Chula Vista
United States of America

Meet the Mentor: Harry Duffield!


When you buy or start your own small business, ideally, it’s doing something you know and love. Whether it’s designing jewelry, building houses, running a coffee shop, or providing in-home health care, you wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t know and love it. What you might not know anything about—or care much for—is keeping the books. The finer points of bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation are not something most people do for a hobby. But as a small business owner, you often have to handle those tasks yourself, at least until you’re making enough revenue to hire someone to do it for you. In San Diego, mentor Harry Duffield is the money man SCORE clients turn to for help.


Originally from Detroit, Harry moved to San Diego while working for a large CPA firm. After six years in that position, he went to work for large real estate developers for 15 years. Then, for the last 15 years of his career, Harry owned his own CPA firm, working mostly with small business and individual clients. “These days, the other SCORE San Diego mentors with accounting experience come mostly from corporate backgrounds,” Harry says. “I’m the only one who was a sole proprietor with lots of experience working with small clients. So I get lots of referrals through the call center from clients looking for bookkeeping and accounting advice.”


In addition to mentoring clients, Harry was also SCORE San Diego’s chapter treasurer for two years. He currently leads one of SCORE’s three Executive Leadership Forums, along with mentor Ron Woodhill. Harry and Ron facilitate a monthly meeting of ten CEOs of businesses with at least $1 million in annual sales. Members of the forum meet monthly to connect with like-minded people who care about their success, and engage in structured peer-to-peer business discussions. They use their time to brainstorm and solve strategic business issues and problems, and set strategic goals and methods for implementing them.


“The members love it, and the forum program continues to grow,” Harry says. “The members of our executive forum get along great and share ideas. They stay in touch with each other in between meetings. They’re thrilled with the program.”


Harry says one of the best things of being a SCORE mentor is working with the other volunteers. “They’re just very decent, giving people. It’s a great group to work with.” But mostly, his satisfaction comes from helping business owners who are just starting out. He says he rarely has repeat clients. “Most clients only need to meet with me one or two times… and then they go on to live happily ever after!”


To schedule an appointment with Harry Duffield, or sign up as a SCORE volunteer yourself, call the SCORE office at (619) 557-7272.