Numbers have always held an allure for Tammika Brown, and eventually, they added up to a career for her.
It’s not every young girl who finds joy in reconciling checking accounts, for instance. But as a youngster, she did.
“Back in the days when banks sent out all the canceled checks with monthly checking account statements, I used to reconcile my parents’ bank account. I couldn’t wait for that envelope to arrive so I could put all those checks in order,” Brown said.
By the age of 12, she had her own checking account.
Brown had a powerful example: her mother, who started as a bank teller and moved up the banking ladder to a position as vice president.
Brown’s family moved to the Cape Fear area when she was a teenager. She attended North Brunswick High School and then headed off to Bennett College in Greensboro. She debated whether to major in business or in accounting but ultimately chose the latter.
“I studied accounting, watching how money could grow through compound interest, through putting money in the bank, in the stock market: things that allow those numbers to grow,” she said.
Brown’s first job was as a night auditor at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside (now Hotel Ballast) in Wilmington. Within a year, she became an accounting clerk in the executive office. But in late 2001, her path took a slight turn when she became an accountant for a small business. She said the work was engaging because she could see the whole picture of the business’s finance.
In her first foray into small business accounting, Brown said she was able to really manage the finances of the $2 million company. Her know-how saved the company a significant amount of money, she said.
She replicated that experience with another small business and then decided she was ready to open her own shop.
She launched Tammika C. Brown Accounting and Tax Service LLC in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“Before I started my own business, I was coming across a lot of small business owners who were having trouble with tax issues and paying a lot of money to CPAs and not being educated about taxes or accounting,” she said. “They didn’t know why they owed money. I knew I could help them reduce their tax liability.”
For example, she noted, companies that have lost business during the pandemic could well see some tax benefits.
“Businesses that are not doing well need to keep up with their income and expenses for the year,” she said. “If you have a contract with another business, and that contract was canceled, keep that information and tell your tax professional.”
In less than four years, the number of Brown’s clients has multiplied to about 250.
Brown, a former member of the Community Boys & Girls Club, is also a new member of the YWCA Lower Cape Fear board. It’s a good fit for her, she said. “Empowering women and eliminating racism is right up my alleyway.”
Tammika Brown’s profile ran in a recent WILMA Leadership, one of the daily email newsletters from WILMA magazine, the Business Journal’s sister publication. To sign up for that or other newsletters, go to WILMAmag.com/email-newsletter.
Special Focus: Women in Business