Celeste Lioce, CPA

I have the entrepreneur spirit and have worked for myself and with my family for most of my life. My dad was self-employed his entire life and he put me and my brother to work when we were old enough to stuff an envelope.    He moved us to Tampa from Detroit when his business collapsed during the oil embargos of the 1970’s.  Tampa is where I graduated from high school and Tampa is where my children were born.

My new little family needed a fresh start and we left Tampa behind in favor of northern Palm Beach County.   This place was paradise and I have never looked back. 

My college career started when my daughters were ages 5 and 7.    During my college years, I worked full time, took a ¾ load of classes, and raised my girls.  I managed to finish with a Master’s Degree in Accounting and obtain my CPA license in 9 years.   It was exhausting and exhilarating.  My daughters are adults now and have careers of their own.  Two of my proudest moments are when each of those beautiful young women graduated from college.

My mentor was also my husband.  He came into my life when the girls were just entering their teens.  He taught me how to dream—dream systematically, dream consistently, dream big.  As a business lawyer and being trained in tax, we collaborated on tax issues.  He was also a real estate developer and entrepreneur.  We worked on business plans together and started those businesses.  Some worked.  Some did not.  We wrote drafts of Master Land Use Plans and did complicated tax planning to facilitate paying the ‘smart taxes’ (legally, the least amount of tax on the most amount of income).

Anything is Possible

The secret to success is to imagine the limitless possibilities, embrace new ideas, be open to changing the status quo, and be constantly doing “the work”. 

My daughter, Karyn Cartlidge, has worked with me in my solo CPA practice since she was in the undergraduate accounting program at Florida Atlantic University in 2002.  After we had been working together for about 5 years, I realized that we both needed more.  We needed more income, more support and more opportunities. 

Founding a New Accounting Firm

 Karyn and I were sitting at lunch on April 15th, 2007.  (You may know, this is a big deadline for tax accountants)  We congratulated ourselves on getting the job well done-- early and efficiently.  But, we both realized we could take on a lot more work.  We sat at lunch and discussed the future.  I said, “We either need to close this firm or grow this firm.”  Right then and there we pulled out a beverage napkin and starting drafting a business plan which looked something like this:

Double our client base in the next 12 months and grow another 50% in the next 3 years:

How to accomplish this:

1.   Buy a local tax or accounting practice

2.   Merge with a local tax or accounting practice (Dan Azeredo???  Linda Jayne??)

3.   Utilize our systems and procedures to teach others (like our clients and new partnerships) to work smarter not harder.

4.   Concentrate our services on growing the bookkeeping/outsourced CFO services

This brief plan expanded into a full business plan which we managed to execute in about 8 months. 

Anderson, Azeredo & Lioce, CPA’s and Associates, P.A. was fully formed by January of 2008.  We moved into a new office space located in the Village of North Palm Beach which provided easy access for our clients.  The firm is always evolving but at the heart of our evolution we are constantly looking for the best technology to assist our clients and our firm. 

Helping Businesses Succeed

For me, the most fun in this line of work is assisting a business to grow.  A business is a force which supports its customers, its owners, and its employees.  Today’s buzzword is partnership.  But, that is exactly what we strive for.  We are partners with you and your business.  We do this on a day to day basis and then way beyond the mundane.  We also do this by evaluating your business and customizing our services to meet your needs.  And, we believe your needs include SUCCESS.  We want you to focus on your success.  We want you to focus on your business while we focus on your accounting and tax needs. 

Where is the Fun

This firm was founded on the concept of balance.  Fun and play are essential to living a great life.  My fun includes so many things.  But the highlights include playing with my grandsons who are still young and impressionable; drinking a few beers at home in the pool; and travel, travel, travel. 

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