Count on me: Stander & Company showing the way toward entrepreneurial successBookmark this
Photos by: Creative Light Photography
Don’t tell the Standers that accounting is boring.
The owners of Stander & Company are changing perceptions with their Humble, Texas-based firm, stretching the traditional role of number crunchers into a business that tackles a variety of needs for small and medium-sized businesses.
Nicholas Stander moved to Kingwood in 2001 after earning a Bachelor’s in finance and a dual concentration MBA in finance and management from Tulane University in New Orleans. His rise in the business world, mostly in the aviation industry, was quick and steady. Controller by 23 years-old; CFO by 27; in charge of a division of BBA Aviation, a publicly traded company in the United Kingdom by the time he turned 30.
“I’ve kind of always been an accountant,” Stander said. “My mother had a business when I was a kid and I helped her with the books in high school. No matter what, I always kept on getting sucked back into it [laughs].”
After a few years in a general manager role, he and his wife, Emily, decided to start their own accounting firm. They opened Stander & Company in downtown Humble in 2013 to provide small and medium-sized businesses bookkeeping, advisory services, and IRS representation. Services grew to include insurance, payroll, strategy and marketing help. They now have nine employees.
“One of the concepts behind our business was to build a solid network so that we become a primary source for any entrepreneur,” Stander said. “When you’re in the business of starting your own business, we are the place to call to deal with, basically, everything. We’re a one-stop shop.”
Stander & Company staff provide advice on a variety of business-related issues and obstacles. This multi-faceted approach attracts clients from all over the world, including South Africa, China, Europe, and across the United States. Stander points to his many different job titles and responsibilities for his company’s success.
“I think it’s one of the reasons why the product that we bring to market is so different,” he said. “Yes, we’re accountants, but we’re not what you get at most places. We have a different level of experience, a different background that we’re bringing.”
It’s aiding in potential entrepreneurs’ pursuit of their dreams of starting their own business that excites Stander about his work.
“I look around and I see people struggling to find their way in the world and so much of it has to do with work,” Stander said. “I’m a firm believer that if you’re unhappy with what you’re doing on a daily basis, you should change it. I get to help people do that – I get to help them figure out ways to make money from what they’re passionate about.”
Giving back to others is also important for both the Standers. They work with Humble Area Assistance Ministries, Emily serves on the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce board, and they are involved with their church.
“Part of believing in small businesses is believing in the community,” Stander said. “Anybody can go shop at a Wal-Mart, but it’s hard to start up your own place and compete against something like that, so it’s a very community-driven sort of goal. The two go hand-in-hand – successful communities start with successful small businesses.”