A case study: Newport Solar and Satterly


At Satterley Accounting Services, we are so lucky to have amazing clients that we work with. Every day, our mission is to provide impeccable accounting and bookkeeping services. We aim to transform our clients’ back-office processes so they become a smooth and effortless part of running their business. Newport Solar is one of our deeply valued clients (our very first client, actually!) that we are so grateful to work with. We asked Sue McNally, Director of Finance/HR at Newport Solar, to weigh in on how working with Heather Satterley and Satterley Accounting Services has helped alleviate their accounting pain points so that they can continue to do what they do best – provide Rhode Island with high-quality Solar Energy Systems.


Who is Newport Solar?

Located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, Newport Solar is a family-owned and operated full-service company focused on Residential Solar Design and Installation. They have been designing and installing high-quality and efficient Solar Energy Systems in Rhode Island for over 10 years, adding almost 4 Megawatts of solar capacity in the state for over 750 customers and counting. They service both Rhode Island residential and small commercial customers. Not only are they a recognized solar energy leader in Rhode Island, but they work directly with the State and elected officials in the creation of sustainable energy programs and policies. 


What brought these two Rhode Island-based companies together?

Sue McNally, Director of Finance/HR at Newport Solar, approached Heather Satterley about three years ago to sort out her QuickBooks and work with her as an accounting consultant. Sue is very savvy and super smart, so she was able to notice some discrepancies and conclude that something wasn’t quite right with their books. Sue knew when she ran her financial reports in QuickBooks, the information she was seeing wasn’t correct. Something had to be done to get them on the right track.

Sue decided to reach out to Heather to get some assistance with performing a year-end clean-up of the Newport Solar books. She also wanted help furthering her understanding of accounting as it pertained to her business. Specifically, she was interested in gaining some knowledge regarding the effect of ‘how’ you record entries in QuickBooks and where those entries directly translate to financial reports. She wanted to truly understand the mechanics of QuickBooks so that when she viewed her financial reports, she felt like they legitimately aligned with what was actually happening in the company.


How Heather Satterley solved Newport Solar’s QuickBooks challenges

Sue needed to utilize Heather’s understanding of QuickBooks to make sure all the automations in place were being reflected properly in the accounting. Outside of being a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, one of Heather’s specialties is accounting automation, so she was the ideal person to pull in for assistance. Heather was able to unravel the issues that were causing the QuickBooks inconsistencies. Through this problem-solving process, Heather and Sue’s automation specialist became good friends. Heather calls him “brilliant” and says they were the perfect dynamic duo to fix Sue’s problem.

As time went on, Sue would periodically reach out to Heather for guidance. Heather explains, “Sue is very hands-on and would send me emails saying, ‘I did this, and I know it’s not right. Can you help me fix it?’.” Instead of going into the system and fixing the issue without explanation, Heather would jump on a Zoom call and show Sue how to resolve the problem and the right QuickBooks process to use going forward. When asked what prompted Sue to continue working with Heather, Sue explains, “Heather’s expertise, efficiency, good humor and her deep understanding of accounting.”

Just as Heather was laying the groundwork for Satterley Accounting Services, Sue came to Heather and said, “I want Newport Solar to be your first client.” For the past few years, Satterley Accounting Services has taken on the bookkeeping and accounting tasks for Newport Solar and Sue says she has “absolute confidence” that her company is in good hands. “The more we work together, the more accounting tasks she gives us. She gives us a project, we streamline her processes and do a stellar job, and then she has us take another task off her plate. It’s great!” Heather says. “Heather has assembled a very competent team,” says Sue, “I have time to do other things, and working with Satterley Accounting Services has increased my productivity for sure.” When asked if she’d recommend Satterley Accounting Services to others, Sue affirms, “Always.”

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.