The right size company for AaaS?

The right size company for AaaS?

What Size Company Benefits the Most from AaaS?

Lavoie has had numerous conversations over the years with companies of all sizes regarding outsourcing or what we refer to as AaaS (Accounting as a Service).  AaaS is a form of outsourcing that combines people, process and technology to help companies gain a strategic advantage.  Some companies think they are too big to outsource any function. Others think they aren’t big enough.  So, what is the right answer?  They are both wrong!

FAO (finance and accounting outsourcing) started nearly 20 years with BP outsourcing its accounting functions to Accenture.  FAO has traditionally been a horizontal offering with a value proposition driven by cost reduction and efficiency gains targeted at large organizations.  So clearly the argument of an organization being too big has its flaws.

Smaller companies have been outsourcing payroll for years so they are already participating in a form of FAO outsourcing.  The next concern we hear from clients is that they will outgrow services.  This is certainly a possibility if you select the wrong partner that does not have the technology or staff to grow with you.  For example, if a company is only providing bookkeeping services, it is certainly likely you would outgrow them.  However, if a strategic partner is selected they will be able to grow with you and help you scale faster.

Large organizations are most often driven to outsourcing for cost reduction. However, as market requirements intensify, FAO solutions are increasingly becoming more industry-specific to provide strategic advantages and not strictly cost reduction.  In smaller companies outsourcing can also reduce costs, but more importantly it enables them access to a full finance and accounting team that leverages economies of scale.   Most SMBs can’t afford to hire an entire F&A department.  So, what often happens is the company may only have a senior level person and they are stuck doing daily tactical activities or they may only have a junior level person and they are responsible for critical items such as cashflow analysis.  Both have obvious weaknesses that prevent a company from reaching its potential.

AaaS solves this dilemma for SMBs.  Companies don’t have to worry about daily tactical items that keep them from focusing on the company.  In addition, they are provided with senior level advisory.  To further maximize efficiencies, Lavoie services also include access to the leading cloud technologies.  By combines people, process and technology we know AaaS can benefit companies of all sizes. info@lavoiepllc.com

Technology Drives Accounting Efficiencies

Technology Drives Accounting Efficiencies

Technology is Transforming Accounting & Finance

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) recently came out with a report last month showcasing technology’s role in the future of finance. The report concludes that technology can revolutionize finance and accounting.

Technology has played a role in Accounting and Finance for numerous years.  Originally, most software was targeted to large enterprise due to its cost and complexity.  The cloud drastically changed the landscape by bringing enterprise type technologies to the SME market.  Now 80% of CFOs have cloud as part of their technology roadmap.   Here are the benefits technology brings as identified in an ACCA survey of CFOs:

  • Improving efficiency and productivity – 70%
  • Creating new value for a business – 53%
  • Reducing costs – 33%
  • Improving communication internally and externally – 20%
  • Improving quality and standardization – 20%

As technology advances the above numbers will even be higher.  Software companies have already begun to use artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Even though the returns can be great, it is important to be cautious about guaranteeing huge returns or overnight results. The report warns CFOs to use caution about where, when, and how they do or do not implement new technology.

A Technology Roadmap is Key

Technology is not automatically the solution. You need to understand your business goals and processes.  Automating a bad process doesn’t fix anything.  Implementing the wrong technology can be catastrophic and can possibly lead to employee turnover and insurmountable costs.

Companies shouldn’t rush into a decision, but also there is a lot of risk in not embracing technology and being left behind.  The solution is to create a defined technology roadmap.  A technology roadmap is a document which outlines the plan to reach short-term and long-term goals through the use of technology solutions. This type of roadmap typically provides key information which helps organizations make better decisions around technology investments.

Technology roadmaps are often driven by IT.  However, it is important for CFOs and other business executives to be involved.  They are the ones that understand short and long-term goals. Lavoie CPA continuously studies and evaluates technology.  We also have the business acumen to apply the right technology correctly.  Need help with a technology roadmap or software evaluation, give us a call.

Accounting the Key Strategic Advantage?

Accounting the Key Strategic Advantage?

Most companies that are thriving view accounting as a strategic function. Companies relying on bookkeeping have a hard time keeping up in today’s changing climate.   Bookkeeping by itself does not provide opportunities.  In a fiercely competitive work environment, companies that properly manage finance can grow and protect themselves from risk.

The opportunities are exciting for the future but it also comes with lots of challenges.  Too many companies are stuck looking into the past because of lack of expertise and or technology.  It is important to understand the past, but essential to have the knowledge and tools to be able to see in real-time and make educated predictions into the future.  As companies grow, hiring and retaining qualified employees can be a difficult task with lots of uncertainty.

A growing number are relying on Accounting as a Service (AaaS) to gain a competitive advantage. AaaS combines tactical and strategic accounting and includes leading software.

Top 3 benefits of Accounting as a Service:

  • Focus on Core
    • Concentrate on growing the business
    • Efficiency gains
    • Eliminate staff turnover complexities
    • Ability to scale as you grow
  • Professional Expertise
    • Qualified controlled/CFO leading accounting and finance department
    • Improve cash flow
    • Reduce financial risk
    • Audit ready at all times
  • Technology
    • Real-time visibility into your business performance
    • Increased security
    • Reduced IT headaches
    • Integration with other applications to eliminate information silos

Forward thinking companies put themselves a head of the curve.  Interested in learning more about Accounting as a Service?   Contact us.

10 Benefits of “Accounting as a Service”

10 Benefits of “Accounting as a Service”

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often driven by a passion or cause – not spending hours on accounting and financial management.

SMBs face many financial challenges that affect cash flow including hiring new employees, increasing profits, employee healthcare, growing revenue and properly managing expenses.

Fortunately, technology has changed the game for SMBs. In the last decade, new technologies have enabled SMBs to compete with large enterprises.

Technology is only part of the equation.  Accounting as a Service (AaaS) is a hybrid solution that combines services with software; thus, the client can enjoy the benefits of professional expertise and leading cloud technology. This lays a great foundation, allowing companies to focus on revenue generating activities.  They are able to focus on future growth instead of being stuck analyzing the past.

10 Benefits of  Accounting as a Service

  1. Real-time visibility to your business performance via dashboards
  2. Reduce financial risk
  3. Increase productivity
  4. Be audit ready at all times
  5. Improved process flow and automation
  6. Eliminate staff turnover
  7. Cost savings
  8. Increased security
  9. Reduced IT headaches (upgrades and maintenance)
  10. Integration with your other applications to eliminate information silos

Interested in learning more?

5 Myths around Outsourcing Finance Functions

5 Myths around Outsourcing Finance Functions

Outsourced Accounting or Accounting as a Service (AaaS) provider can be the catalyst to take your organization to the next level.  For some SMBs, accounting is not looked at as a strategic function of the organization, but it should be.  It also shouldn’t take focus away from growing your core business.  Lots of SMBs don’t consider Outsourcing.  Here are 5 main reasons why.

1) They think it is too expensive

By using Accounting as a Service, you have access to shared service center.  Providers have put a lot of investment, thought, and execution into their model and have staffed accordingly.  With an AaaS provider you now have access to a full accounting department that often is less expensive than one full-time FTE.  This doesn’t even figure in technology costs that come with the service.

2) It is the same as bookkeeping services

Bookkeepers are responsible for recording daily financial transactions.  Controllers are responsible for financial reporting, internal audit and internal controls. CFO are responsible for financial planning, financial data analysis and strategic planning.  By relying only upon a bookkeeper you are stuck looking in the past and cannot see into the future to effectively make critical decisions for your business.  AaaS providers ensure daily transactions are done correctly but also greatly reduce risks and provide necessary forward-thinking strategy to help growth your business.

3) We can just do the same in-house

For most SMBs it is hard to justify the expense of having a bookkeeper, controller, VP of finance and CFO.  All positions have importance.  You don’t want to pay a senior level person to do daily transactions and you definitely don’t want to ask an entry level person to manage financial risks.

4) We cannot have any finance staff in-house

Often AaaS providers work with internal staff to fill voids.  Yes, providers can function as the entire finance department but often work with existing staff to help maximize their production.

5) We have more control and stability by utilizing in-house staff

Employees turnover and training are always on the minds of companies.  If you don’t have a defined professional develop plan for each employee, you are at risk of losing your top talent to other opportunities.  By using an AaaS provider you eliminate the risk of employee turnover.  You also will not miss a beat when people people are out sick, on vacation, or on leave.

What do I get with an AaaS?

  • Enterprise software platform (workflow, automation, dashboards etc)
  • Vendors paid on-time
  • Customers billed on-time and accurately
  • Employee expenses captured and reimbursed
  • Cash transactions reconciled
  • Timely payables collection
  • Accounts analyzed and reconciled on an ongoing basis
  • Financial and management reports delivered on-time and accurately
  • Scalability and rapid deployment, when needed
  • Regulatory compliance delivered
  • Audit ready
  • A finance and accounting function that is STRATEGIC
Our CPA Day of Service

Our CPA Day of Service

For the last six years, the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA) have challenged its members to give back to the community by participating in the CPA Day of Service. The idea came originally from one of NCACPA’s Board of Directors to allow members to “take to their communities and give back in some way”.

As a member of the NCACPA and the Charlotte community, we have made it a priority to participate in this event every year by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, one of the global nonprofit housing organizations in the US. The organization works toward helping people in the community to build or improve a home and they rely on volunteers to be able to do so.

“Everyone deserves to have a place to call their own regardless of their income level.  Affordable housing is pivotal to reducing poverty in Charlotte and beyond.  Habitat for Humanity Charlotte provides the hand-up needed by thousands of local and global families.   We always look forward to spending the day with the wonderful people at Habitat ReStore and doing our part towards being a part of the solution. Shopping afterwards is always an added perk!  I always find something there!”

– Sharai Lavoie, CEO and Managing Member at Lavoie CPA.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

On Friday, September 22, all our employees met up at one of the two Habitat ReStores, which functions as the fundraising division of Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte. The ReStores accept donations of new or used items and resells them to the public at a reduced cost. Consequently, Habitat can use the proceeds to build Habitat homes with their local affiliates. There are currently two locations in Charlotte, NC, which allows Habitat to build approximately 10-12 new homes every year.

Volunteers are necessary for Habitat’s success and when it comes to the ReStores they are mostly in need to people to help them with unloading donated items, organizing and cleaning donations, placing the items on the sales floor, and aiding customers with carry-outs of purchased items.

“We had a very rewarding time helping the community and bonding with our Lavoie CPA Team. Habitat is a great organization that helps struggling family’s get on their feet through volunteers and the family working together”

– Doug Burkhart, Senior Financial Consultant at Lavoie CPA

Thank you to Habitat for Humanity for letting us be a part of your mission and giving back. If you are interested in volunteering please visit the Charlotte ReStore website or email the Volunteer Coordinator of Retail Operations at volunteer@charlotterestore.org.

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