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? 

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

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