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Work adds up to award

March 05, 1998

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - To Katherine Funkhouser, the two accounting honors she recently received from the U.S. Small Business Administration add up to a nice pat on the back.

"I still have to keep my clients pleased, but it's quite an honor," Funkhouser said.

Funkhouser, 45, of Charles Town, was named the Small Business Administration's Accountant Advocate of the Year for West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region.

She is one of 10 finalists for the national honor.

She said that for a time, the most important adding she was doing was increasing the size of her family with three children.

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"I was home for years. There was nobody out there saying 'good job.' But I was putting just as much time and energy into raising my kids," Funkhouser said.

When her children got older, she went back to school and became a certified public accountant in 1992.

"They're all teenagers now and I had to make money to pay for college," Funkhouser said.

She always liked math and had done the accounting for her family farm.

Funkhouser entered the work force later in life, but she hit the ground running.

In 1992, she became a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the West Virginia Society of Public Accountants.

In 1994, Funkhouser was a founding member of the Professional Business Women's Association and served on the five-member management council as treasurer for two years.

She is a member of the Independent Business Group of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Most of Funkhouser's clients are owners of small businesses.

"I know there are accountants out there who are smarter accountants, but I have a real passion for small businesses, to help them through the maze of tax laws," Funkhouser said.

Corporations and larger businesses have marketing, accounting, purchasing and sales departments.

Small business owners often have to do those jobs themselves while continuing to put out the product that keeps them in business, she said.

"I try to keep them on track, either by helping them with the tax laws or by determining if they are charging enough for their products," Funkhouser said.

Her office is in Berryville, Va., but she has clients from Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

As a hobby, Funkhouser performs as an amateur actress and director at the Old Opera House.

She has starred as Annie in "Annie Get Your Gun," Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth" and Billie Dawn in "Born Yesterday."

She also is the drama director at Covenant Church in Shepherdstown.

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