How we became FABS.
Focus Accounting and Business Solutions, FABS, got its roots from Eugene J. Miller CPA, where Lara worked with her father, Gene, for nine years. They decided to be of service to small, family-owned businesses year-round and individuals at tax time. Starting out servicing 250 clients, they continued to grow year after year. Lara learned from Gene to treat each client like family and offer to go visit them at their homes or businesses, if that was their preference. Lara learned to focus on clients by supporting them year round, providing quick, accurate turnaround services. Gene and Lara attended continuing education seminars to stay on top of changing tax law and the latest tax strategy. This enabled them to provide the best tax advice to their clients.
Lara then took on the title of Director of Accounting and Tax Services. She provided clients with bookkeeping and payroll services year-round. She was able to develop a team to help her to continue the customer service the clients had learned to expect. As she managed the workflow, she was able to get the tax season to run more efficiently and timely. This was important as clients cycled through the office to get taxes filed accurately. It was always important to Lara that the client understand the result of their tax return and provide suggestions for a better outcome in the next year. The highlight of each tax season each year was catching up with clients, discussing family additions, marriages, kids, and giving sympathy on losses of loved ones.
In 2017, Gene was offered an opportunity that would start him towards his path of retirement. He believed Lara was well prepared to go solo and offered the sale of the business to Lara. She decided on Focus Accounting & Business Solutions as the name of the reborn business. As Lara took over, she continued her training to ensure for a smooth transition for her clients. She faced the biggest challenge, gaining the trust from clients. She overcame this challenge by being honest with her clients when she did not have a quick answer. To provide her clients with accurate answers to issues, she would calibrate with Gene or research herself to learn the answers. It was important to Lara to provide her clients with her experience and knowledge to take of care of their needs.
The business, we now know as FABS, services over 550+ businesses and individual clients. Lara’s future for Focus Accounting and Business Solutions is to focus on family- owned businesses and grow the client base. By accomplishing this goal, the team at FABS will be of service to more families and their businesses.
The FABS Team
Lara attained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting and a minor in finance from Slippery Rock University. She started her career in the banking and investment industry when she worked in PFPC’s mutual fund division in Delaware. After starting her family, Lara started in public accounting in 2008 with her father after leaving the healthcare industry where she served as the Corporate Controller.
In 2017, her father retired, and she started Focus Accounting & Business Solutions. Lara has over 20 years’ experience in the accounting industry. She strives to be of service to small family-owned business owners to help them understand their financials and give them the information to make informed decisions in their operations. She is very proud of the relationships she has built over the years with all her clients. She wants them to feel like they are part of the FABS Family.
To unwind, Lara enjoys campfires with her husband, kids, and fur babies, reading and crafting.
Manager of Accounting and Tax Services
Melanie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geography from The Pennsylvania State University. She worked for an HVAC company and the Postal Service before leaving the workforce to get married and raise her 4 children. Melanie re-entered the workforce as an Administrative Assistant for the Punxsutawney Alliance Church before switching to public accounting in 2015.
She joined Focus Accounting and Business Solutions at its creation in 2017 and has been expanding her skills and certifications ever since. Currently Melanie is a Certified Pro Advisor for QuickBooks; proficient in both the online and desktop versions. She manages direct client services including: payroll, bookkeeping and tax return preparation as well as being a Notary Public.
Melanie unwinds with her husband and loves to be with her family, including the four-legged kind!
Alexia recently joined the team in 2022. She decided to change her pathway of learning the business of Sales, to be our new young face who provides high level administrative support to executives in the workplace, such as taking calls, scheduling meetings, managing executive requests, running payroll, bookkeeping and other office duties. She also oversees office functions and supervises lower-level office employees to give them the motivated impel that they need. With the experience Alexia brings from customer service, every client/newcomer is treated equally when planning a good time to meet and drop off. Alexia is certified in Gusto Payroll as well as Ignition, and QuickBooks Online.
In her spare time, Alexia works on her press-on nail business, as well as making time to see her friends, family, and her three dogs.
Ange joined Focus Accounting in March 2023. She is a native of Punxsutawney and graduated from Punxsutawney Area High School in 2012. Following graduation, she received her associate degree in business administration from DuBois Business College. Throughout her career, Ange has gained experience in customer service, accounting, and general office management. With her organizational skills and attention to detail, Ange is an integral part of the FABS team. She has assisted with new client onboarding and is responsible for payroll and accounting services. She is working on becoming a
Certified QuickBooks Online. Angela is certified in Gusto Payroll, as well as Ignition.
She enjoys spending time at home with her husband and dogs and being a loving aunt to her nieces and nephews.
Alyssa has been with Focus Accounting since February of 2022 as a File Clerk. She started off in the preparation of tax returns, and the organization of documentation. She has worked her way up from an Office Clerk in January of 2023 to an Accounting Clerk in April 2023, and now helps with the day-to-day as well as managing clients’ bookkeeping. With the use of her customer service skills, she works at the front desk at our office. She graduated Punxsutawney Area High School in May of 2022. She is currently continuing her education at Slippery Rock University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in marketing as well as a minor in Management. During school, she works remotely to continue the upkeep of her clients. Also, she holds a part-time job at college as a Peer Leader.
She has participated in volleyball from her seventh grade year up until her senior year of high school. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, as well as going on coffee and shopping runs.
Lydia has been with Focus Accounting for a little over a two years and has worked her way from office clerk to Assistant Bookkeeper by training on indirect client bookkeeping. She has taken two years of accounting at Punxsutawney High School where she graduated in May of 2022. She is currently in college continuing her studies at Penn State University as a Lion Ambassador. She plans to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and pursue a Masters in taxation. She also has future plans to sit for her CPA certification. She helped to set up the Client Resource Manager and played a huge role in client documentation management in tax season. She currently assists with client bookkeeping and research projects when available.
She has participated in ballet and other forms of dance for the past fourteen years at VanDyke & Company. She is a plant mom and loves hanging out with family and friends in her spare time.