Hi! My name is Cathy Derus. I’m a CPA who’s ready to help you feel confident about your personal and business finances so you can get back to doing what you love.
I started Brightwater Accounting as a way to help you improve your financial situation and alleviate some of that money stress so you can get back to doing the things you love: spending time with your family and friends, growing your own business, travelling, running marathons, and so on.
Starting Brightwater Accounting
I’ve always been interested in business and money. Growing up, my favorite board game was Monopoly. And from keeping an inventory of Halloween candy to selling friendship bracelets, you could say that business is in my blood.
I attended Saint Louis University where I earned an Honors BSBA in Accounting with a minor in Finance, followed up by a Master of Accounting. I started my accounting career with a Big 4 public accounting firm where I got my CPA license. After four years in public accounting, I spent five years in financial reporting and corporate accounting.
All the while, I fostered my interest in personal finance, and eventually started my personal finance/lifestyle blog, Fiscally Chic. I love helping others while using my talents in business, money, and finance. This led me to launch my financial planning firm Brightwater Financial. Soon I realized that while not everyone thinks they need a financial plan, everyone needs to file their tax returns and businesses need help managing their books. Enter: Brightwater Accounting.
About Brightwater Accounting
Brightwater Accounting offers cloud-based accounting and tax services. As a CPA financial planner and QuickBooks Online Proadvisor, I can help you juggle your variable income with other big savings goals. I understand what it’s like to sell products on Etsy and what some of the unique expenses are as a blogger. I learned more about operating a business and the importance of cash flow from my time in corporate accounting.
And I get it. Taxes are tricky. Whether you have started a new business or a new job, gotten married, had your first child, or just feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the tax return process, I am happy to advise you. As a CPA, I stay up to date on tax code changes so that you don’t have to. I offer year-round support for my clients and I am happy to answer your tax questions throughout the year.
As for the name Brightwater, I believe you have a bright and promising future ahead of you. Life is fluid, like water; and a successful plan is dynamic and flexible to your changing needs. Plus, I’m a former college swimmer.
On a personal note, I live in the Chicago area, but am originally from Cleveland. We have a four-year old daughter and a one year old son who love to splash in the pool. When I’m not crunching numbers or spending time with my family, I like to bake cupcakes, enjoy a craft beer, and laugh at Jim Gaffigan stand up comedy. If you have kids, you’ll totally understand when he says, “bedtime is a crisis!”