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? 

4 Things all Startups should consider Outsourcing

4 Things all Startups should consider Outsourcing

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.

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.

 

A Solid Accounting Strategy Is Key to Your Success

A Solid Accounting Strategy Is Key to Your Success

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Challenges

Entrepreneurs have to cope with many unique factors that come along with running a startup firm, and many are directly related to financial management, accounting and reporting. Failing to get these matters right can lead to significant challenges such as compliance and budget. Thus, having a solid accounting strategy is key.

Fortunately, there are ample remedies available that are specifically targeted at helping entrepreneurs tackle these challenges. Many solutions come in the form of affordable cloud-based software solutions that are administered by an outsourcing firm. In order to discuss the benefits of cloud-based accounting and reporting and outsourcing, it is important to first identify the pain points and challenges that startups face.

No Foundation

Startups rarely have a strong foundation of accounting practices in place. Typically, they start from scratch. Building an accounting strategy from the ground up is challenging for financial professionals, much less for individuals with no financial training. Creating an accounting strategy without understanding what is required can seriously hinder growth of your business. Outsourcing your accounting work to a firm that utilizes a cloud-based accounting and financial management software, gives you real time access to all the information you need to react proactively to your changing business environment. Outsourcing the financial piece of your business to experts will allow you to focus on developing your product and getting it to market.

Related: Accounting Solutions for Early Stage Companies

Tight Cash Flow

New businesses tend to have a minimal safety net of funds to fall back upon if they experience an unexpected cash shortfall. If accounting experts are running your books and analyzing your financial performance with cloud-based solutions, you can be assured that you will have the information you need about your companies financial situation. Thus, you will then be ready to raise capital or obtain a line of credit to cover the shortfall or even avoid experiencing a shortfall at all.  For startups, adhering to a budget and managing cash are critical to your success

New to Compliance

The financial and accounting regulatory compliance statutes for startup companies can be extremely complex and difficult to meet. Entrepreneurs are often new to the matters involved, putting them at a disadvantage when trying to maintain compliance. Your outsourced accounting firm has the resources and experience to ensure that your company is in compliance so you can focus on what you do best.

No Accounting Department

Startups often begin with a small team of individuals who are passionate about a product or service, but who may not have experience running the financial side of things. But far too often, the founders end up shouldering these responsibilities anyhow, because they cannot afford to staff a financial team. By outsourcing your accounting and financial management needs to the experts, you mitigate errors and inefficiencies involved with doing it yourself, at a fraction of the cost of an in- house accounting team.  Services are scalable, so you utilize only what you need to get the job done.

Starting a new business is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Consider utilizing cloud-based accounting and financial solutions managed by experts so you and your team can spend all your time building something wonderful – your own business!