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

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.