Balancing complexity and clarity
What We Strive to Accomplish
To cultivate a culture where our professionals are leading a balanced life so that we can improve every one of our clients’ businesses and lives through our tax and consulting services.
Why Work With Us?
At Balans Consulting, we value each and every client we have the opportunity of working with and our clients recognize the value we provide. When you choose to work with us for all of your tax, accounting, and business consulting needs, you can be rest assured that we’re 100% committed to going beyond expectations. We do this by working closely with you to determine your needs and initiate a customized plan that aligns with your goals.
Ultimately, we want to be the ones you know you can turn to and help alleviate all of the stress involved with managing your tax and accounting needs. With our team of trusted professionals dedicated to your ongoing success, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and leave all of those worries to us. We’ll handle our area of expertise so you can focus on what matters to you most.
What We Can Do for You
Bethanie Pollock – About Me
For the majority of my adult years I have sought the perfect “balance” in life. Whether it was actively participating in the early growth of flexible work arrangements during my tenure in the Big 4, participating in all facets of my children’s lives, or eventually creating the concept behind Balans Consulting – striking the right balance amongst my personal pillars of faith, family, friends, health, and career, has always been a priority. I have an innate drive to succeed at everything I do (with the exception of housekeeping and laundry), and am always up for a good challenge. But over the years, I have found that true satisfaction does not come from simply checking tasks off the list, but rather by making a difference in someone’s life. This difference can come by way of tax planning counsel, mentoring students, or by simply spending real time with family and friends.
I spent much of my childhood in competitive gymnastics. That experience instilled valuable lessons in discipline and work ethic, and eventually led me to Northern Illinois on an athletic scholarship. An injury brought me back home to Michigan State University where I obtained my undergraduate degree in Finance. After a short stint in banking, I decided to further my education in law school (I am not averse to a good argument if I feel strongly about something). I earned my Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton, and it was there that I realized my passion for taxes – not paying them but analyzing them. Admittedly, this warped fascination with the Internal Revenue Code is not shared by many people! It seems I have always had the ability to see through the chaos and understand the logic behind the rules and how to best apply them to any given situation.
My husband and I married shortly after law school and at that time I focused primarily on my career. It was not until after my three wonderful boys were born that I began to better appreciate the value of overall life balance. I simply didn’t want to miss a minute of anything, but quickly learned that wasn’t possible. Obtaining better balance has allowed me to enjoy all aspects of life – and frankly it has made me better at all of them. The concept behind Balans Consulting was predicated on my desire to combine my work ethic and expertise in taxes with my commitment to my core values. The firm was co-founded on this premise with a great partner who shares these same values. I believe that applying my gifts in a way that helps others, either clients through personalized tax counsel or employees through providing a nurturing and balanced work environment, will not only create a legacy for our firm, but will hopefully help others strike the right “balance” in their lives.
Olivia Ames – About Me
I believe my purpose in life is to bring a joyous ray of sunshine to the world and make a positive impact on those around me. I am grateful for the lessons learned from family and friends, and deeply believe in the importance of serving others with fundamental kindness.
I do have a competitive streak, and a large part of my childhood was spent participating in high-level softball and volleyball. I played both sports during my time at Ohio Northern University, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – with major in Accounting and a minor in Finance. I was an active member of the executive council of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, where I worked with other ‘sisters’ to uphold our chapter values and support our philanthropic mission. I have also enjoyed serving as a coach and mentor to young girls in various youth softball coaching positions.
I had the opportunity to work my first tax season as an intern while still in college – which sparked my interest in taxation as a profession. I moved to West Michigan in 2021, and soon after crossed paths with Bethanie Pollock. Fortuitously she finds the internal revenue code as fascinating as I do and was willing to bring me into her firm as part of the Balans family!
As an Ohio native for most of my life, I’m beginning to comfortably call Grand Rapids home. I am a proud new ‘dog-mom’ to Luna and have taken on running as my next challenge. I am even finding enjoyment in the smaller tasks of baking and housekeeping. I love it all – and am finding a joyous new ‘balance’ in my life. I am excited to continue to grow as a professional and offer my services to the community.
Deb Thomas – Administrative Assistant
My journey to becoming a member of the Balans team is a little unusual. I am a physical therapist by background and obtained my bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University and a Master of Health Sciences from GVSU. Throughout my career I have worked in many different settings and am currently providing therapy for short-term rehab and skilled nursing residents. I work as an “on call” therapist, providing extra help to cover staffing needs. This type of schedule allowed me to have more time with my kids, manage the house and to take time off when needed. I loved the flexibility, and it is a schedule that I continue to enjoy.
So how did I end up at Balans? The Covid pandemic reduced my therapy hours and I started getting bored. I wanted to find part-time work that was interesting, a departure from health care, and that allowed me to be able to continue working as a PT. A friend told me about Balans and their need for office help. I met with Bethanie and the rest is history!
Although I do not have formal business office training, my past experiences have helped develop other strengths which I use at work. I was very involved in my children’s activities when they were young; often planning, organizing or leading various groups. Whether it was starting a reading club, running band fundraisers, planning team meals, or bringing organization to the robotics team, I was always willing to jump in and help where needed. I like to learn new things and value good communication. I tend to be organized and detail oriented, yet flexible. These traits and skills have been useful while I support Bethanie and Olivia and help the office run smoothly.
On a personal note, I grew up in the Detroit area and moved to West Michigan when my husband and I married. We have three young-adult children, all very different and pursuing different paths. I like to plan trips and travel, hike, read, garden, and do fun and creative projects around the house (my husband is a good sport and always helps me turn my ideas into reality). I am thankful to work with two truly remarkable and principled women who provide outstanding service to their clients
“ Integrity, Professionalism, Expertise”. All words that Bethanie Pollock has brought to the work she has done for us. We’ve been nothing but pleased with her approach, her knowledge, her work and the way she has served us.”
Managing Partner, LV2 Equity Partners, LLC