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
5 Myths About Outsourced Accounting

5 Myths About Outsourced Accounting

Outsourced accounting continues to be an alternative that businesses chose to pursue instead of doing the work in-house. In 2016, Deloitte found that outsourcing of financial functions was projected to increase by 27% globally. However, whether you’ve been considering outsourcing or not, you may still be hesitant to take the leap due to some myths that exist. Many of these beliefs are based on outdated information, misunderstandings and misconceptions. Because of this, we wanted to share the top 5 myths and truths about outsourced accounting.

1. Outsource = Overseas

The mere definition of “outsource” is that you obtain goods or services from an outside source; however, many make the mistake of thinking that outsource directly means that you obtain work from overseas. You can outsource your services to a local firm in your own city. The term does not mean that you have to hire someone offshore to complete the work.

2. Losing Control

While many may believe that outsourcing your accounting procedures is risky and makes you feel like you’re losing control – it is quite the opposite. Allowing another company to control and manage your business actually enhances your control. Outsourcing gives you real-time data that offers you better control over your cash flow and other performance indicators. Additionally, you set the guidelines and expectations for the provider to meet your needs.

3. It’s Expensive

Contrary to beliefs; outsourcing will most likely save you money. In Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, a majority of surveyed companies said the main reason they choose to outsource was because it is a cost cutting tool and allows them to focus on their core business. Instead of having to hire someone that you have to pay wages and benefits, you can spend your valuable time on growing your business. This allows you to focus on your core competencies and essentially grow your business while reducing cost.

4. My Business is Too Small

Small businesses may actually enjoy more benefits with outsourcing their accounting than larger firms. Outsourcing removes overhead costs that lets you shift more revenue to operational growth, while also freeing up your own time. Economy of scale usually leads to lower costs than if your small business does accounting in-house.

Related: Accounting Solutions for Early Stage Companies

5. It’s Not Secure

Sending sensitive information to a third-party can be concerning, but there are some questions you can ask your outsourcing agent to make sure your data is secure and safe. First of all, make sure you know whether the third-party is using a secured network for its business. Secondly, ask the provider what they do once they are finished with your files (do they destroy, store or keep them on hand?). Finally, if your outsourced accountant gives you access to data via cloud storage, you might want to ask them what security measures they use for data protection. Outsourced accounting can be done in a secure and safe matter; however, you need to make sure that whomever you choose can be trusted and is willing to answer your concerns and questions along the process.

What do you think about outsourced accounting? Have you been reluctant to take the leap on outsourcing due to common myths?

Re-branding: New Look for Lavoie

Re-branding: New Look for Lavoie

As you may have noticed, we recently launched a new website in addition to a new brand look in the form of an updated logo, colors and tagline. We embarked on this re-branding journey a few months ago because we wanted our brand to better represent our unique position in the market as a nontraditional accounting firm that also focuses on cloud-based software solutions. We believe that our new brand better displays our role as a strategic and innovative partner to our clients.

Updated Website

The website has been entirely re-designed to aid visitors in navigating through our offering. First of all, the design is simpler and thus easier to navigate. Additionally, we have focused on improving content to better educate visitors on our offering and company information. Our solutions are now listed in our main three categories: software, outsourced accounting and projects. Additionally, visitors can also navigate through the industries we work with (software companies, business services, private equity and venture capital, and healthcare).

Re-designed logo

Since 2009, our main focus has been to help our clients in accounting and technology solutions; however, our old logo did not tell this story. Therefore, we are very excited with our new logo that has specifically incorporated design elements from accounting and technology. The “o” in Lavoie is interestingly based on the design of an abacus; a counting frame that was used as a calculating tool before the Hindu-Arabic numeral system was adopted.

New Tagline – “Efficiency Reimagined”

“We are very excited to reveal our new and fresh look and tagline, which speaks toward our innovation and ability to help clients reimagine new ways to accomplish their goals,” said Sharai Lavoie, CEO and Managing Member.

Needless to say, we are excited for our new look and hope you enjoy browsing our new site!

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.

Accounting Solutions for Early Stage Companies

Accounting Solutions for Early Stage Companies

The Struggle for Early Stage Companies

Early stage companies can often struggle to keep up with their day-to-day accounting requirements. This is especially true, as founders and management try to handle accounting in addition to all their other responsibilities. This challenge is compounded as business activity and business complexity increase. Accounting solutions for these types of companies vary of course depending on their industry; however, outsourcing accounting services can be beneficial in order to keep staff focused on core competencies and revenue-generating tasks.

Solution: Outsource

Nothing is more important or sensitive to your business than your financial position. That is why you should invest in both people with deep experience and an infrastructure with enterprise strength. Early stage companies can find solutions to their day-to-day accounting requirements by outsourcing the following services:

1. Transactional Requirements

This includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliations, payroll processing, asset tracking, etc.

2. Financial Control and Decision Making

This could be for a short term engagement to review processes, set up budgets or refine financial reports or on a continuing basis. Additionally, early stage companies can hire a consultant to act as the CFO/Controller that oversees daily activity, managing cash flow, communicating with tax advisers and presenting financial status at board meetings.

By leveraging resources and enterprise quality accounting applications, you will have the controls, confidence and focus to help drive operational improvements in your business. Companies in the early stages usually need to spend most of their attention on acquiring clients, developing business and performing their core competencies. The day-to-day accounting requirements can add to the stress of all the other challenges of being in the starting phase of growing your business. Deciding whether you should outsource or not depends, of course, on your situation and business; however, it undeniable that outsourcing services that are non-revenue generating can be extremely beneficial and valuable.

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.

The Rise of Cloud Computing

The Rise of Cloud Computing

Business Wish They Made the Shift 2 Years Ago

According to Intacct, 89% of firms who have already shifted to cloud-based technology wish that they had made the move two years earlier. The rise of cloud computing is arguably the single most important technology story of the past decade. During that time, countless companies have moved some or all of their IT into cloud environments.

Why?

Because quite simply, cloud computing has a lot of advantages over traditional on-premise accounting. With the cloud, a company can shift a lot of its IT responsibilities to a third-party vendor, while enjoying greater performance. Additionally, the cloud is the less expensive solution, since organizations don’t have to purchase hardware and only pay for the services they use as they go.

Related: 5 Top Benefits of Cloud Technology

In addition to requiring fewer human and financial resources to operate, business leaders are looking to cloud based accounting solutions because of the deep insights into financial performance that these solutions provide. Today, firms want to look beyond basic measurements and take into account operational metrics as a means to a far better view of how the business as a whole is performing. And to get that level of insight and awareness, more advanced accounting solutions are absolutely essential.

What Metrics Are Businesses Looking to Measure?

Cloud based accounting solutions can keep track of retention rates, customer acquisition costs, customer life time value, fluctuations in monthly recurring revenue and much more, all in addition to accounting basics. With information in hand that is tailored to the specifics of their businesses, leaders have a 360 degree view of the organization and how it is interacting with customers and clients. That depth of information enables more informed decision making and a nimbleness that leads to a serious competitive advantage.

Related: Data-Drive Approaches Guide Businesses

Why Are Businesses Not Making the Shift?

Clearly, vastly superior information is available to companies who use cloud based accounting and financial solutions, but not everyone has made the change.  Why??? Because change is difficult. We fear disrupting our business routine, we are comfortable with Excel and Quickbooks, we don’t want to bother with training, etc. But switching to a cloud based accounting solution really isn’t that difficult.

We have transitioned countless companies, both large and small, to cloud based solutions, and the one thing each transition has had in common is that EVERYONE has exclaimed over the ease of  implementation and staff training. Don’t worry! Go for it! The transition will be over before you know it, and like 89% of companies already utilizing the cloud, you will be wishing you had made the change years ago!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about financial planning and analysis in the cloud, check out our eBook below!

LEARN ABOUT FP&A IN THE CLOUD

Time Management and Discipline are Key for Success

Time Management and Discipline are Key for Success

There are a number of important elements that ensure that a company’s accounting efforts are effective and efficient, and support growth and viability. Today, I want to take a closer look at two more key components: time management and discipline. Only by committing to both can a business leader make sure the company’s financial situation stays on track.

Time Matters

Dedicating the appropriate amount of time to various tasks can be challenging as decision makers have a lot on their plates on a daily basis. With so much going on, and with so few hours in the day, it is possible that some things can get pushed to the side. One task, in particular, that many business owners struggle with is managing the accounting work required to run business efficiently. Most owners are not accountants, so they naturally focus on tasks that inspired them to start the business in the first place. Without a good accounting support and detailed information, challenges wind up unaddressed, and can snowball over time.

One of the best ways to avoid looming accounting debacles is to set aside a specific time each week to focus solely on accounting matters. When owners have dedicated time each week, they will able to address issues early, before they become big problems. In addition to getting the jump on problems, decision makers will have insight into the firm’s financial situation at all times. This is essential for ensuring that companies take advantage of opportunities as they arise. There is no way for leaders to make the best choices for their organizations if they don’t have a clear and accurate view of their financials.

Related: 3 Ways to Drive Business Growth

Discipline is Needed

Obviously, setting aside time to focus on accounting issues is only effective if business leaders actually stick with that plan. Additionally, owners need to have access to accurate budgets and be able to regularly compare their actual results and make adjustments as circumstances change. Accounting software can make a big difference here. Comprehensive, cloud based accounting solutions allow the business owner and team to do the detailed analysis needed. This in in turn allows them to develop short, medium and long term strategies and track progress over time.

Dedicating the time necessary to manage financial matters, coupled with the discipline to adhere to a schedule and enjoy meaningful access to information, are critical for long term success. The companies that choose to tackle the hard work of time management and financial discipline are always better positioned for success than those that make accounting and financial management a low priority.

Can you think of any other key components that business leaders need to commit to in order to keep track of the financial position of the company?

SIX BEST PRACTICES OF TOP CONTROLLERS

Financial controllers are increasingly taking on the role of financial operating officer. You’re ensuring that finance runs smoothly and that there are not surprises on audit day.

But what does “running smoothly” really mean?

Download this eBook to learn six ways that today’s best-in-class controllers follow to successfully meet and overcome challenges in the profession.