This Story Needs to Be Heard podcast guest is Ying Sa, founder, CEO, and principal Certified Public Accountant of Community CPA, Des Moines, Iowa. The firm provides tax, audit, accounting, business consultations, and IT solutions to businesses and individuals across the United States, Canada, and around the world.
Ying is an author, speaker, and decorated community volunteer. Ying was born in Beijing, China before becoming a citizen of Canada and then the United States of America. She got an accounting degree in Canada and worked as an accountant in Canada for several years before relocating to Iowa.
Ying served six years as the Chief Financial Officer for the Iowa Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Iowa State University and five years as Vice President of Controllers for Wells Fargo Financial, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. She started Community CPA in 1998 and has been leading Community CPA full time since 2008.
Ying explains that her entrepreneurial spirit comes from the work ethic of her father who speaks nine languages, and her mother who is a doctor. Since business is not a concept in China due to communism, Ying was curious and started exploring the concept of business by designing and selling handmade crafts and jewelry in Canada. Later, her Community CPA firm was birthed.
In her current work at Community CPA, Ying works with and helps a lot of immigrants who are new to the business world. Her best advice is if you want to start a business, surround yourself with people who are capable (lawyers, accountants, financial planners, etc.). Ying claims that tax accountants work with history, attorneys work on present problems, and financial planners deal with the future.
Ying has always liked to write in a diary and for years has used writing as a meditation. She used her writings as a foundation for her book, Appointment with Ying @ 8am: Starting Up a Business. She wrote the book in September-November of 2019 at a time the firm had significant personnel changes. It gave her a time to rethink.
Ying claims Community CPA is successful today because she has surrounded herself with three types of people:
1) Heart People (people who like to give away)
2) Head people (people who plan everything, are profit driven)
3) Hand people (technical people)
When asked about serving in her community, Ying likes to serve immigrants. She explained that her community focus is born out of community needs. As a result of her efforts, she established the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, a nonprofit organization that equips immigrants with basic American business information. The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit’s mission is to bring businesses of diverse backgrounds together to share, learn, and celebrate the immigrant entrepreneurship experience and contribution to the overall community.
Ying Sa’s key quotes from the podcast:
“I’m just a very simple person.”
“The American business culture has to be learned.”
“You work with a financial planner because that’s your future piece of life.”
“If you are like a ripple in the water, it will just get spread.”
“This is not my life. It is a God-given life.”
“Judging is a waste of time and energy.”
“You need to be that drop of water flowing in the right direction.”
“Disruption is a redistribution.”
“Contribute to a cause of something you want to see happen.”
“Planting a seed for the forest to come up.”
Appointment with Ying @ 8am: Starting Up a Business by Ying Sa
News Release can be found on this page by scrolling down:
Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit
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