The value in not providing traditional accounting services
When most people hear CPA they immediately think tax and audit. Lavoie CPA does NOT provide either service. So, what do we do? We provide world class accounting bundled with leading technology (Accounting as a Service) to help our clients succeed . But why don’t we provide tax or audit services?
Our focus is helping grow your business. We provide financial intelligence you can rely on to make informed financial decisions.
We don’t want to become tax experts. Staying on top of changes to tax laws and regulations is an exhaustive process. We rather partner with tax professionals and focus on what we do best – help grow your business!
We can’t audit ourselves. Since we provide leading finance and accounting services, we can’t audit our own work. However, our clients are always audit ready!
Why do clients come
to Lavoie CPA since we don’t do tax or audit?
We help grow sales.
We turn finance into a strategic asset.
We keep cost under control.
We eliminate distractions and let our clients focus on what they do best.
Founders create businesses because they have a passion or expertise in providing particular goods or services to market and often get caught up on focusing on items outside of their expertise. Being a startup means there’s always more work to do, and not enough time to do it. It is easy to get caught in numerous non-value add tasks that take anyway from working on the business. That’s why most success startups outsource certain tasks to companies or individuals who specialize in providing valuable time-saving services for a fee.
With all the advancements in technology, it’s easier and more convenient than ever to outsource. Here are five things you should consider outsourcing to experts.
1. Accounting & Finance
Most entrepreneurs are not Accountants. However, understanding cash flows or analyzing profitability of a business is vital to its success. Too often startups neglect building an accounting process until profits go downhill or cash slowly drains away. Setting up an accounting process for your startup is critical to the long-term success. An accounting process is also important because it allows your business to look forward. Startups or small businesses that that don’t have an accounting process in place find themselves trapped by past actions or constantly worried about having enough money to pay bills.
In addition to accounting process, setting up an accounting system is important for your startup as it will allow you to see how your business is doing and allow you to make decisions to strategically position your business for growth.
Look for a firm that does more than just bookkeeping. Partnering with someone that goes beyond debits and credits and gives advice on such things as cashflow will help set you up for success. Technology is vital to help provide necessary insights.
2. Graphic Design and Web Development.
Coming up with a brand-defining logo, an attractive website, and print materials can be extremely time consuming and difficult to get right. Using a professional graphic designer will help your business look its best. They understand a lot of things that you may overlook. Whatever your goals, there’s a graphic designer with the talent, aesthetic sensibilities, and visual skills to fulfill your vision and enhance your company brand.
Look for a graphic designer that offers web development to help streamline the process and provide a unified message.
3. Web Research.
Prospecting for new business and keeping up with the latest developments in your industry can be time consuming and daunting. A web researcher can research information you, whether it’s gathering information and statistics for an upcoming presentation or looking up the names of companies and contacts for a leads list. They can also organize this material in a form that’s easy to use and read.
4. Administrative Assistance.
If half your day is spent sifting through your overflowing email inbox, returning call and making travel arrangement, a virtual administrative assistant (VA) may be just what you need to streamline that frustrating process and keep you from being inundated by a constant stream of on administrative tasks that keep you from more value-added items.
Before you waste your time on something that is not in your expertise, consider outsourcing. This will make your to-do list shorter and free you up to focus on the things you’re best at and that generate the most income for your business.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Effective Virtual or Fractional CFOs Rely on Technology
Whether your CFO is full-time or fractional, CFOs are a pivotal part of your company leadership, helping you make crucial financial decisions and leading the execution of those decisions. What makes an effective CFO? Effective CFO’s excel at:
Capitalizing on opportunities while avoiding ricks
Strategic modeling driven by accurate data
Speed and accuracy for fast decisions
Data analysis and insight
No matter how qualified the individual is, without the right technology the job becomes extremely difficult. Speed and accuracy drive much of their effectiveness and is almost impossible without the right tools in place.
Lavoie CPA recognized this from the start and has always combined people, processes and technology. We provide the necessary tools to quickly digest accurate data and be able to make informed decisions to steer the business down the best path. With dashboards in place, companies can quickly see information in real-time and make changes were needed without waiting days, weeks or even months. Lavoie CPA also has the expertise to intercept the data and make impactful recommendations.
The core technology we utilize is Sage Intacct. Sage Intacct is an industry-leading financial management solution designed for the needs of strategic CFOs and their teams. In addition, we partner with other leading software providers that maximize our clients’ efficiencies. If you are looking for a virtual or fractional CFO also consider what technologies are being utilized so that you can fully maximize your investment.
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
Real-time visibility to your business performance via dashboards
Reduce financial risk
Be audit ready at all times
Improved process flow and automation
Eliminate staff turnover
Reduced IT headaches (upgrades and maintenance)
Integration with your other applications to eliminate information silos