From Chaos to Clarity: Having Confidence in Your Financial Team
“We went from flying by the seat of our pants to knowing who to pay and why.”
--Kate, psychologist, and manager of a mental health clinic
The economic downturn of the global pandemic forced Anne, president of a business consulting firm, to lay off a staff member who helped manage her books. Suddenly Anne was a small business owner who was back to wearing too many hats. Uncertain how to mitigate the situation, she turned to the accountants of a colleague, Kate, who runs a mental health clinic.
For many people, accounting is both a mystery and a necessity that can create an unequal dynamic between business owners and their accountants. During the stress of COVID-19, both Anne and Kate had found that their respective accountants were not receptive to their questions, did not return phone calls, and even missed important filings. They had each hired experts who didn’t seem to be good stewards of their companies, thus creating even more work for the business owners. Anne says, “I’m 58 years old and good at what I do. [Accounting] is not what I want to do. I’m not good at it and I don’t want to keep track of it. I do want to be a responsible business owner and pay my taxes.”
When Anne switched her bank to Bremer, she asked for an accounting recommendation and was referred to All in One Accounting (AIOA). Soon, both Anne and Kate used AIOA for accounting, in large part because of the strong people skills they observed in AIOA leadership. Kate noticed that, “Heide Olson [Founder & CEO] i s serious about our work and our financial goals... Jennifer LaPlante [Practice Manager]] never makes me feel badly about not understanding things. She is in our corner and speaks the language, whereas I’m just exasperated." Similarly, the women noticed that AIOA also has strong relationships with external partners--such as tax preparers and payroll services--which make them comfortable branching out to use their services.
As business owners, Anne and Kate now have confidence and peace of mind because their accounting practices have been clarified. Kate appreciates that her load has been lightened: “I’m in higher education! I never wanted to be a business person.” Similarly, Anne is no longer bothered by middle-of-the-night worries: “Everything feels manageable. Nothing feels too complicated.” Further, according to Kate, “I pay a third of what I’d been paying, and the services from AIOA are exponentially better.” Finally, and perhaps most importantly, partnering with AIOA has allowed both women to return their focus to their organizations’ missions, because the chaos of the back office has been eliminated.
Accounting is an invaluable practice that doesn’t need to be a dreaded task. Whether it’s a mental health practice like Kate’s clinic, a consulting firm similar to Anne’s business, or another type of organization altogether, all businesses that move from chaos to financial clarity experience significant benefits.
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