After a decade in the corporate world, Lee Leonard Podolsky knew she needed a change.
Thus, Podolsky entered the world of independent accounting and bookkeeping. As she was raising her two young daughters, she realized that she had exploited an underserved area, soon discovering that there was more work than she could ever take on.
At the end of 2014, Podolsky’s plan for a better work-life balance turned into a new venture: Breakwater Accounting & Corporate Consulting. Fast forward to 2021, and Podolsky can hardly believe how his idea of making a living has grown into a successful business with over 200 clients across the country and 44 employees.
“We are this hidden gem,” said Podolsky, Founder and CEO of Breakwater.
Breakwater provides outsourced bookkeeping and bookkeeping services for private companies, small to medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries, from schools to restaurants to non-profit organizations. Their goal is to modernize and streamline the needs of the back office, from accounting to planning and business strategy.
“We want to work with them as an extension of their business,” Podolsky said. “We are with them to help them succeed. And now here we are. “
The navigation hasn’t always been smooth as Breakwater has tried to keep up with demand, she said. The rapid expansion of the business has seen growth challenges, but Podolsky is now taking the time to step back from the frontline work that started him and help the business grow for profit. of its employees and customers.
Working with businesses through the challenges of the pandemic, including navigating the federal paycheck protection program, has helped strengthen these personal relationships. Business is booming and further growth is on the horizon for Breakwater, Podolsky said.
“It is certain that the relations must be really solid and [built on] confidence, ”she said. “We are very team oriented. Each client has their own team. … The team really feels like an extension of their company: we are with them – in everyday life. “
Breakwater’s success has been totally organic, Podolsky said, noting that all of the clients and businesses they’ve picked up over the years have come exclusively from referrals and word-of-mouth.
“When you do something right, words travel,” she said.
Podolsky, 53, began his career in finance working for DuPont shortly after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Delaware native now lives in Wilmington.
Outside of the Breakwater office at Independence Mall on Route 202, Podolsky enjoys spending time with family and pets, and taking long walks along the beautiful vistas of northern Delaware. But even more, she enjoys working with the Horn Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Delaware.
“I like to share everything I learned through this with other people who are just starting out,” Podolsky said.
Back in time, Podolsky has made the happiness of its employees a priority by focusing on the culture at work. And just as Podolsky sought a flexible work environment when she became a mother, she also offers such flexibility to her employees – the majority of whom are women, including the entire management team.
“When it comes to the positives, people are the positives. We all support each other, ”Podolsky said. “It’s definitely very unique, very different and very collaborative. “
As Breakwater begins its second five-year plan, further growth is expected. The company is currently recruiting for part-time and full-time positions.
“I just wanted to start something and help more clients, and then I kept wanting to help more clients,” Podolsky said. “[Now], we have lots of big plans. And we might even start marketing at some point.