My Other Life: Rhonda Harris, accountant

Rhonda Harris, nail technician. In her other life: accountant.


The owner of Nail Creations by Rhonda, Chicago-based nail technician Rhonda Harris is as handy with a spreadsheet as she is with a sculpting brush. Her nights and weekends are dedicated to nails, but her day job for the past eight years has been doing accounting. Working as a senior staff accountant for a large credit and information management firm, Harris is responsible for the accounting of various IT groups within the company. “I do journal entries, monthly analysis, and answer any questions the managers may have,” she says. “I have always been into making sure I keep track of my own finances and budgeting; this is what drew me to accounting. I enjoy reconciling accounts and helping the managers understand their financials. I also like to see if they will stay within budget!”

With feet firmly planted in both worlds, Harris is particularly well-qualified to dispense financial advice to techs: “Keep track of every dollar you spend on supplies, the mileage you drive back and forth to work, and every penny you take in,” she says. “If you booth rent be sure you always have at least one month’s worth of booth rent saved up in case of emergencies or slow periods. Treat it like a regular job where you pay yourself every week and maintain a separate business account as well.

“I created a spreadsheet for my nail business that allows me to track my income and expenses. This gives me a good snapshot of things I can do to be profitable, and it makes it easy during tax time.”

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