Benefits of Managed Services Provider MSP

COVID-19 and Beyond: Short & Long Term Benefits of Managed Services Provider (MSP)

Our company has worked with outsourced business partners for many years.  Do you know why? Working with outsourced business processors has allowed us to scale up or down efficiently dependent on the state of our business.

If you think about the current state of things, your company may have had to scale back on its employees, which is never good. In many cases it creates a hardship for the employee and certainly does not put the company in a positive light.  Not to mention, employees who remain will also be effective.

Even if the employee can come back, the trust factor may not be there, and you will likely not have the employee you had when the role was initially terminated.

My son’s company has had to manage this type of situation. As the impact of COVID-19 began to hit, they had to begin laying off some of their employees. Unfortunately, instead of following best practices, the way they handled it essentially added insult to injury, implying that the team member was not as good or as valuable for the company. My son, a documented top performer fell into this category and was let go. He expressed his frustration and disappointment but immediately began looking for a new role.  In about a week his company called him back. While he gladly went back and he still works very hard, he now works with 1 foot out the door. The energy and positive attitude he had been known for is no longer present.

But this is business…and business happens.

Believe it when people look at sites like Glassdoor.com and see negative reviews about your company there will be very well qualified employment prospects that will simply pass the company by.

An alternative to this might be outsourcing certain business processes. Or going a step further and engage with Managed Services.

According to an article on Visionet, while BPO firms tend to provide a resource or resources for a specific process, such as outsourcing tech support or bookkeeping, for example, a Managed Services firm will provide a comprehensive set of services that allows the business or department to operate at a higher level and more efficiently then a company can do itself.

Yes. This is an activity typically applied to IT.  No. It is not exclusive to IT.

Yes – the same approach can be applied to other areas of business operations.

For example, if you were to look at marketing: you need someone to build and maintain your website, someone else to do SEO and a third to do your social media posts.

You can go through the process of hiring the people individually to do the work. You will have to be responsible for making sure they are trained, and they are delivering results based on their promises and your expectations. This is going to be an expensive and inefficient process since you must hire them individually.

You can hire a BPO firm to provide you with the resources. They will cost you a lot less, but you will still need to manage and direct them on what they need to do. Essentially, you will need to know more about marketing than they do to get the results that you are looking for.  If there are activities that lie outside of their core abilities, you will have to go back to the BPO firm and get another resource.

You could hire a Managed Services firm that offers marketing services. This will be a team that will help you design a marketing program that will be best for your organization, then set it up and run it. They will have the ability to swap out resources within the established rate to ensure that the right people are doing the right jobs within the confines of the project. In this case, they will help to define the expected results and report progress toward the results.

From a short-term perspective, when change happens in the organization, to continue a company will benefit from working with a Managed Services firm for the following reasons:

1. The ability to vary your company’s expenses

Managed Services firms can work on variable contracts meaning that they only get paid for the work that they do or the time they spent working.

2. The variability of talent and capabilities

You may find that your financial management services provider suddenly needs to focus less time on bookkeeping activities due to a slowdown and participate in a planning session and provide different financial models and help with projections of different scenarios.

3. Extended Capabilities

Sometimes significant changes require that a company re-invent itself or its service offerings. A Managed Services firm can provide the company with additional capabilities that could serve to keep the company afloat during the crisis.

From a strategic perspective, a Managed Services firm also has its place:

  1. The Managed Services firm has expertise in the area that they are in and will typically get better without your firm baring the cost of additional education, certifications, product development, recruiting, etc.
  2. The Managed Services firm typically has a vested interest in the company’s success and can be instrumental in their contribution to the corporate strategy.
  3. The Managed Services firm will typically try to find ways to do things better to get better efficiencies and better results
  4. The Managed Services team will provide a higher level of integration into your firm, providing ongoing visibility, accountability and reporting, which leads to greater efficiency and bottom line: better results, according to an article in Network Consulting Group.

Having access to an MSP can be a critical component to your business operations for both the short and long range.  Your company will achieve greater efficiencies through increased capabilities, capacity and expertise while reducing departmental costs by hiring multiple resources at a single, fixed cost. Given the current virtual environment many companies are being forced to adopt, the need to maintain or increase productivity and the need to reduce costs, now is an ideal time to explore this as an option.

To learn more about Financial Management and how WistBooks Financial Management can be an asset to your business, click the link below to set up an appointment. 

WistBooks Financial Management. Wise + Strategies to take your business financials further.(TM) 

WistBooks provides integrated Bookkeeping, Advisory, and Financial Management services that leverage financial data to help small businesses execute a winning strategy. Through Quickbooks Online cloud accounting, financial dashboards and regular online advisory sessions, we support business owners and leadership in maximizing their financial decisions to maintain and support company growth.

From now through June 2020, we are offering all new clients a 10% discount on any service for the first year. Remember to mention WistGift to receive your discount.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below.

The new CFO role  for the digital era

The new CFO role for the digital era

From our experiences working with clients across the country, we’ve learned that when a CFO is going to take part in leadership decision-making, they tend to rely on analysis of historical and economic data in order to spot trends and make projections and recommendations for the company. Which sounds like a reasonable approach. 

Unfortunately, in this era, the traditional data that CFOs have relied on is not enough. It is not complete.  Small and large businesses alike are now members of a global community. As a result, situations that impact a region halfway around the world may directly or indirectly influence even the smallest businesses in ways that will require consideration in the decision-making process. 

Obviously, the level of data that is available won’t be as valuable to some companies that may be fine with maintaining the status quo. Unfortunately, for many of these businesses a global impactor like a pandemic can easily put them out of business.  But for those companies that seek to stand out in the marketplace – to be extraordinary – the extra effort to analyze both internal and external data in the planning process – including understanding the ramifications of global impactors will give these companies a significant advantage in their operations. 

In the article, “A new CFO for a new era,” authors at KPMG describe how the role of the CFO is changing, specifically with regard to access to and interpretation of the plethora of business data.  According to the article, CFO’s in mid-market companies must be able to: 

  • Embrace extreme automation – automate core finance and accounting processes and reduce labor requirements by up to 70% 
  • Learn the language of predictive analytics – anticipate changes in order to make change less disruptive 
  • Link the company strategy, financial projections and management metrics – participate in or be aware of the company’s strategy 

The role of the New Era CFO has been elevated and rightfully so.  They are much more a critical part of today’s leadership teams and assets to the strategic planning process than ever before. The insight that can be provided to the leadership will be invaluable as companies continue to grow, expand and enhance their global reach. It is the companies that can leverage these individuals that will likely be the ones that embrace greater opportunities and become extraordinary businesses. 

While many smaller companies cannot embrace hiring a full time CFO, many are in reach of working with an outsourced Financial Manager who can provide a similar level of support to that of a CFO.  The Financial Manager will provide financial management support and services appropriate for each company for their revenue level and phase in the business lifecycle. Automation, predictive analysis and participation in strategic planning, financial projections and management metrics will leadership with essential information and decisions on financial vehicles, investments and growth modeling will help support the company as it charts its path to the future. 

For the driven company that is determined to stand out in the marketplace, engaging a Financial Manager early on will help to ensure that the company can grow in a manner that is financially sound while reducing risks associated with growth and being prepared to take on challenges that will impact the company.   

To learn more about Financial Management and how WistBooks Financial Management can be an asset to your business, click the link below to set up an appointment. 

WistBooks Financial Management. Wise + Strategies to take your business financials further.(TM) 

WistBooks provides integrated Bookkeeping, Advisory, and Financial Management services that leverage financial data to help small businesses execute a winning strategy. Through Quickbooks Online cloud accounting, financial dashboards and regular online advisory sessions, we support business owners and leadership in maximizing their financial decisions to maintain and support company growth.

From now through June 2020, we are offering all new clients a 10% discount on any service for the first year. Remember to mention WistGift to receive your discount.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below

Financial Management for Small Businesses

Growth Investment Opportunities Small Business Owners





can Utilize

As your business continues scaling, you’ll find the opportunity to explore further growth with enough profits and finances to keep your business afloat. Managing your profits and making sound investments within your team and company are essential in promoting additional growth. While there are plenty of investment opportunities for small business owners to explore, we’ve laid out a couple of them in this article:

1. Digital Marketing

With the continuous change in the digital landscape, more and more businesses have invested heavily in their digital marketing efforts which include search engine optimization, social media marketing, e-mail marketing, and much more. This allows businesses to consistently connect and accommodate consumers while providing them with a platform where they can get to know your brand. E-commerce website development has also been a developing trend for businesses to be able to reach a wider audience and showcase their products and services. An article from Aepiphanni says that it can even cut down on employee related costs.

Figure out which channels are most effective for your business and utilize investing in digital marketing to grow your business further.

2. Employee Training

With additional funds on hand, you can also consider investing in your employees and boost their productivity and skill levels with trainings and workshops that are relevant to their roles in your company. By investing in your own people, you not only increase their skills but also, makes them feel more valued for what they can contribute to your business which in turn, increases their efficiency in their current roles.

A paper from the International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies has cited the direct correlation of training and development to job satisfaction and how it positively impacts businesses.

3. Launching Networking Events and Seminars

Placing your budget into launching events wherein you can build relationships with other entrepreneurs can also be a way of diversifying your financial assets. Many business owners might think that networking should come after you’ve build your business up, however, by networking, you actually boost your brand and label yourself as an expert in your field.

People like doing business with people they know. Networking allows you to get involved within your local community and industry. By getting known through these events, people are more likely to do business with you and even send referrals your way. Not only is it possible for you to get to know more clients, networking also serves as a way for you to get to know other businesses which may lead to favourable deals for your company.  Or the possibility of establishing strategic alliances.

4. Accounting and Finance

The two words that give headaches to every business owner.  Coming from a growing small enterprise, it might be time for you to invest in someone to do the accounting and finances. The circumstance must have been easier when you were working with a team of two or three people, but as your business grows, you’ll find working on your finances to be a bigger hurdle.

By either hiring an in-house accountant, or outsourcing your accounting needs to an accounting firm, you get the expertise that your business requires as well as advice on how your business can do better financially.

Effectively managing your finances will yield the best results and in the long run, create even more money for your business. Not sure where to start? WistBooks provides a free 30-minute consultation to help you get started. Get in touch with us and start your business’ financial journey today.

WistBooks provides integrated Bookkeeping, Advisory, and Financial Management services that leverage financial data to help small businesses execute a winning strategy. Through Quickbooks Online cloud accounting, financial dashboards and regular online advisory sessions, we support business owners and leadership in maximizing their financial decisions to maintain and support company growth.

From now through June 2020, we are offering all new clients a 10% discount on any service for the first year. Remember to mention WistGift to receive your discount.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below

5 Small Business Survival Tips During the Outbreak


5 Tips to Keep Your Small Business Alive During the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

The effects of the coronavirus have swept across the marketplace both locally and globally and a lot of them are feeling the losses from the pandemic. Based on data gathered by a time tracking and scheduling application, 50% of local businesses in the US have already closed operations while hourly employees are working at less than 50%.

During these uncertain times, panic is understandable. But what every successful entrepreneur must do right now is to forge a solid game plan. Check out five of our tips to keep your small business surviving and thriving during the coronavirus outbreak:

1. Create a plan

Now this sounds basic, but what does this plan contain? Every business owner must now plan ahead of the pandemic and, if you haven’t already, create an emergency preparedness plan or a business continuity plan.

This plan needs to outline the steps that you, as a company, decide to take if the pandemic significantly impacts your business.  It also needs to lay out procedures that you will be following in the scenario that a disaster strikes. Be sure that you are able to tackle these points in creating your plan:

  • What you’re doing to protect your staff
  • What actions you will take if an outbreak arises in your business
  • Ways your staff can get in touch with you in case of emergencies
  • Possible outcomes for you

2. Protect your people

If possible, this entails creating a measure that will allow your employees to work safely from their homes. However, not all businesses can afford to lose people that are on the ground. Ensure that your employees feel safe and secure with their jobs. Get in touch with them and ask about how their personal lives are affected by the coronavirus and let them know your plans to support them in case anything happens to them or their families.

3. Strengthen external communication

In an interview with risk management expert, Nicholas Bahr, he mentions, “During a crisis, your biggest commodity is trust.” Make sure that you provide all your stakeholders, clients and customers, and the public at large specific information about what you are doing as a business to fight the pandemic. If possible, include any solutions or recommendations that you might have that may seem useful. Thanks to social media platforms, you can easily reach out to them and provide necessary reassurance and comfort.

4. Review risks

Assess every part of your business and how it might be possible for the virus to penetrate your operations. You might want to create a more tedious sanitation process or remind your staff about other measures that they can do in order to avoid getting infected. Review your financial risks as well with regards to continuous operation and how you can balance out your profits with your costs. Draft up a list of things that you need to have checked as soon as the coronavirus pandemic is over to fully resume operations.

5. Be productive

Utilize any spare time to improve your business and your processes. There may be a product that you can develop which you’ve only realized in crisis or had processes you could have eliminated when you were operating at full before this all started. Take advantage of this time to maximize your productivity and make your employees feel that they are valued by engaging with them for their opinions.

If your business needs additional funding during the outbreak, the US government has provided millions of dollars in loans for small business to help them ride out the pandemic. You can check out how you can apply for a loan with the Small Business Administration here.

Is reviewing your finances too much for you during this time of fear and panic? Our team at Wistbooks are fully prepared to help you manage your finances and find ways on how you can maximize them to keep your business afloat until this all blows over. Interested? Get in touch with us today.

WistBooks provides integrated Bookkeeping, Advisory, and Financial Management services that leverage financial data to help small businesses execute a winning strategy. Through Quickbooks Online cloud accounting, financial dashboards and regular online advisory sessions, we support business owners and leadership in maximizing their financial decisions to maintain and support company growth.

From now through June 2020, we are offering all new clients a 10% discount on any service for the first year. Remember to mention WistGift to receive your discount.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Financial Controller Benefits

4 Reasons Why Large Businesses Hire Controllers

 

If you own a smaller business, you might be all too familiar with the hassle of dealing with all of the necessary bookkeeping and finance-related work at the end of a long work day , while juggling all of the other extra work that needs to be done.

An article from Robert Half states that as your business grows, you will start to realize that there are more financial duties your business requires including tax accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, etc. This is when you start looking to hire your own bookkeeper or accountant or for outside assistance by outsourcing these tasks to an accounting or bookkeeping firm.  

However, a bookkeeping or accounting firm isn’t always the right answer. Bookkeepers tend to do more data entry, where accountants are typically the “heavy hitters” of the accounting world – with an appropriate cost.

This is when and why larger businesses tend to hire controllers – someone who doesn’t just observe and report their finances, but rather, someone who takes an active role in supporting the leadership’s financial management plan.  While the controller tends to be expensive than a bookkeeper, they provide the firm with a great deal of value and will act as the liaison between the leadership or owner and the accountant.

As your business organization increases in complexity, whether you simply need to focus your energy on management and leadership, you have opened multiple sites or other business divisions have been added, your finances and operations become segregated. According to Gene Marks, President of The Marks Group, in an article from Entrepreneur.com, a controller comes in to help with:

1.     Cost Savings

It is a controller’s job to improve your company’s profitability by reading your financial data. Your controller will know if your sales are adequate and in line with your expenses. It is the controller’s responsibility to find effective and efficient cost-cutting methods for your business whether with regard to your products and services, human resources, or other areas of the business, your controller will be able to determine the best practices you can put in place to cut costs, and save money.

2.     Financial Ownership

When it comes to everything financial, your controller is the go-to person. Your controller owns all of your financial data coming in from every aspect of your business, interprets that data, and makes recommendations for major decisions based off that data. Your controller can build a budget for your business that can be measured against the results from other financial data such as sales and costs of sales. If you’ve got questions about your numbers, there’s no one better than your controller.

3.     Data Entry Management

The controller should be able to work with your finance team of accountants and bookkeepers to ensure that the data entered into the system is secure and accurate. It is not part of the controller’s job to do data entry itself, but rather to oversee how data entry is being done and how it can be improved.

4.     Decision Making

With your controller knowing all of your financial data, they should know the best direction your business should take — financially. In this regard, a controller will have a vital part in major decision-making processes involving large transactions. This includes finance decisions made with the purchasing department, operations expenses, overhead costs for hiring new employees, and whatever you, as the owner of the company, are thinking of using the money for. Your controller will be there to assess every little step and every tiny detail to make sure you are on the right path.

All of these are great but if you own a small to medium-size business, you might be thinking that getting a controller can be a little bit too much on the overhead cost, considering you might already have an accountant, or a bookkeeper, or maybe both on your roster.

If this is the case, then you can choose to hire a Finance Manager instead. While a finance manager’s role is not that different from that of a controller, the finance manager is easier on your overhead, and won’t have to juggle as much data if you were handling a bigger business.

A financial manager can assist your business with monthly business reporting, cash flow forecasting and budgeting, as well as strategic planning, while also working with your in-house or outsourced team of accountants and tax professionals, as specified in an article from managementstudyguide.com.

You know your business is growing when you don’t have time to work on your business financials yourself, and would need to bring someone else in, whether that is a financial manager, or a controller. This is something that we, at WistBooks can help you with. Get in touch with us by filling out the form below and we can recommend a financial management plan to keep your business growing.

WistBooks provides integrated Bookkeeping, Advisory, and Financial Management services that leverage financial data to help small businesses execute a winning strategy. Through Quickbooks Online cloud accounting, financial dashboards and regular online advisory sessions, we support business owners and leadership in maximizing their financial decisions to maintain and support company growth.

From now through June 2020, we are offering all new clients a 10% discount on any service for the first year. Remember to mention WistGift to receive your discount.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below

5 Things Your Bookkeeper Can’t Tell You

So, What IS a Bookkeeper's Job Anyway?

The bookkeeper is the person who documents all of your financial transactions across your accounts.  Typically, they use some kind of software to keep track of everything. Some may provide you with financial reports such as a P&L (Profit & Loss Statement), a balance sheet and perhaps a cash flow.

The bookkeeper’s primary job is to record what you have done and tell you where you are right now – financially. They may also help you send out invoices, collect payments, assist with check writing and bill paying, monitor debt, pay taxes, run payroll and other related tasks.

Don’t get me wrong: all of this is vital to the health of the business.

There are 5 things, however, that your bookkeeper won’t do – that you’ll typically pay your accountant a fee to cover for you:

1)     A bookkeeper won’t tell you what your financial statements actually mean!  While it is great to get the reports every month and see that net profits are positive, your financial statements can tell you a lot more information, especially when looking at a series over time. An Accountant is trained to look beyond the numbers for additional insights into your financial reports.  For example, when an Accountant reviews your financial statement, he can give you an indication of how much cash you will have on hand next month so that you can know if and when you can purchase that widget that will make your life better.

2)     A bookkeeper won’t tell you how much money you should be receiving in a particular timeframe! Knowing how much cash you will have helps you to understand what you need to do in order to grow your money. Perhaps you need to raise some capital to move things forward, or perhaps you need to incorporate some more aggressive Accounts Receivable activities. There is nothing worse than not being able to pay your bills or not being able to pick up materials because you are strapped for cash.

3)     A bookkeeper won’t tell you how you should spend your money. Sure – it is your money and you can do with it as you please. But history has shown us that entrepreneurs don’t always make the best spending decisions. Many owners are impulsive and will spend money on something if they think it should do something. Knowing where and how to spend your money is like having a stock advisor whose goal is to get you the greatest return on your investment.

4)     A bookkeeper won’t tell you how your finances are performing against your financial goals. Yes – they may offer assistance with preparing a budget. However, budgets are static…they don’t change. Meaning that changes in your business will impact your business, requiring answers to questions like these: Will you be able to recover? Do you need to make some adjustments in your business operations? It is one thing to identify that there is a gap, and another to help you understand why your finances are or are not performing as expected.

5)     A bookkeeper won’t participate in your company’s strategic planning in order to help you determine what kind of budget your company needs to have in order to support growth.  While it is great to have ideas, it is something else entirely to finance them: how much you need to finance, and if you are borrowing money – how much you can really afford to pay back.

At WistBooks Financial Management, we help our clients bridge the gap between what a bookkeeping firm will offer and what your accountant will offer. We offer fixed fees which includes regular advisory on both your finances and your business, in addition to ongoing feedback about your company’s financial health. We feel that an educated client is one who understands their business’s finances a in order to make good decisions on how to move their company forward.

If you’d like to learn more about WistBooks and how we can support you in taking your business finances further, click on the “GET STARTED” button on the top of this webpage to set up a complimentary meeting to discuss your business goals to see how we can help you get there more quickly.

WistBooks provides integrated Bookkeeping, Advisory, and Financial Management services that leverage financial data to help small businesses execute a winning strategy. Through Quickbooks Online cloud accounting, financial dashboards and regular online advisory sessions, we support business owners and leadership in maximizing their financial decisions to maintain and support company growth. 

From now through June 2020, we are offering all new clients a 10% discount on any service for the first year. Remember to mention WistGift to receive your discount!  

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below

Business Finance – The Bane of An Entrepreneur’s Existence

Business Finance- The Bane of An Entrepreneurs Existence

As a business owner, I am sure that you have at one point done everything that needed to be done in the business. Usually business owners find the preparing and selling of their goods and services to be the “fun” part of the business. The arduous part: administrative tasks.

I have said it myself. There are just certain things about business that just aren’t fun.

Here’s a story that was shared by one business owner we worked with for many years:

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I remember many years ago when I suddenly realized I could start my own business and make money that way rather than having to work for someone else. I was very excited about the possibility and thrilled to be more in control of my professional career. But what I didn’t come to realize until later is that all of the things I took for granted as an employee of a company would now become MY responsibility as a business owner.

In the beginning of my business owner adventure, I was happy to “do it all” – juggling operations, marketing, client services, finances, and everything else. Months went by as I did my best to be a “one-person-show” until one afternoon I realized I had not entered anything into QuickBooks for many weeks because I was too busy doing everything else.

Knowing I couldn’t avoid it any longer, I blocked out 2-hours to get everything into QuickBooks.  I spent the first 30-minutes becoming increasingly frustrated. Two-hours later I had accomplished nothing and was ready to throw my laptop out the window.  It was then that I realized I needed help.  Doing everything myself was costing me valuable money and time.

I immediately dug into my network and found a licensed accountant.  Reducing my stress around having to manage that area of my business was reason enough to delegate it to someone else.  The peace of mind I gained through knowing it was in the hands of someone who actually knew what they were doing was definitely worth the cost!

Later, as my business gained more traction, I began to attend small business educational events to learn how to best grow my business. I gained a lot of knowledge about branding, client retention, marketing, sales, and best operational practices.  But the biggest lesson I came away with is this:  Failing to have a firm grasp on my business’ financial status would significantly hamper my ability to grow. 

It seemed that financial reports and discussions with my accountant about what the numbers actually meant had to become a strategic necessity.  No longer could I simply do business every day as usual, blinding trusting the numbers were working out well.  I had to do things differently.  I had to make time for vision casting and strategic thinking about my finances to make sure my business was moving in the right direction.

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…and she’s not alone.  Many small business owners we have worked with or spoken to have expressed similar frustrations. They are wasting time and energy doing work that they just don’t do!  Like this owner expressed: “failing to have a firm grasp on my business’ financial status would significantly hamper my ability to grow.”

So take a minute and really ask yourself: are you managing the financial oversight of your business in the best possible way?  What else could you be doing with the time you spend doing your company’s books? Are you reactive or proactive with your company’s finances?

Having been down this path, the owner makes one more recommendation: “Consider delegating that part of your business to WistBooks services.  Their financial expertise could be just the break you need to take your business to the next level and prepare you for even larger leaps over the years to come.“

If you’d like to learn more about WistBooks and how we can help you take your business finances further, click on the “GET STARTED” button on the top of this webpage to set up a complimentary meeting to discuss your business goals to see how we can help you get there more quickly.

WistBooks provides integrated Bookkeeping, Advisory, and Financial Management services that leverage financial data to help small businesses execute a winning strategy. Through Quickbooks Online cloud accounting, financial dashboards and regular online advisory sessions, we support business owners and leadership in maximizing their financial decisions to maintain and support company growth.

Our mission is to empower small business owners with the resources to make good financial decisions to support business objectives.

From now through June 2020, we are offering all new clients a 10% discount on any service for the first year. 

Click here to register for a complimentary financial review and don’t forget to mention WistGift to receive your discount!

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below.