Ron Ben-Israel Cakes – New York, New York

It’s hard to believe that renowned cake designer and AccountEdge Network Edition Ron Ben Israel says that he started off with very limited dreams.

Ron’s cake making skills have been praised by Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. He is frequently featured in popular, national magazines such as Modern Bride and New York Magazine. He has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Today Show, and has also been featured in the New York Times and the Zagat Survey.

“It’s something that just grew naturally,” says Ron of his success.

Ron’s cakes are tasty works of art, made to order for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and other special occasions. Ranging in varying styles from grand edible structures with delicate, convincing sugar flowers cascading around the cake to elegant, abstract shapes stacked askew, each and every one is completely customized to the specific customer’s tastes and preferences.

Ron was a pastry chef before he started Ron Ben Israel Cakes. “It was a matter of survival,” says Ron. “The pastry chef and the baker don’t always work under ideal conditions. Equipment wise, we’d often have to fend for ourselves. Making the wedding cake was the glamorous part of the job.” So Ron set out on his own, making cakes and leaving the dull aspects of being a pastry chef behind.

“I did not dream that I would ever be doing financial data,” says Ron. “God help me, I never had a checkbook, and forget about the term reconciliation, it wasn’t even in my vocabulary.” Ron says that AccountEdge allowed him to understand that money comes in in the form of sales and money goes out in the form of purchases. “That was the very beginning,” he says. “Once you understand the logic, it really flows.”

Ron started his company over ten years ago, and chose AccountEdge to keep his books. “It was me against the world – the hard way,” says Ron on the early days of his business.

As his business became more successful, Ron wanted his CPA to become more involved with the company. His accountant at the time was not proficient in the use of AccountEdge. “I realized I needed someone who is more aware of my accounting software,” Ron says. He looked to his Certified Consultant Guide and began interviewing prospective accountants. He chose Arthur Troast, CPA.

One of the first things Arthur helped Ron with was setting up payroll and explaining how to make deductions. “I have seven full time employees on the payroll,” says Ron. “Now I can very simply add new employees and designate bonuses and deductions (such as health insurance, and simple IRA). I don’t need to send any information to the accountant. We generate our reports after each payroll period, and AccountEdge computes everything.”

Ron makes extensive use of other AccountEdge features, as well. In minutes, he downloads and reconciles statements from his financial institutions about five times a month. He custom designed his own sales forms and checks by using the improved custom design form feature in AccountEdge. The packing slips were re-designed to become check-marked working sheets for the bakers.

“A good piece of software teaches you how to use it,” says Ron. “I’m not the kind of person who would read the manual first. What I like about AccountEdge is that the bookkeeping rules behind it are very strict. But the way it’s laid out, it’s so logical for me to see the way the company is divided. Using AccountEdge, I was able to expand my skills without ever going to school.”

Ron echoes the sentiments of many small business owners when he says, “My ambition was to create and then make a living.” AccountEdge makes that possible.