For some local businesses, getting the accounting support they need in a cost-effective manner can be difficult, especially if they are unable to hire a finance manager or full-time accounting staff. Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP (CTBK) offers a wide range of contractual services that can help these companies achieve stability and growth.
CTBK has been a local accounting firm in business for over 27 years, renowned for its diverse knowledge and expertise in professional CPA, accounting and consulting services. CTBK prides itself on its “unique team approach” to serving its clients, providing them with a variety of services to meet their needs.
“We have that human connection, we are very outgoing,” said Kaitlyn Affuso, Director of Marketing. “We try to go beyond technology and offer innovative and practical solutions. We want to stay with this little town of Buffalo in the way we provide personalized service.
Many local businesses, from start-ups to established organizations, work with CTBK’s Outsourced Solutions team to manage their accounting and finance functions so owners can focus on day-to-day operations. CTBK’s team of entrepreneurs can provide on-going or as-needed support to meet the unique needs of a business.
The Outsourced Solutions team can provide services such as bookkeeping, general ledger maintenance, monthly account reconciliation, cash flow analysis, financial statements, sales tax processing, preparation audits and other services. CTBK can also help with the conversion of QuickBooks, as well as training and support for staff.
“We have the expertise and solid resources,” said Karen Penfold, CPA, senior director of outsourced solutions. “We are highly skilled and experienced, unlike someone who hires an employee without knowing what they bring. We take the risk of vacancies. We have continuity because our team is formed in a versatile way, so we can always provide someone. All CTBK is available for reference, so it is a complete answer to the needs.
The Outsourced Solutions team recently worked with a retail food supplier who was using archaic accounting software that was no longer supported, so they helped them migrate to QuickBooks.
“When we walked into the office there was paperwork everywhere,” Penfold said. “They didn’t do any type of scanning, so they didn’t use any type of PDF. It took six to eight months to work with them and get everything into the QuickBooks software, but now they’re happy, they’ve passed their training, and we’re excited because we can get what we need.
The Outsourced Solutions team is very practical in its approach and continues to work with its clients on a maintenance basis or as needed to ensure long term success.
“Nobody really likes change, and there is the fear that a new system will not work the same way they have had,” Penfold continued. “So they were very nervous and learning the new software seemed like an overwhelming task. They kept saying, “You’re going to be there for us, aren’t you? And now we are still working with them on a maintenance basis so we can answer questions if they need anything and we are able to fix those issues.
For some growing businesses, their accounting needs may be extensive enough to warrant hiring a CFO, but their budget cannot accommodate a full-time position. Here, CTBK can offer the services of its subsidiary, cfoSOLUTIONSPlus, which maintains a team of professional CFOs who can provide hourly support on a consistent, temporary or project-based basis. Businesses can get the financial advice they need cost-effectively.
“CfoSOLUTIONSPlus was organized in 2003 by a couple of highly experienced finance professionals who saw a need in the area for companies that had the financial need to have a full time CFO but couldn’t afford it. Said Tom Huebsch, Director of Outsourcing. Solutions. “CfoSOLUTIONSPlus was launched to provide this level of service on an hourly basis. We started as an office of two CFOs and then grew to Seven. In January 2020 we joined CTBK and we now have 10 CFOs.
The services provided by cfoSOLUTIONSPlus include management and mentoring of the finance department, preparation of monthly, quarterly or annual reports, budgeting, cash flow analysis and forecasting, lender and investor relations, selection and implementation ERP, crisis management services, strategic financial planning, internal control and the improvement and evaluation process.
If it’s a start-up, they can help set up an organization and figure out how to create budgets. In large companies, the CFO may be drowned in daily work and need the temporary support of cfoSOLUTIONSPlus for a special project.
The cfoSOLUTIONSPlus team can provide services on a split or interim basis. In an interim situation, a company may have a CFO who needs to be away for a period of time, and the team may come in to temporarily replace their shoes. “We have the experience and knowledge of IT systems and finance, so we can understand what the business is doing and provide that gap coverage,” Huebsch said.
For organizations that need a higher level of financial advice, but cannot afford a full time CFO, the cfoSOLUTIONSPlus team can fulfill the role of CFO by providing services on a split basis.
“We can help businesses reduce their risk,” Huebsch said. “If they don’t have good internal controls and there is only one or two people to keep the books, open the checks, etc., we take the risk out of that situation. We are profitable because they don’t have to provide us with pensions, health insurance, vacation pay, and they save on payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, etc. They don’t have to worry about training, they don’t have to worry about human resources or equipment.
For companies, the advantage of working with cfoSOLUTIONSPlus is that they have access to a team of CFOs with experience ranging from 10 to 40 years in a variety of industries, as well as access to all from CTBK’s menu of services and staff, which means they get full support with bookkeeping, tax preparation, counseling and business development.
“In the past, we would just provide these CFO level services, but there were times when a client needed additional services that we could provide, but it would come at a cost,” Huebsch said. “One of the main benefits of teaming up with CTBK is that we can now deliver it more cost effectively. We are always looking for ways to make it profitable for the organization we work with.
cfoSOLUTIONSPlus worked with a private company whose owner was struggling to get accurate financial reports on a consistent basis, then their CFO left. The CTBK team was able to stabilize the situation and provide company management with accurate and timely financial data, and continue to assist them on a monthly basis.
“Success isn’t necessarily measured in dollars and cents,” Huebsch said. “Sometimes it’s the critical information they get and the timeliness of that information.”
CTBK’s Outsourced Solutions team works with companies of all sizes in a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, construction, nonprofits, healthcare, retail, real estate, investment partnerships and start-ups. They are able to work remotely or on site with customers, providing training and 24/7 access for support.
“It’s all about relationships,” Huebsch said. “We are there for them and we are there for their success. We are very invested in our customers, even though we are not employees, we are part of this organization and its team.
Companies interested in seeking support for CTBK’s outsourced solutions can submit a request for proposal for services through their website.