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#CoolBeanCounters Unite: BooXkeeping Franchisees Can Modernize a Tired Profession by Combining Professional Expertise with Genuine Human Connections

With a work from home business model, national enterprise accounts and a human-driven approach to accounting, the premier online bookkeeping brand knows there is nothing cooler than growing a business by helping others do the same.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 9:09AM 12/07/23

The world of accounting, finance and bookkeeping doesn’t tend to be considered the most riveting of subjects, but the story of BooXkeeping, the emerging franchise that provides cutting-edge, online bookkeeping services for small and medium size businesses, is full of as much excitement as a Hollywood blockbuster. 

Founded by Max Emma and Elena Emma, two entrepreneurial immigrants with in-depth experience in finance and accounting, BooXkeeping's 20-plus-year journey is a testament to resilience, innovation and the power of human connection. Navigating both the complexities of professional business ownership and the personal challenges of their own divorce, the Emmas have prioritized empathy and communication every step of the way — the same skills that have helped to establish BooXkeeping as a one-of-a-kind franchise in the bookkeeping industry. 

“Our mission is simple: make bookkeeping cool,” said Max. “Our unique approach, which focuses on the human aspect of the business, transforms the mundane task of bookkeeping into an exciting and personal experience, fostering a culture where clients feel alive and supported. Amidst a rapidly growing market, this translates to a flexible, lucrative and exciting franchise opportunity that anyone with the right passion can take advantage of.”

Now, with plans to bring the concept to communities all across the country, BooXkeeping gives franchisees an unprecedented opportunity to embark on a journey that harmoniously blends professional expertise with genuine human connection.

Coming to America, Leaving Corporate America and Achieving the American Dream

The story of BooXkeeping starts with an 18-year-old Max emigrating from the former Soviet Union to the U.S., where he initially worked in corporate accounting and finance, but found it deeply unfulfilling. He celebrated his "Freedom Day" from corporate America on July 3rd, 2002, when he shifted to a family-run landscape maintenance business. Despite initially growing the business to an impressive $4 million, a lack of financial oversight and the 2008 recession led to bankruptcy. 

“It was the greatest lesson in accounting, finance and business ownership I could have ever received,” said Max. “Although it felt like the end of the world at the time, I knew I had to keep going and learn from my mistakes.”

Max persevered, restarting with a smaller landscape maintenance business, this time outsourcing his bookkeeping to another company. Right away, he noticed a significant discrepancy in the way the bookkeeping industry operated. A lightbulb went off in his head. 

“For the same scope of work, I was seeing quotes from as low as $200 to as high as $2,000 — anyone in finance knows that means there is a big opportunity to dominate a fragmented market,” said Max. “So, we started the BooXkeeping business in our garage part-time while we ran our landscaping company to pay the bills.”

Elena, who had been in the accounting and finance space since she was just 18, not only helped build the external scaffolding of the BooXkeeping business model, but also focused heavily on guiding the internal culture. 

“The BooXkeeping culture is all about believing that ‘Kings Are the Ones Who Serve’,” she said. “We take care of our clients on a regular basis, going through the ups and downs, highs and lows and everything that comes along the way. Everyone dreads seeing their accountant, but we hated that mentality. We want clients to walk out of the office feeling alive, supported and excited. Finance is a very personal matter — the only thing more personal is sex. There are a lot of personal feelings that are tied up in accounting. We wanted to respect that and do things differently.”

Gradually, BooXkeeping became the Emmas’ full-time job and they sold their landscaping company. Although the couple divorced a few years later, they continued to work together to grow the brand, driven by their passion to redefine an outdated industry and put the client first above all else. Today, BooXkeeping is the preferred bookkeeping vendor for over 85 franchise brands in the U.S., including companies like FastSignsGameday Men's HealthSport Clips and more.

“Hanging out with franchisors gave me the idea that I could become one of them myself,” said Max. “So, last year, I decided to franchise the BooXkeeping concept.”

Now, with six franchise locations, one corporate location and a fast-growing bookkeeping industry, BooXkeeping is ushering in a whole new era of expansion. 

“Everybody needs bookkeeping services right now,” said Max. “After COVID-19, our brand became even more popular because people realized that taking care of these services themselves was a huge operation, especially with the economic slowdown. Many are questioning the need for a full-time bookkeeper when much of the work can be done more efficiently outsourced. That is where we come in.”

What's Cooler Than Being Cool? A Franchise Built on Support

While developing the BooXkeeping franchise, Max says he made sure to maintain the same principles he has followed since the beginning, blending professional expertise with a personal touch. The brand’s trending hashtag #CoolBeanCounters, for example, is all about fostering a community of people who are tired of the old ways and are looking for a better approach.

"Let's be honest, bookkeeping is usually very boring, but we want to give new life to an old profession," said Max. “BooXkeeping franchisees are not just bookkeepers, they are business owners who understand the trials and tribulations of running a company. They prioritize communication, acceptance and support to ensure all clients can balance professional and personal development. BooXkeepers are cool, our partners are cooler and our clients are the coolest.”

Sofia Bongard is a BooXkeeping franchisee in San Diego. Today, she says her favorite part of owning a BooXkeeping franchise is having the opportunity to help change the perspective around bookkeeping.

“Accounting has the reputation of being square, but to me it is really fun,” said Bongard. “You get to know your clients intimately and watch them scale their business. I had one client who quit his corporate job to start his own company from scratch. Six years later, he had driven revenue to over $1 million. It is so cool to know that you helped in that growth.”

As a franchisor, BooXkeeping made sure to build a low-cost, home-based model that would provide an attractive work-life balance for its business owners. “Nobody wants to talk to their bookkeepers after working hours, so by design, you are limiting the amount of days you have to work,” said Max. 

And the co-founders' dedication to franchisee support is unparalleled. “Their success directly contributes to our success,” said Max. “We handle all the marketing assistance, the necessary technology, the staffing solutions and more. This isn’t just about selling franchises; it’s about driving their profitability. Many franchises overlook this aspect.”

Client acquisition support, for example, is another key advantage. “With 85 franchise brands for which we are a preferred vendor, new franchisees can gain immediate access to potential clients,” Max said. “For example, if a new Signarama franchise opens in the Miami area, we quickly notify our local franchisee, giving them a competitive advantage even before their territory is selected.”

This comprehensive support also includes two weeks of training, six months of sales coaching and a year of bi-weekly executive coaching with none other than Elena herself, whose resume today includes adjunct professor, PhD, writer, artist and TEDx speaker. As Chief People Officer of BooXkeeping, her focus on human-oriented structures and crisis coaching for franchisees transforms the standard business model into a journey of personal development. 

"It's about humanization," Elena said. "We work through finance in a very particular way, considering the personal feelings and crises that startup owners face. It is a big shift going from being an employee to being self-employed as a franchisee. These are not entrepreneurs — they are business owners. The difference is that they are not looking to reinvent the wheel. There is a process and system behind them, so when they are on board, I can help them through their individual journey.”

Bongard says the support and coaching from Max and Elena has been essential in her journey as a franchisee. “Max sends me books to read, conferences to go to, resources to tap into,” she said. “And Elena has saved me many times! At the beginning, there are so many things that are not related to accounting that you have to learn as a franchisee. Elena would break it all down into small pieces for me to digest. She has been a true mentor.”

Why Join BooXkeeping Now?

Looking ahead, Max has big plans for the BooXkeeping franchise, aiming to sell 50 locations by his 50th birthday, calling it “50 by 50.” The goal is to have 25 territories open by the end of 2024.

So, other than being cool, what does an ideal BooXkeeping franchisee look like?

“We want to partner with people who already understand the business,” said Max. “They don't have to be CPAs or bookkeepers but we prefer some accounting or finance background. We fully train them and provide full staff to do the work, so they can focus on client acquisition and building relationships. You don’t have to do the actual work, but you do have to understand it. If you are a good communicator and a people-person, you are going to be very successful.”

But if a CPA or accountant is interested in integrating the BooXkeeping services into their wider range of offerings, Max says that can still be a great option. “Once we secure a bookkeeping client for a franchisee, they have the opportunity to offer additional services like tax and CFO consulting, retaining 100% of the revenue from these services while we receive royalties only from the bookkeeping aspect,” he said.

Best of all, as opposed to something like taxes, bookkeeping regulations are the same in every state, opening up the BooXkeeping franchise opportunity to markets nationwide. “We guarantee a half million population as their territory,” said Max. “But franchisees can get referrals from anywhere, even outside their territory. It’s not limited to a specific location.”

The initial investment required to start a BooXkeeping franchise can be as low as $25,842 to $52,842, with an average gross revenue of $424,000 per year and a gross profit of $257,000, as disclosed in the Item 19*. But the franchise is not just about numbers — it's about becoming part of a family that values personal connections and supports each franchisee's journey.

“The beauty of franchising is that each location is going to be a little different,” said Elena. “We want you to be you, but within our bigger framework. That is what truly makes us different from everyone else in the market. Bookkeeping is done the same everywhere, so it's not a question of how it is offered, but a question of who is offering it. With a BooXkeeping franchise, you can develop your personality within a preset framework to achieve your goals, both professionally and personally. That is really why we believe so deeply in the future of this company.”

For more information on franchising with BooXkeeping, visit:

*Figures taken from the 2023 BooXkeeping Franchise Disclosure Document.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.