Many accounting professionals know there is a special, symbiotic relationship between themselves and the small business clients they serve. Each has a unique business, point of view and distinctive approach to how they handle their finances. Because of this, accounting professionals need to be able to pivot and work with small business clients to serve their unique financial needs, while also being a counselor and mentor to ultimately help them grow their business.
Nobody is more familiar with this fact than Jeff Prager of Backroom Management Services, LLC, accountant for ezpz. The founder of ezpz, Lindsey Laurain, invented the Less Mess Happy Mat, a smiley-faced, all-in-one placemat and plate that self-seals itself to the table. Lindsey’s Less Mess Happy Mat is designed to simplify the mealtime experience for kids and parents so that breakfast, lunch or dinner no longer feels like a warzone. Her journey, which includes being named a finalist in Intuit’s® Small Business Big Game contest, has been about giving back and making a difference in people’s lives. But, if Lindsey were able to choose one person that has made a profound difference in her life and allowed her business to thrive, it would be Jeff, her accountant.
Lindsey is no stranger to accounting; she has an MBA, and when she was a stay-at-home mom, she was able to use QuickBooks® Desktop to manage her husband’s bookkeeping for his business. Despite having bookkeeping skills, Lindsey realized she needed help with her finances, as her business began to flourish. After getting on the cloud and creating a QuickBooks Online account to connect all her credit cards and bank accounts, Lindsey knew she had to find a counselor when it came to managing her finances.
She quickly enlisted Jeff Prager of Backroom Management Services, LLC, to provide the strategic guidance she was looking for in a financial partner. Working with him, Lindsey has been able to experience multiple facets of growth with QuickBooks Online, including the ability to do inventory management through QuickBooks Online and connect electronically to ezpz’s website to manage their warehouse, so that their inventory is no longer managed on paper.
“The growth ezpz has experienced is quite phenomenal,” said Jeff. “I work with Lindsey to ensure that we maintain that growth by providing counsel on how her products are being sold and ensuring that she is budgeting accurately and managing transactions correctly. We find that a lot of small businesses miss the boat when it comes to reconciliations, so we want to ensure Lindsey stays on top.”
Like most accountants, data is important to Jeff and he acts as a mediator between the financial data QuickBooks provides and the information Lindsey needs to help her business. He’s able to offer business insights based on accounting data and manipulate it for management purposes, which Lindsey appreciates.
Jeff and Lindsey have a very efficient working relationship and they take advantage of the fact that QuickBooks is so user friendly. The product helps Lindsey leverage Jeff’s expertise and larger vision, in terms of cash flow and revenue, to realize the potential of her business.
“One of the beautiful things about QuickBooks Online is that it’s able to scale with us,” said Lindsey. “As our business grows, QuickBooks is a platform that has the ability to connect with other apps, services and platforms. For example, one item that we’re looking to enable and take advantage of in 2016 is payroll services.”
Jeff passes along the knowledge that accounting – and the relationship between an accountant and a small business – is essential, and not just for helping with taxes. For Lindsey, Jeff is a trusted advisor, providing high-level strategy to help her grow her business. “It’s really important to provide advice and have benchmarks so you can pair your actual results to your budgeted results or your expected results,” said Jeff. “That’s how you can take action going into the future. That’s how accounting professionals can help small businesses be successful.”