The right tech stack can really alleviate stress, save time, and maximize your firm’s throughput, but only if you have a clear vision for each solution you are using. There’s a buffet of options out there, that’s for sure, and they all cost either time to implement or money to buy (or both) so it can be stressful to even think about which solutions to use. I get it and I want to help, that’s why I am sharing my softball strategy to help you build a tech stack that works with your firm not against it!
Imagine if hitting a home run when it comes to the profitability of your practice was as easy as watching a ball game. To me, it really is—running a profitable and highly efficient accounting, bookkeeping or tax practice is no different than coaching a softball (or baseball) team. Here’s a brief overview of how you can use softball strategy to knock it out of the park when it comes to your practice productivity and profitability, too.
You see, in softball, you have positions on your team that you have to fill. In addition, you have players that you need to recruit to fill those positions. Let’s stick with the defensive side of the game. You have a pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, etc. Imagine if hitting a home run when it comes to the profitability of your practice was as easy as watching a ball game. To me, it really is—running a profitable and highly efficient accounting, bookkeeping or tax practice is no different than coaching a softball (or baseball) team. Here’s a brief overview of how you can use softball strategy to knock it out of the park when it comes to your practice productivity and profitability, too. nd baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder.
As a coach, you need to know what the positions are and you need to seek the most talented players to fill those positions. From an accounting, bookkeeping, or tax practice perspective the game really is no different. You have certain positions to fill in order to run your firm, to create an amazing client experience, and to complete client work.
Every accounting firm has some positions that are necessary no matter what you provide for services. Then there are the tools you need that are specific to the services you provide. In other words, in order to pick the right software, you need to also accept that no one piece of software is going to solve everything.
Here are the solutions that I have chosen (Click on the name of each one below to get the overview of benefits):
However, you really need to choose your own based on your needs and by looking at the solutions and how they align with the problems you are trying to solve. Start by downloading the Team Brolin Starting Lineup Playbook here.
Jirav’s Martin Zych and ADP’s Rhonda Shurter discuss their recent partnership on this week’s episode of The DM Disruption, LIVE from the ADP booth at Scaling New Heights 2021! Tune in to hear more about how Jirav’s forward thinking of financial planning and analysis will take advisory services to the next level, with ADP.
Martin talks about his experience as an outsource CFO and controller and how he would help companies build financial models to better understand their business. After a few years, he realized there was no platform to leave Excel, and wanted to find a way to move programs to the cloud.
What is FP&A?
FP&A, Financial Planning and Analysis, helps people understand the unit economics of the business.
Martin talks about his goal with an FP&A is for businesses to have the ability to see where your business may be next month; this includes being able to see cash, revenue, hiring costs, and other areas of financial assets to allow companies to make the right decision to ensure financial stability.
Martin also explains how using an FP&A allows businesses to spend less time in Excel, and more time on improving the success of their business.
Jirav’s Analytics Around People and Workforce
Martin talks about how expensive it can be to hire new employees, and how many business owners don’t have the ability to foresee the additional cost even one new employee can have. Jirav allows companies to access this information, and delivers accurate financial data so business owners can make informed hiring decisions, whether that means they should hire more staff, or focus on employee retention.
Jirav’s Partnership with ADP
Rhonda discusses how ADP strives to empower practitioners to be better advisors, and supplies them with the data to do so. Partnering with Jirav allows ADP to take their services to the next level, allowing them to deepen the amount of data they are able to provide to their clients, which in turn allows businesses to make better choices to help them succeed in the future.
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Dawn Brolin 0:01
Hello everyone and welcome to the DM disruption. I’m the host Dawn Brolin. I’m a certified public accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and the author of the designated motivator. We’re here to help motivate you to take your practice to the next level. Have you considered outsourcing your clients payroll? Well, I did and I went with ADP. The resources they provide, along with their partner program become the premier outsourcing Payroll solution. We as practitioners already deal with a ton of compliance. Keeping Up With payroll isn’t a value added solution that I should be focused on. If you’ve considered outsourcing before, reconsider it today. Choose ADP to be part of your starting lineup.
Well, hello, everybody and welcome to another episode of DM disruption. We’re here live at Scaling New Heights. 2021. Super excited. And today we have on the most amazing Martin Zych .You know, I practice before I kicked it, but this time I did not. It’s all good. I’m excited to have him on today from Jirav. And we’re here also with Rhonda Shurter with ADP. And we’re excited to talk to you about how Jirav is now working with ADP. But before we do that, we want to learn a little bit about you, Martin, tell us how you got started and why draw what happened.
Martin Zych 1:22
So like many people here, I used to be an outsourced CFO and controller, so it helps companies build financial models and understand your business. You know, I was doing this for years. And, you know, there’s a point where I realized that like, there’s no platform to get out of excel and to do this delightfully in the cloud. So kind of fast forward a couple years, we’ve now built up this great platform. And we’re excited to partner with ADP as well, because that’s a key part of doing the financial forecasting.
Dawn Brolin 1:51
Absolutely, we’re definitely gonna get into that. Now, as far as job goes, like you said, people are still in Excel. And you know what, I’m sorry, but I’m just not an Excel expert. I can do some formulas here and there, maybe a little separate the text if I have to add other columns, but really, it’s cumbersome. And because of open API’s on like with ADP, and with QuickBooks Online and all these other applications that you’re connecting with, you’re able to get that data faster, and more efficiently. Now, certainly F PNa. Right. So we talked about FP and a lot of people don’t know what that means, right? So why don’t you explain to us what is FPNA?
Martin Zych 2:27
So FP&A is financial planning and analysis. And the whole point of this is really understanding like, where you know, where accounting ends is where finance starts. So that’s like a really good definition for finance and finances all the forward looking inside of that. So within an FP&A, we help folks understand really like the unit economics of the business, all the things that, you know, happen before it hits the bucks on that side. So these are things like personnel, customers, you know, all the unit economics around that, understanding the ratios, the KPIs, and how this all ties together in the whole business.
Dawn Brolin 3:02
One of the things I love, you know, as I’ve gone through some presentations with you, and seeing how Gerard is working forward. So we do look a lot historically, in accounting, we’re always looking for what just happened the last year, and then can we figure out what might happen? You guys are really forward thinking, right? And so that is an area that is so important to the accounting industry, because clients already know what happened in the past, and they don’t want to hear about that anymore. What they want to do is have something to look forward to. And so what are we projecting from revenue? And that’s, I think, one of the key things when it comes to advisory work, right? And so that’s what you’re focused in on.
Martin Zych 3:36
Yep, exactly. Like, our whole goal is to help you be able to see, you know, where’s your business can be next month, next quarter next year, and really have that clear line of sight on that. And that, you know, that’s across revenue across cash across everything, every single aspect there.
Dawn Brolin 3:51
And so when you’re working with practitioners, right, like myself, and you’re saying, Hey, listen, this is a tool that you can use to do those types of things. Because at the end of the day, the industries are changing the industry itself. It’s not keep punching transactions anymore. And we need to move into and we, we sometimes get, like, I don’t know, stuck in our own world that we’re like, well, that’s how we’ve always done things which Hello, that’s the definition of insanity. Just in case you’re wondering, because you’re certainly expecting different results. But here, what you’re providing is an ability for practitioners to take the step to advisory without having to put this whole you know, Excel spreadsheet together and put these man hours or woman hours. I don’t care who you are. Right. So to put that in, you already have that in place for us.
Martin Zych 4:35
Yep, exactly like you now in order to build up like a financial model, which is already hard. Like, I think all of us in the accounting and finance profession. We’ve seen the big 15 cab crazy Excel file. You’re bringing in all this different data. There’s like only one person at the company who kind of knows how it works, right to do that. We just walked it off the plank. You never have to see that. Again. We’ve really democratized finance right taking care of all the hard parts and then let you just focus on the input so that you can project out your assumptions on business.
Dawn Brolin 5:06
So tell me about the cost of our people. Right? So we have, in most, almost every service industry, people are the most expensive and, and I know that, you know, we talk about how the machines have done the work with the people behind it. But now it’s people in technology. And so you do a lot. And we’re gonna get into the relationship that you have with ADP, which is just mind blowing, the amount, the ability to have those financial forecasts and analytics right at your fingertips. So tell me about how Jirav is gonna, how you guys are gonna just put that right out for us. And so we can help analyze that workforce, the cost of the workforce itself?
Martin Zych 5:41
Yeah, so like, the analytics around people is really interesting, because, you know, there’s so many moving pieces in our business, and especially in small business, you know, like, the impact of having a few more heads here or there can you know, make or break whether you’re profitable or not? And really understanding when do you hire, and when’s the right time is critical. So like, one of the key things that we found really successful. And this is, you know, even if you’re just trying to like delve into, like, how do I start advisor how to get into the very basics is make like a human income statement. So I take like, average revenue per employee, average cogs or gross profit per employee, average optics per employee in average income, and when you start showing it in that, that level, and if you want to get fancy, maybe you do it by team or department Sure, you normalize these KPIs like that, and bring it all together. And people can really quickly see like, like, Oh, my, you know, I hired too much, my average revenue per employee is too low, and I’m going to start dipping, if I get that one extra one really upside down, or maybe your your staff is working too hard, you’re getting, you know, your average revenue per employee is too high, that actually isn’t always great. It can mean you’re working people too hard, and you should hire people. And understanding that that’s like a really, really good post on the business that you can do really quickly and have a good strategic discussion.
Dawn Brolin 6:59
And I love that because I did read your blog posts about that. And what I found intriguing about it was, I know for us when the clients like I think I need to hire more people, this they say to me, I think I need to hire more people, I don’t know, I need to hire more people. And with this ability to get these analytics will not just tell you, Oh, it doesn’t feel like I need to financially, I can see where I do, I need to increase or reduce my staff. And so that’s what you’re working with ADP. So let’s let’s shift over to this, because this relationship is like, gets me giggly, I’m not going to lie. Because I think what ADP has to offer, what we can pull out of it is even more powerful. And we know that knowledge is power. Right? So Rhonda? Yes. Tell us about the strategic partnership with your OB, you know, what are your thoughts behind that? And what was the drive to do this?
Rhonda Shurter 7:47
Yeah, so you know, client insights and insights and driving data that can empower practitioners to be better advisors be more proactive to help interpret the data has been, you know, part something that’s really important to ADP and something we’re pushing forward in accounting, connect more and more and partnering with durab. And other partners, is another way for us to take it to the next level, right. So we can provide the compensation benchmarking industry insights and information about the payroll data and what’s going on with the client. But you’re asking to get to the next level, right to really deepen the data that you get, and you can advise your clients.
Dawn Brolin 8:34
And I love that because really, at the end of the day, you know, I’ve had this whole theory that we’re all playing in the same sandbox. And for those that do best at payroll solutions, and, and you guys have gone above and beyond a payroll company, because you offer like you said, benchmarking industry, reasonable compensation, those things that we need that data to be the best trusted advisor we can be, but you don’t have to do it all yourself. And so this strategic partnership says, Hey, Rhonda, his team doesn’t have to write this analytics tools and stuff within accountant Connect, you go right to giraffe, even right from accounting connect as a matter of fact, and you can get to the tools you need to analyze your data.
Rhonda Shurter 9:13
Exactly. So just another way to make it seamless and integrated and easy for you to really take the data to the next level and leverage it the way that you need to deserve your clients.
Dawn Brolin 9:23
Absolutely. And so So how is this relationship working out for you? Okay?
Martin Zych 9:27
it’s going awesome.
Dawn Brolin 9:28
It’s going on. So you must love the collaboration. So you’re not just having an internal team collaboration. Now you have an extended part of your company technically.
Martin Zych 9:36
There’s so much like energy surrounding all this. I’m like, super, super excited about everything. Yeah.
Rhonda Shurter 9:42
Yea, very excited about.
Dawn Brolin 9:43
That’s awesome. Well, I’m thrilled to have had you on this podcast today. These guys are making it happen. All you have to do is ProAdvisor which by the way, how’s this lady doing over here? Look how funny she looks right next to my head like she’s sitting there. But anyway, I mean, just this is a relationship that we all need to capitalize on because at the end of the day, The transactional accountant is not going to be around much longer. And so just like the wave of getting in the cloud and all this stuff that we’ve been talking about for 10 or 15 years, if you miss that don’t miss this one like, this is where it’s time to take advisory to the next level. And if we’ve learned nothing over the last 18 months with COVID, the business owners need us to be able to predict the future as best we can. With data that’s live time. And that’s what drove and at peace partnership is going to do for you. So for everyone that’s listening, I’m telling you right now, you better get on this train because it’s leaving the station. So now’s the time. But think Martin, thank you so much for taking your time CEO of Jirav, Rhonda Shurter, who basically does everything at ADP and runs it. That’s what I say you know if you want something done for Rhonda, but again, so thank you everyone for listening, and we look forward to seeing you the next time on the next em disruption. Thank you so much for being here. I hope you enjoy this podcast. Feel free to visit DawnBrolin.com in order to motivate you to improve your practice. Wishing you all the best. Have a great day.