Lavoie CEO Named A North Carolina Hill Week Captain for Goldman Sachs 10,0000 Small Business Voices Initiative

Lavoie CEO Named A North Carolina Hill Week Captain for Goldman Sachs 10,0000 Small Business Voices Initiative

As the election season draws closer and the concerns of small businesses continue to grow in the wake of the pandemic, SMB’s are joining forces to make sure their voices are heard in congress. According to a Goldman Sachs survey released on September 8, 88% of small business owners have exhausted their PPP loan funding; with 43% of Black small business owners depleting their cash reserves by the end of the year. 

To help amplify US small business needs, Goldman Sachs is using its 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) Initiative to serve as a policy platform and community resource center. However, prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the 10KSB alumni collectively represented $12 billion in revenues and employed 175,000 people. More notably, 44% of these businesses are family-owned and 66% are minority and women-owned businesses.

“The 10,000 Small Businesses Voices initiative is designed to help small business owners in the United States advocate for policy changes that will help their businesses, their employees, and their communities,” according to Goldmansachs.com. “We provide the 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community with the tools, resources, and training needed to make their voices heard and drive tangible impact against real issues.”

Among the many tools to assist small businesses, the program includes surveys, open letters to congress, and ongoing virtual events to help guide owners through ongoing challenges and the most recent policy changes.

One of these events was the Virtual Capitol Hill Day held on June 9th -11th. Over three days, 2,100 small business owners connected with Members of Congress through 434 online meetings across all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Lavoie CEO, Sharai Lavoie, was named a NC Hill Week Captain and lead discussions with congressional leaders and small businesses across the state.

Lavoie led three discussions one of which was with Congresswoman Alma Adams, representing North Carolina’s 12th District. Discussion topics included:

“I was thrilled to participate in this initiative,” says Lavoie CEO, Sharai Lavoie. “It’s programs like these that will give SMBs a fighting chance and help promote policies that positively impact the everyday American business owner.” 

To learn more about the 10,000 Small Business Voice initiative, check out the website to access resources or participate in the many surveys to inform congress of US business owners’ ongoing needs.

 

Race Talks in Sports

Race Talks in Sports

Charlotte Business Leader Sharai Lavoie joins Jerrold Kinney, De’Marcus Miller, and DeAndrae Watson for a discussion on race and the role the sports industry can play in creating positive change within the business community.  This captivating conversation explores systemic racism and the vital dialogue that should exist between equality advocates and business leaders.

Watch the full video below, and check out a few of the highlights!

Key Takeaways

Simply put, we as a society are at the crossroads of cultural advancement and organizational ineptitude. The topic of systemic racism, workplace inequality, and homogenous decision-making can no longer be ignored. However, the definition of the “talk” changes from colleague to colleague as do the continuous actions that need to follow. 

Over the years, sports professionals have championed those difficult conversations (“talks”) and been at the nexus of sustainable change and political progress. And now, with unparalleled access to recorded footage of police brutality and the confluence of back-to-back violence on black men and women, professionals and companies have an obligation to drive national momentum and activate the diversity conversation.

Here are some very real tips on how to move the equality needle from our Race Talks in Sports panelists:

Are you an athlete or a professional in the sports industry? Here’s how you can influence or participate in sustainable change:

  • Continue to be active in your communities… every day
  • Have your beliefs front and center… literally wear them where the cameras will see
  • Always participate in the conversation… no matter where you are
  • Get over your anxiety and fears surrounding communication… no matter what environment you’re in, someone can learn from your experiences
  • Bring your full, authentic self to the workplace… the court, the field, or the office

A company’s commitment to diversity

How to do more than just check the box

Unfortunately, most organizations check the diversity and inclusion box by creating an internal group, announcing it on social media, and that’s it. Committing to diversity means providing your employees the opportunity to be mentored and propelled into their desired industry or professional stature. Companies need to rethink how they can use these diversity and inclusion groups to present goals to leadership, and, over time, show what has actually been accomplished. This allows for true accountability and a way to track how quickly programs are progressing and identify ways to continuously improve. 

Start improving your diversity and inclusion initiative by focusing on these 5 areas: 

  • Evaluate Your Organization & Find The Right Skills That Can Lead Change
  • Build A Community With Accessible Communication Channels & Resources 
  • Educate Everyone In The Company From Leadership to Interns
  • Create Transparent Goals That Can Be Shared & Tracked
  • Drive Accountability That Can Be Analyzed On A Consistent Basis

Ways to Get Involved

Join the Charlotte Sports + Business Networking Group

Charlotte Sports+Business is a free networking group connecting sports industry executives in the Queen City. 

Join the Racial Equity Institute

A Greensboro based organization, the Racial Equality, Institute helps individuals and organizations develop the tools they need to challenge patterns and grow equity within their communities.

Watch Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man

Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.

Moderator

Sharai Lavoie
CEO
Lavoie CPA

Participants

DeAndrae Watson
Vice President
Octagon

De’Marcus Miller
Senior Marketer

Jerrold Kinney
Senior Marketing & Strategy Professional

A CPA firm that does NOT provide Tax or Audit services?

A CPA firm that does NOT provide Tax or Audit services?

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?

  1. Our focus is helping grow your business.  We provide financial intelligence you can rely on to make informed financial decisions.
  2. 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!
  3. 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?

  1. We help grow sales.
  2. We turn finance into a strategic asset.
  3. We keep cost under control.
  4. We eliminate distractions and let our clients focus on what they do best.

Want to learn more? 

Finance’s Elevated Role and Other Critical Trends for 2019

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.

The role of the CFO has merged with that of the COO to assume strategy and operations functions. This calls for greater collaboration in business areas such as marketing, procurement, sales and design/R&D in order for CFOs to build sound budget strategies and operational processes.

Customers’ changing demands disrupt industries.

Think of it as forced evolution. Millennials and Gen Z crowd are making their wishes known – pushing for greater transparency, asking for more sustainable products, embracing technical conveniences. Business has no choice but to respond – re-evolving business models, selling on social media, adopting voice-commerce, etc.

Technology makes finance smarter and faster.

Automation and new technologies are making finance software programs do more with less. This leaves more time for focusing on the organization’s strategic vision.

We’re grappling with uncertainty again.

From foreign policy to data regulation, businesses are operating under the strain of uncertainty. Expect another year of having to navigate a turbulent, highly politicized environment.

Even the workforce is evolving.

2019 will introduce a diverse generation of employees with new expectations and wants. For accounting, the skills gap widens, re-training requirements grow, and a higher level of contract employees emerges.

New data risks are surfacing 

Companies will need to have a deeper understanding of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), because there will be a higher level of concern about data security as more info is created, collected, and stored online which allows for the possibility of hacking.

As these developments proceed, the role of finance becomes more important and extensive. Many companies are turning to service providers to help them make the transformation. This may entail consulting services, augmenting current staff or even outsourcing the financial and accounting function.


Why startups need Finance and Accounting Outsourcing

Why startups need Finance and Accounting Outsourcing

Are you a startup and are considering hiring accounting and finance personal?

Having the right finance and accounting policy, procedures and technology in place could be critical to your success.  Lots of startups outsource many of the tasks not related to your company’s core competency, including accounting & finance.  Should you invest the money in hiring FTEs and purchase software or use an outsourced firm?  Let’s look at four ways hiring an outsourced firm can help your startup business.

  1. Select the right accounting package.

Too many startup businesses purchase off the shelf accounting packages that do not provide proper visibility into their business.  As a result, they either spend a lot of time with Excel spreadsheets to try and gain necessary information or they simply neglect items that inhibit growth and put the business at risk.

With the proper technology you have visibility into your business from anywhere, enabling you to spevd more time on the business instead of in the business.

  1. Help with investment capital.

Whether you’re applying for a business loan or seeking outside funding from angel investors or venture capital firms, accurate and up-to-date financials are essential.

Professional services firms will provide you with the up-to-date financial statements, along with explanations of the data in those financial statements, which can help your company standout amidst all those other businesses.

Be audit, partner and/or investor ready from day one.

  1. Trusted advice.

CFO guidance including advice, counsel and insight — providing you with financial statements, budgets, forecasts and dashboards to monitor all your financial data. It’s one thing to have all the financial data you need to run your business. But the real benefit is to have someone to explain exactly what the financial statements mean, and help you to make the decisions that will steer your company toward growth.

4 . Scale with your company.

With outsourced services your variable cost become a scalable fixed cost.  Why add non-revenue generating cost when you can gain resources, technology, quality and support all tailored to your needs? When your company grows the outsourced services company grows with you.

Lavoie CPA provides accounting & finance, technology and human resources support all as a service.

 

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.