program opened our eyes to the benefits of engaging with clients on a fixed-price basis and helped us realize that billing by the hour is truly antithetical to having great client relationships.
However, while we recognized the benefits of providing customers with a fixed-price, we learned first-hand that shaking up the industry-wide status quo and totally reframing our existing client relationships would not be an easy task. As scary as it was to change the way we did things, my team and I decided that it was the right move for our company, and over the months that followed, we took the leap and attempted to transition all of our customers over to this new model. While many of our clients embraced the change, this move did result in several customers leaving.
There were a number of times throughout our fixed-price transition process where we questioned if it was the right move for us, but looking back 4 years later, I can say unequivocally that it’s been resoundingly net positive for us. In addition to allowing us to better serve our customers, we’ve been a resource to other business owners and professionals looking to make this change.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
KORE Accounting Solutions is a future-focused management accounting firm specializing in helping solo and small law firms, as well as other service-based companies, stay compliant while running more profitable businesses. As a matter of fact, about a year ago we have changed our name from KORE Bookkeeping to KORE Accounting to better reflect the role we play in our customer’s success. Management accounting is a big part of what we do. We are a completely paperless firm that believes in utilizing the incredible technology and tools available today to help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. In addition to providing our legal accounting expertise, we work with our customers as part of their team, helping them make sense of their financial data and empowering them to make great business decisions.
We are a family company, and our biggest strength is our combined expertise, complementary skills, and personality traits. My husband Alex, who has worked with me part-time since the start, is an engineer and brings analytical skills, knowledge of financial systems, and ability to integrate and consolidate data from various sources into easy-to-digest customized reports. My oldest son Mark, who has been a part of our professional team since 2015, brings experience in technology and operations, as well as business development. I draw on my many years of accounting expertise, experience, organizational skills, and attention to detail to ensure the quality and accuracy of the results we deliver to our customers.
What were you like growing up?
As a child, I was friendly, outgoing, and self-sufficient by necessity. We were a close-knit family, but my parents were always busy working long hours so I was often left to fend for myself. After coming to Canada, I again had to take care of myself while my mother and brother were busy building a new life for us. My life could have turned out in a variety of different ways, and not all good; however, I chose to get a good education, work hard, and to live my life with two major beliefs: One, that “It’s much easier to be nice”, and two, that “Nobody owes anybody anything; people do things for each other from the goodness of their hearts”.
The experience of taking care of myself from a very young age, always striving to make good decisions, maintaining a strong sense of personal responsibility, a great sense of gratitude for everything that I have, and a sense of humor, are all things that have shaped the woman that I am today!