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
Sage Announces Acquisition of Intacct for $850m

Sage Announces Acquisition of Intacct for $850m

On Tuesday, Sage Group, a U.K. based technology company, announced that they are acquiring Intacct Corporation. It is the largest ever acquisition by Sage, who will be purchasing Intacct for $850 million. The transaction will close within the next few weeks.

Going forward, Intacct will be known as Sage Intacct, and according to Sage, Intacct’s management team will stay the same and continue to be in charge “thereby ensuring continuity for customers, partners, and employees.”

Related: Intacct’s New Tools Provides Focus for Nonprofits

Strategic Acquisition

Strategic consolidation is a way of life in the software industry, as is true in many other industries. But, this combination is exciting because it means more innovation and more paths to efficiency and the next level. Sage and Intacct have branded the acquisition as “the combination that delivers the first and last cloud Financial Management Solution your business will ever need”.

Some advantages that will result from this acquisition are:

  • Current customers (of either companies) will now have access to additional resources and product functions as a result of the combination
  • Sage will further their reach in the US market
  • As pointed out in Diginomica; “Intacct gets close to top market dollar for its IP in the sense the sale price is equivalent to around 8.8x revenue, a price it could not get in today’s IPO environment”

In the press release by Sage, the CEO of Intacct, Robert Reid said “We are excited to become part of Sage because we are relentlessly focused on the same goal – to deliver the most innovative cloud solutions for our customers”.

In conclusion, this acquisition is a good thing. The combination of two of the leading companies in cloud accounting and financial management software will bring innovation and efficiency. As a result, customers will have more options for leading solutions that supports their business. Thus, everyone involved ends up benefiting.

Read more about the acquisition here, and find the full press release here.

Recommended Reading:

Intacct’s New Tool Provides Focus for Non Profits

Intacct’s New Tool Provides Focus for Non Profits

Mission-based, non profit organizations have a clear agenda – doing good work around the world. Unfortunately, accomplishing that is more complex than ever, requiring leaders to rely on a lot more than just good intentions in order to achieve the positive outcomes they desire.

As the scope of non profit organizations has grown, decision-making has become a high-stakes process. At the same time, donors demand a level of transparency and accountability that raises the stakes of decision-making even further. For many mission-based organizations, the decision-making process produces a lot more confusion than clarity.

Luckily, the means to practice decision-making using high-quality, real-time, complete sets of data is both attainable and easy to implement with Intacct’s spend management tool that provides focus.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

Intacct Spend Management Application

Intacct cloud ERP software is already a powerful tool for enhancing the decision-making process and eliminating the kinds of uncertainties that lead to poor choices. But this leading ERP solution has recently become even better thanks to the integration of a dedicated spend-management tool.

Users can rely on this tool to strictly keep spending within budget thresholds. By providing a top-down perspective to the spending process, along with the capabilities to set flexible but strict controls, decision-makers can ensure that every purchase is a prudent one.

Intacct’s spend management application is a unique asset to non profit organizations because it delivers the confidence of centralized budget compliance, even when spending decisions are being made at points across the globe. The kinds of cash flow issues that compromise mission projects and damage the confidence of donors can be reliably eliminated without relying on a cumbersome or complicated process.

Related: Should Small Businesses Forecast?

Understanding Intacct Spend Management in Action

The strength of this tool lies in its flexibility and broad applicability. But that can also make it difficult to imagine how a specific mission-based organization would use it in practice.

Think of a decision-maker looking at a purchase order that has just landed on his desk. The amount of the order is not substantial, but it is large enough that it can’t be rubber stamped. Previously, it would require a deep dive into financial figures and a flurry of confusing cross-referencing to determine if that purchase was fiscally viable.

With Intacct Spend Management, the determination is made instantly-in real time. The decision-maker simply has to reference where that spending category stands against the budget. It does not even require simple arithmetic in order to confidently say yes or no. That introduces a welcome level of efficiency to the decision-making process while also ensuring that budgetary issues do not compromise the organization’s agenda. It also allows the organization to convincingly demonstrate a level of sound financial governance that sustaining donors require.

If decision-making in your mission-based organization is characterized by a lack of clarity and prone to mistakes and mishaps as a result, Intacct Spend Management is the overnight solution. What tools do you use in your organization to keep track on spending and comparing it to set budgets?

 

Finance’s Elevated Role and Other Critical Trends for 2019

The beginning of a new year always signals a time for trend spotting Which financial opportunities, challenges and changes should companies prepare for now? Below are six soon-to-be realities that you should consider for 2019.  .   CFOs take on more responsibility....

Modern Digital Workplace: 5 Current Trends Making Waves In The Office

Improving workflow is guaranteed to improve morale and modernize your workplace. But with all the tech on the market, it’s tough to know which solution is right for you. At Lavoie CPA, we know it’s a tough decision. We’re here to help.

With Microsoft cloud solutions, increasing employee connectivity–not only to each other but to the many Microsoft services offered–is a key element in being able to maintain flexibility while accessing data wherever you are.

With a little help, you can leverage Microsoft cloud solutions today. Contact us to find out how we can speed your transition to the cloud.

Customer story: Hershey

Hershey built their brand with data, using insights to come up with creative ideas. But to foster that creativity in the digital age, they needed to modernize their IT infrastructure. Doing so can seem daunting, even for a company like Hershey. At Lavoie CPA, we want to help your business make that change so you can begin to create.

With Microsoft cloud services, Hershey was able to connect employees together with insights gained from Azure, creating an agile modern workplace. Your business can leverage these same tools to modernize your workplace.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

3 ways to protect yourself from a ransomware disaster

There’s no cure for ransomware. As the attackers grow more powerful each day, it’s up to every business to fight back by being prepared and keeping important data safe. At Lavoie CPA, we can help you do just that.

Microsoft’s approach to privacy and data protection is grounded in their commitment to customers’ ownership of and control over the collection, use, and distribution of information.

Leverage the security of Microsoft tools to safeguard your business and the data that makes it run. Contact us today to find out more on how we can help.

Customer Story: Taylor Wessing

International law firm Taylor Wessing needed the flexibility to scale, develop, and deploy where and how they want so they adopted the only consistent hybrid cloud on the market. At Lavoie CPA, we know you have a lot of the same needs, and we have the solution.

With Azure, you can easily connect data with applications, and devices by taking advantage of over 150 out-of-the-box connectors, all while meeting a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards, like GDPR.

You know where to find the tools, now you need to integrate them. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

5 key areas to focus on while integrating cloud-based strategies

Moving to the cloud does not happen overnight, and the road there can often appear winding and poorly marked. It may not always be clear which move is the right one for your company.

Advisors can help a business navigate this path, ensuring they are achieving the desired result and avoiding complications.

We here at Lavoie CPA want to ensure that your business is making the best possible choice when starting out on your cloud journey. Contact us to learn more about making the right choice.

Customer Story: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

As a business, your greatest assets are your people. Their hard work and ingenuity have gotten you to where you are today. But in order for each employee to best serve your company into the future, they need the right tools.

Microsoft 365 keeps people connected across the globe, allowing them to come together and collaborate in real time to solve business problems faster and more effectively than ever before. Microsoft 365 keeps them agile, productive, and most importantly, secure, wherever they are logging in from.

Contact us to learn more about how to ensure your greatest assets–your people–have the right tools to propel your business to success.

Office 365 helps secure Microsoft from modern phishing campaigns

Phishing attacks are relentless. What are you doing to help prevent them from hitting your business? At Lavoie CPA, we want to help make sure your modern business has the tools you need to stay protected.

Office 365 works in near real-time to protect against phishing threats and safeguard data and intellectual property. It provides advanced security and reliability to eliminate known threats before they reach you.

Your information is too valuable not to protect it. Contact us today to find out more on adopting the Microsoft solution you need to stay in the game.

Day in the life Retail

With all the moving parts in your business, you need to stay in sync while maintaining flexibility and speed. At Lavoie CPA, we know that can be tough to do especially for small business owners. That’s why we’re here to help.

Microsoft business-class email gives you access to email, contacts, and shared calendars anywhere. You can work without worries wherever you work best and stay focused on what matters most.

Your mobile business needs the right tools and we can help you get them. Contact us today to find out how we’re poised to deliver the Microsoft solutions you need.

Microsoft uses analytics and data science to enhance the user experience

Whether you need a solution to look for information, attend meetings, or collaborate, you want a great user experience. Your customers do too! At Lavoie CPA, we know this can be tough to deliver.

To enhance user experience for employees, Microsoft employs several data science and machine learning algorithms to provide insight into how people use products and services to achieve their goals, how they perceive an experience, and any issues they have.

With all that data, anything is possible. Imagine what your business could achieve with the right tools. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Business Intelligence is a Competitive Advantage

Business Intelligence is a Competitive Advantage

It’s the first day of the month, the finance and accounting teams are reconciling balance sheet accounts, recognizing revenue, accruing expenses, and recording financial transactions. Everybody is busy working against the clock to have the financial statements ready on time. Then, a request from the senior management team arrives. They want a series of sales reports so they can decide when to launch the new product line. This is a situation where a Business Intelligence (BI) solution would’ve been very handy. But let’s start with the basics.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence is the set of strategies, processes, applications, data, products, technologies and technical architectures which are used to support the collection, analysis, presentation and dissemination of business information.

Business Intelligence Systems

To implement BI, you need BI systems. These are solutions created to collect, store and analyze data for informed decision-making. These systems are particularly useful for evaluating customer or brand profitability, carrying out statistical analysis, undertaking inventory evaluation, and being part of a market research project.

Good BI solutions, at a minimum, include reporting with multidimensional aggregation and allocation, real-time information, reliable integration with the data sources and key performance indicators.

Challenges of BI Systems

Quite often, data is scattered in disparate systems such as accounting, forecasting, sales, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, inventory, etc. So, when a company decides it’s time to implement a BI tool, a big project must be launched. Not only because the new system needs to be implemented, but also because the IT department needs to create programs and processes to feed the BI tool with data extracted from all these systems.

Writing interface programs with instructions to extract data from a system requires extensive knowledge of the database. This means you need an experienced IT programmer in staff—or hire an expensive consultant—for each system that has data needed by the BI solution.

Then comes the problem of deciding how often to refresh the data in the BI system. Should it be weekly? Nightly? More than once per day? Unless you refresh the data in the BI database as soon as a transaction occurs in the originating systems, the BI information will never be real-time.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

ERP Solution with Integrated BI functionality

These issues don’t exist in an integrated solution with business intelligence capabilities. Software like this acts as the trusted system of record and depository of most of the financial and operational data. It offers the whole spectrum of core financial modules and it can be extended with fully integrated Intacct modules such as project accounting, time and expense management, contract revenue management, contract and subscription billing, inventory management, and more.

And built in the solution, multiple software companies offers the business intelligence components required to make smart and informed decisions:

  • Multidimensional aggregation and allocation. Thus, you can tag transactions to as many dimensions as needed. These dimensions can then be used on reports as criteria to sort, filter and aggregate.
  • Real-time reporting. Being an integrated system, all modules update a single database. Once a transaction is entered in any module, it is available for viewing and reporting. No IT interface programs and no IT experts are required.
  • Reliable integration with the data sources. Most systems offers pieces of software (APIs) that allow easy integration of third party systems with the database and functions.
  • Key performance indicators optimization. Most software solutions integrates dashboards that provide real-time access to key information and indicators that can be customized to meet the needs of the business.

Is your company at a stage where BI solutions are being considered? If you’re interested in learning more, check out the free whitepaper below on how to successfully launch a BI initiative.

Learn Secrets to Drive A Successful BI Initiative

A 2014 report by Dresner Advisory Services, the Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study, surveyed more than 1,200 IT and business professionals at companies of all sizes, from around the world, about their use of BI.

The study revealed that companies that achieve BI success follow five common best practices. We share these approaches to help you launch and drive a successful BI initiative at your organization — before your competitors crack the code first and pass you by.

Engaging a Fractional CFO/Controller Service

Engaging a Fractional CFO/Controller Service

Rapid Growth Causes Increased Risk

Small to medium sized businesses that are in rapid growth also are experiencing increased financial risk as a result. Growth requires expansion of the company’s automated systems and access to additional financing to fuel the growth. Managing these financial risks may be foreign territory for the business owner and his team. The company needs a CFO to manage the bigger picture. The CFO will make sure that the systems, processes and people are in place to produce accurate financial information so that the owner of the company can make better decisions managing growth. However, many small and medium sized companies simply cannot afford to hire a full time CFO.

Fractional CFO and Controller Services are the Solutions

Fortunately, there are firms that provide fractional CFO and Controller services that are affordable. The best way for a company to identify a good service provider is to tap its network of trusted advisers, such as bankers, investors, attorneys or CPA firm. These advisers can direct their client toward a firm that provides the comprehensive accounting and financial reporting support, as well as strategic financial initiatives, that will help drive growth.

What Does the Role Entail?

Businesses who decide to engage a CFO are looking to acquire a person that can guide them with strategic initiatives, but what does that look like? In our experience, a fractional CFO can:

  • Assist companies who are preparing for an acquisition or sale and guide them through the examination phase and financial due diligence required to execute transactions
  • Provide guidance in reconciliation projects
  • Offer advice in software system reviews and recommendations
  • Review company processes and offer guidance on optimization
  • Enhance reporting setup and support

Ultimately, the role will depend on the needs of the company who is interested in engaging in controlling services. Are you interested in engaging a fractional CFO for your business, and if so, what would that role look like?

Outgrowing QuickBooks?

Outgrowing QuickBooks?

Congratulations, you’re outgrowing QuickBooks

When your business grows, you should celebrate—not suffer. Try telling that to the finance team that’s still trying to make QuickBooks work. It’s just too basic to handle growing organizations with evolving needs. So your team might be compensating with inefficient workarounds and spreadsheets. And you may realize you can’t rely on your basic reports to be of any strategic use. That’s a lot to pay for a “low cost” solution. Find out what makes Intacct the top solution for QuickBooks graduates.

Make the “day to day” easier

If your team is spending hours on spreadsheets, your entry-level accounting solution isn’t doing you any favors. Ditch the extra data entry with Intacct’s feature-rich cloud accounting solution. Automate multi-entity close and reporting, revenue recognition, project accounting, and more. Save team time today and be prepared for tomorrow with a solution that can handle almost any accounting process you can imagine.

Flex your reporting muscle

Intacct was uniquely designed to give you endless reporting flexibility. Unlike QuickBooks, Intacct enables you to track both financial and operational data in real time. You can easily drill from top-level results down to the performance for a specific entity or location, then down to individual transactions. And you can access your reports from any web browser, on any device. Integrate without IT, and other cloud benefits Organizations that are outgrowing QuickBooks can expect high ROI when switching to cloud accounting. You don’t have to worry about system availability and security—that comes guaranteed. Plus, it’s instantly easier to connect with other cloud-based best-in-class business systems, like Salesforce CRM, so you can share data between systems without human data entry or errors.

Key outcomes:

  • Improve productivity by eliminating manual processes and spreadsheets
  • Get instant visibility into business performance, anytime, anywhere
  • Integrate with your other applications to eliminate data re-entry and information silos
  • Save money, increase security, and reduce IT headaches

Finance’s Elevated Role and Other Critical Trends for 2019

The beginning of a new year always signals a time for trend spotting Which financial opportunities, challenges and changes should companies prepare for now? Below are six soon-to-be realities that you should consider for 2019.  .   CFOs take on more responsibility....

Modern Digital Workplace: 5 Current Trends Making Waves In The Office

Improving workflow is guaranteed to improve morale and modernize your workplace. But with all the tech on the market, it’s tough to know which solution is right for you. At Lavoie CPA, we know it’s a tough decision. We’re here to help.

With Microsoft cloud solutions, increasing employee connectivity–not only to each other but to the many Microsoft services offered–is a key element in being able to maintain flexibility while accessing data wherever you are.

With a little help, you can leverage Microsoft cloud solutions today. Contact us to find out how we can speed your transition to the cloud.

Customer story: Hershey

Hershey built their brand with data, using insights to come up with creative ideas. But to foster that creativity in the digital age, they needed to modernize their IT infrastructure. Doing so can seem daunting, even for a company like Hershey. At Lavoie CPA, we want to help your business make that change so you can begin to create.

With Microsoft cloud services, Hershey was able to connect employees together with insights gained from Azure, creating an agile modern workplace. Your business can leverage these same tools to modernize your workplace.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

3 ways to protect yourself from a ransomware disaster

There’s no cure for ransomware. As the attackers grow more powerful each day, it’s up to every business to fight back by being prepared and keeping important data safe. At Lavoie CPA, we can help you do just that.

Microsoft’s approach to privacy and data protection is grounded in their commitment to customers’ ownership of and control over the collection, use, and distribution of information.

Leverage the security of Microsoft tools to safeguard your business and the data that makes it run. Contact us today to find out more on how we can help.

Customer Story: Taylor Wessing

International law firm Taylor Wessing needed the flexibility to scale, develop, and deploy where and how they want so they adopted the only consistent hybrid cloud on the market. At Lavoie CPA, we know you have a lot of the same needs, and we have the solution.

With Azure, you can easily connect data with applications, and devices by taking advantage of over 150 out-of-the-box connectors, all while meeting a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards, like GDPR.

You know where to find the tools, now you need to integrate them. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

5 key areas to focus on while integrating cloud-based strategies

Moving to the cloud does not happen overnight, and the road there can often appear winding and poorly marked. It may not always be clear which move is the right one for your company.

Advisors can help a business navigate this path, ensuring they are achieving the desired result and avoiding complications.

We here at Lavoie CPA want to ensure that your business is making the best possible choice when starting out on your cloud journey. Contact us to learn more about making the right choice.

Customer Story: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

As a business, your greatest assets are your people. Their hard work and ingenuity have gotten you to where you are today. But in order for each employee to best serve your company into the future, they need the right tools.

Microsoft 365 keeps people connected across the globe, allowing them to come together and collaborate in real time to solve business problems faster and more effectively than ever before. Microsoft 365 keeps them agile, productive, and most importantly, secure, wherever they are logging in from.

Contact us to learn more about how to ensure your greatest assets–your people–have the right tools to propel your business to success.

Office 365 helps secure Microsoft from modern phishing campaigns

Phishing attacks are relentless. What are you doing to help prevent them from hitting your business? At Lavoie CPA, we want to help make sure your modern business has the tools you need to stay protected.

Office 365 works in near real-time to protect against phishing threats and safeguard data and intellectual property. It provides advanced security and reliability to eliminate known threats before they reach you.

Your information is too valuable not to protect it. Contact us today to find out more on adopting the Microsoft solution you need to stay in the game.

Day in the life Retail

With all the moving parts in your business, you need to stay in sync while maintaining flexibility and speed. At Lavoie CPA, we know that can be tough to do especially for small business owners. That’s why we’re here to help.

Microsoft business-class email gives you access to email, contacts, and shared calendars anywhere. You can work without worries wherever you work best and stay focused on what matters most.

Your mobile business needs the right tools and we can help you get them. Contact us today to find out how we’re poised to deliver the Microsoft solutions you need.

Microsoft uses analytics and data science to enhance the user experience

Whether you need a solution to look for information, attend meetings, or collaborate, you want a great user experience. Your customers do too! At Lavoie CPA, we know this can be tough to deliver.

To enhance user experience for employees, Microsoft employs several data science and machine learning algorithms to provide insight into how people use products and services to achieve their goals, how they perceive an experience, and any issues they have.

With all that data, anything is possible. Imagine what your business could achieve with the right tools. Contact us today to find out how we can help.