Integrity Accounting Solutions, Inc. – 200+ Years of Bookkeeping Services

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Celebrating Family Business

Manuel Ser-Manukyan
Integrity Accounting Solutions, Inc.
4th Gen – Family has been providing Bookkeeping Services for over 200 years
DOO/VP
Bookkeeping & Accounting Services

Who started the business and why did they start the business?

Integrity Accounting Solutions, Inc. was founded in 2016 by me and my wife, Manuel and Tetyana Ser-Manukyan, 4th and 2nd generation accountants. We both are immigrants from former Soviet Union. We sought to rebuild our family history and make a new life in the United States. Each of us comes from a vast lineage and legacy. Our ancestors’ involvement in the Napoleonic, Polish, Austro-Hungarian, Russo-Ottoman, and Russo-Turkish conflicts of the early 1800s was identical in certain respects. Tetyana’s family settled in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, seized territory from Poland that became the Soviet Republic of Ukraine in 1947, whereas my family sought safety in the Soviet Republic of Armenia following the Armenian Genocide and following great exodus over 32 years, finally settled in the capital city of Yerevan in 1947. Having a family heritage of merchants and accountants, we desired to construct an accounting powerhouse in the twenty-first century by establishing a new lineage of super accountants.

How old were you when you started working for the family business?

We both began our careers by assisting family with day-to-day transactions as early as 13 years old.

What was your first job in the family business?

We both started learning how to best use Abacus and learning how to record transaction in paper ledgers.

Who or what inspired you to go into the business?

It was natural for us to rebuild our family’s tradition given our extensive pedigree and history. Accounting was part of our daily life, and it was only a matter of time until we entered the field, given our significant background and expertise in sales and accounting.

What would you have done if you didn’t go into the business?

Coming to America, I’ve developed several businesses, some of which were successful, and others were not. I cannot even conceive of doing anything other than attempting to build some type of company organizations.

What is your long-term goal for the business?

Our long-term plan is to continue expanding and improving the family business and traditions of our ancestors, and to pass them on to our children and their families. Our family is presently commemorating its 221st year working in accountancy. I would like to extend it to 300, 400, and 500 years of continues long run family tradition.

What’s the most important moment in the company’s history?

Going back to our roots. By honoring our heritage and setting new foundation in the United States of America.

What’s your favorite event for employees?

We strive to be as joyful as possible, regardless of the occasion. Spending quality time with one another, gaining a deeper understanding of one another, eating delicious food, and laughing. Every small gathering becomes an event.

Are there any “rites of passages” for family members that join the firm?

To become a member of a management team or to operate a family business, you must be over 40 years old and have spent the previous 36 years as a student of a family tradition and/or family business. This has been a family tradition for over 220 years.

Was there an event that triggered the change from “the kid” to a valued member of the management team?

I would say that I transitioned from “the child” to a valued member of team when I turned 16 and discovered my family’s business history in the Soviet Union, and what it is like to be a member of Sermanukyan family clan.

 What family members are currently working in the business?

We currently employ our children, who are eager to learn and take over the business. But in general, many of my extended family members are in accounting field, working for different companies.

 What was your closest moment to leaving the business?

There was never a moment I thought about leaving the business. My devotion had never wavered.

Best piece of advice you received from the previous generation of family members

To never give up. If you can’t find a solution, be the solution. If you find obstacles, overcome it. Never deviate from your goals. You don’t lose when you have nothing, you lose when you believe you have nothing.

Tell me your favorite story about the family business?

I believe it is the renaissance and family resilience, that despite the changes in global history, our family was able to retain its traditions, and maintain its heritage.

Most embarrassing family business moment?

I wouldn’t say there was an embarrassing moment, but perhaps the fact that we could not exploit our full ability and potential in the USSR made us feel uncomfortable.

What is one memory from the family business that you cherish the most?

It was a recognition that our family is extraordinary, as we have repeatedly fallen and risen, undergone massive transformations, wars, and persecutions, and have always risen. We have endured and stood the time. 

What do you know now that you wished you knew when coming into the family business?

I have always believed that knowledge is essential, but knowledge without experience is insufficient. Having the knowledge and expertise that I do now would have allowed me to prevent numerous mistakes.

What would you like people to know about your family business?

The process of running a business is not straightforward. You encounter barriers and challenges. As an entrepreneur, you must make a difficult choice, however one of the choices is indisputable, who should you hire as your accountant? At Integrity Accounting Solutions, Inc., we understand your perspective and provide customized business solutions, that is tailored to your specific business needs.

Biggest non-family idol or inspiration?

My greatest motivation comes from reading classical books. My most influential mentor was my late friend Daron Borian. He was Sumbat Zoravar’s (General) son. His father is well-known among Armenians across the world. As my mentor, he motivated me and taught me how to conduct business in the United States, in addition to introducing me to several notable individuals.

ABOUT YOU

What keeps you up at night?  Making new business transactions and developing new company concepts.

First job before going into the family business?  In Armenia, my first employment was as a cobbler, which was also my father’s trade.

What are you streaming?  I like historical movies and documentaries.

What’s on your turntable or Spotify playlist? Disco music of 80s. 

Godfather I or Godfather II? Both.

Favorite LA College? Glendale Community College.

Favorite place to listen to music? While working.

Quintessential LA activity or experience? Car cruising with my wife at night.

Desert, Beach or Mountains? Forest.

Where do you take visitors to spot celebrities? Exclusive restaurants in Hollywood

Best part of L?A I like diversity and culture

Least favorite part of LA?  Commuting in traffic

Favorite restaurant? Stackhouse

Best junk food? Burger

LA Social Causes? Helping homelessness and mentally disadvantage adults.

About the Author

Allen Esrock is the Founder of NxtGen Nexus, a platform for the next generation of family business owners which is based on his experience of growing up in a family business. Prior to that he started Jitter Fingers, the first safe, social networking website for tween girls and their bffs with Jitter Finger clubs in 12+ countries and 250+ cities in the US.

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