Few people live and breathe accounting like Liz Mason.
She graduated college early and got her CPA by the age of 22, then spent several years in the corporate world. During this time, she learned how to automate some of the most grueling tasks that occupied so many accountants’ time, then discovered her vision to make people truly enjoy – rather than dread – accounting.
At High Rock Accounting, Liz was one of the first to move her clients into the cloud, creating solutions designed to make their numbers correct from the moment they’re entered – not when they’re fixed at tax time. Today, she joins the podcast to talk about her unique journey, how to find your perfect accountant, and tools to make your life exponentially easier.
In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
Hi. This is your host, Andrew Rafal, the founder and CEO of Bayntree Wealth Advisors and I wanted to personally welcome you to Your Wealth & Beyond, a podcast that will empower you, the entrepreneur and business owner, with the insight and information you need to effectively manage and control your personal and professional finances. My goal is to help each of you get your fiscal house in order so that you could take your business to the next level. I’m going to help you focus on growing your business, building your wealth, and most importantly, finding purpose in what matters most.
[00:00:44] Andrew: Welcome, everybody, to another episode of Your Wealth & Beyond. I’m your host, Andrew Rafal, and today I am very excited to have on Liz Mason. She is the founder and CEO of High Rock Accounting. Good morning to you, Liz. How are you today?
[00:01:00] Liz: Good morning, Andrew. Thanks for having me. I’m doing really well. It’s a nice beautiful day here in Phoenix so can’t complain.
[00:01:07] Andrew: I know. We’re looking over to the East Coast so that’s like the high is minus or the high is like 7 degrees. So, I know it’s cliché, but this is definitely why we live here.
[00:01:16] Liz: Oh, for sure.
[00:01:17] Andrew: Although I had some frost in the back yard today which is always kind of cool so it’s chilly here but nothing like back East.
[00:01:23] Liz: No.
[00:01:23] Andrew: So, I’m very excited. As you listeners know, focus of Your Wealth & Beyond is to help the business owner build their business, build a world-class culture, find purpose. And with that, in any business, the core is profitability, is revenue, is knowing your numbers and Liz and her team at High Rock have developed a number of strategies to help business owners and entrepreneurs utilize technology to know their numbers. And as an entrepreneur herself, we’re going to dig in a little bit, Liz, on your background and how you’ve got to build High Rock and then take a high-level overview of what the entrepreneur should be looking at in regard to their systems. Because I know, personally, I had things not well organized prior to actually working with you guys so I think it’ll be great today to learn a little bit about how you guys built that and focus on why it’s so important for each business owner to know their numbers.
So, Liz, let’s learn a little bit more about you before we jump in. So, with regards to becoming a CPA, growing up in New Mexico, was that something that you always strive for or how did you have that passion to jump into the world that you’re in right now?
[00:02:37] Liz: So, I actually grew up in New York and grew up with a family of accountants and a family of entrepreneurs. So, on one side I have CPAs, accountants, tax preparers and then on the other side of the family, I have a bunch of entrepreneurs that started companies as well as my dad started a company years and years ago and now he’s a tax professor. So, I ended up moving by way of Connecticut to Nevada. I mean, my dad was a professor of tax at the University of Nevada when I was a senior in high school and I decided because they offered me scholarships and offered to pay for my schooling to go there and I ended up going for less than free so they paid me every semester to go to college which is phenomenal, and you can’t make a better choice in terms of schooling than getting paid to go. I can tell you that.
And I got my degree in accounting and finance and I graduated early because I have this conversation with my dad and he said, “You can’t maintain a GPA high enough to graduate with honors and to graduate with two degrees in three years. That’s impossible.” And I said, “Watch me.” So, I did that and so I ended up starting in public accounting. I went to Grant Thornton right out of school in Reno and I started when I was 19 years old so that was fun. And then I was an intern for year and then I took a full-time position right before my 21st birthday and I got my CPA very quickly. I just powered through the test and ended up with my CPA license when I was 22 so that was fantastic.
But also, that year I ended up automating part of my job. So, I started in the tax practice and the tax practice was very old school at the time like you literally had to print out papers and hand reference them before you gave them to your reviewer. And I was sitting there thinking, “This is ridiculous. I’m typing stuff into Excel. I’m printing it out and I’m handwriting a bunch of stuff and I’m going back and typing it into the tax system. How do I fix this?” So, I wrote a little bot that pulled the information from the PDF into the Excel program and then it imported from Excel into the tax program and I ran it in the background and made my job way more efficient.
[00:04:39] Liz: So, I thought I was going to get in trouble for this, but they ended up taking my little robot and implementing it across the country. So, that was really cool. I mean, they offered me a job in their international tax process and tools group which was in Phoenix. So, I accepted the job with never having been to Phoenix and I moved here. So, that was how I got to Phoenix which is a great move for me personally and professionally. And then I worked in that group for about a year and I helped them implement a paperless system and it was grueling and pretty intense technically and emotionally because I was traveling the country. And I was 23 at the time telling people who are partners in the firm for years what to do and they didn’t like that. So, I got yelled at a lot. And I’m not really a big fan getting yelled at.
So, I ended up leaving and going to RSM McGladrey and back into hardcore taxes and I learned a ton there and I was in their corporate tax group and we did a lot I think on tax provisions and then I did some work with mergers and acquisitions and some high-level consulting on the tax side which is really great. I learned so much. And then I realized I could do it better and that sounded really arrogant, but I think all entrepreneurs have to be slightly arrogant and slightly insane at the same time to really want to start their own company and I have this vision for how people could enjoy doing accounting which sounds crazy, right? But the way firms are traditionally run are grueling, so they push all the work down at service-based so every hour counts, and they charge you by the hour and do all this work to create this adversary over relationship with clients which is terrible but also to overwork their staff, so they’ve been working 90 hours a week and they’re miserable and that’s not a life that I wanted.
[00:06:22] Andrew: Okay. So, as you were in the corporate world and you started looking at how to be more efficient, this technology side that you started building, where did you learn that? Was that just kind of trial and error or was that growing up a passion for you as well of looking at things on the technology side and how to be more efficient?
[00:06:39] Liz: Yeah. So, all of the above. I am the special kind of lazy that will spend so much time upfront to never have to manually do something again and I just always believed that computers can do what you want them to do. You just have to find a way to do it and so I’ve never limited what I think is possible and I’ve just dug in and figured out what is possible. I also have a sister who is incredibly technology savvy and was programming things I’m pretty sure when she was still in her crib. I’m not going to lie. And so, I was brought up with this understanding that computers are amazing and can do all these crazy things and she taught me how to program games when I was a little kid and I was terrible at it, but it was really interesting, and I learned a lot.
[00:07:23] Andrew: So, by the time most college students are just getting out into their first job, you’ve kind of been a veteran out there. You’re 23, 24. You’ve got two degrees. You busted through. You got through a couple of corporate jobs. You realize that this isn’t the world you want to live in. When did you then with regards to starting your own business, when did High Rock come about? Was that not for a couple of years later? And what was your vision with starting High Rock?
[00:07:50] Liz: Yeah. So, High Rock did come about a few years later so I worked at McGladrey for a number of years or RSM now and then I went to a local firm for a year which was a really good experience and I learned a lot in terms of selling and growth that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned but they were very much focused on taxes come in, taxes go out. And I wanted to be more of a partner with the clients and help the businesses and I didn’t feel that I was getting that exposure.
So, I really have this realization at this local firm that I didn’t want to do what I was doing currently and I didn’t want to do what the shareholders at the firm did and basically, I mean, I’m pretty sure you had to be divorced to like be happy in public accounting because they’re only like one successful partner or maybe three that I know that had two spouses that worked that were both happy and they were not divorced. Everyone else had a stay-at-home wife and that was fine but if your wife did not stay home, and I don’t have a wife, then it didn’t seem to be a success story on the personal side.
[00:08:55] Andrew: And that’s just because of the grueling hours and the amount of work and the load that people were just not happy with maybe their day-to-day?
[00:09:02] Liz: Exactly. And so, you have these partners and they’re all incredibly intelligent talented people and they’re working their butts off so they’re working like 90-hour weeks and they don’t see their family and if their spouse works too, it just made it almost impossible. So, anyway, I have this realization that I didn’t want that life and I told my mentor there that this was not going to be a long-term thing for me. Much to their dismay, they understood, and I ended up quitting about one week before I went to the AICPA Leadership Academy. The AICPA is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and they hold this leadership academy once a year for 35 talented young individuals under 40 who are CPAs and are doing really interesting things with their careers. And I was humbled to even be chosen to go to this. So, I went into this room and there was like a 35-year-old CEO of like a Fortune 100 company like things like that where you’re sitting there going, “Holy crap,” like these people are impressive and here I am like I was pretty young comparatively and I had not done anything.
I was like, yeah, I made manager early and I worked in public accounting firms, but I haven’t done anything interesting and I’m unemployed. So, you can imagine it was like a week of incredible – it was incredibly humbling for me and it was amazing to get these connections and I still talk to a lot of the people that I went through leadership academy with.
But one person, in particular, Justin Thompson, I had gone to college with and we reconnected and had a lot of similar ideas about how firms could be built, and they could be built using really cool technology. And that nobody was using the technology at the time. So, we’re talking this was 2013. So, nobody’s using, well not nobody, but about 10% of companies at that point were using cloud-based technology in their accounting systems at all. And so, we saw this huge market in potential and decided to found High Rock right after that, that leadership academy. Unfortunately, since then he has left the firm but other than that, I mean, the idea was great and the timing in terms of where I was in my career and where he was really good.
[00:11:10] Andrew: So, the overall mission is we can do it better. We can leverage technology which was just in a sense in the infancy stages in regard to CPA firms and businesses feeling comfortable of putting your numbers in the cloud. But also, then that partnership that you were noticing throughout your career that business owners weren’t really having a partner with their CPA firms, their bookkeeping firms. It was more of would you say like was it more reactive than proactive?
[00:11:44] Liz: Very much so.
[00:11:46] Andrew: And so, then with that being said, let’s talk a little bit about this technology. So, this was 2013. The old-school way was what? And a lot of our listeners are probably still using a lot of the old school way. Was it primarily QuickBooks or some of the offline software that sat on the mainframe?
[00:12:03] Liz: Yeah. So, the majority of companies that are family-owned, locally-owned, we’re talking like 50 million in revenue and less. We’re using things like QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop or QuickBooks Desktop or I actually worked on a company that was a $20 million company that we turned from Excel into Intact which is another cloud-based tool we used. But they were using Excel to run their $20 million business. As you can imagine, reporting was easy to mess up and had a lot of inconsistencies. But, yes, so we see a lot of people on these desktop versions. We’ve seen Sage a lot or even Microsoft Dynamics at this point is pretty outdated and a lot of people pay a lot of money to use it.
[00:12:47] Andrew: Like for instance, on my end before working with High Rock, I had the QuickBooks enterprise version. I had a bookkeeper that would come in once every week, once every two weeks and it was just very difficult for me to stay in tuned with what was happening. Do you see that with even businesses that are larger than Bayntree that they don’t have a controller? They maybe have a bookkeeper that’s coming in or working offsite and they just don’t really know what’s happening with regards to their accounts receivables, their payables. Are they doing things efficiently?
[00:13:19] Liz: Yes. Well, no, they’re not doing things efficiently. Yes, I see that frequently. Honestly, I think a lot of people don’t even know what’s available at the moment, so they think that hiring a 20-something-dollar-an-hour bookkeeper to do the backend work is actually good for them because they’re not paying that much money and it gets done in time for taxes. Well, honestly, reactive accounting is not accounting. That’s just putting stuff together. Accounting is actually making sure that the numbers are current and up-to-date and accessible. And so, we do focus on using the cloud-based tools to make sure that everybody can get into their system and understand their accounting from wherever they are.
So, a traditional model is a server or a desktop-based program. Now, there are so many risks with that from the perspective of you could lose your hard drive, your server could crash, you don’t have backups, then I’ve seen all of these things happen in real life. People are like, “Oh that will never happen to me,” and I’m all, “Okay. It’ll never happen until it does and then you have no accounting records at all.” And so, the first thing we actually do with every client is backup whatever server or desktop-based program they’re using and put it in like six different places. So, that if it ever crashes, we always have the history from before we started in the cloud.
And the best part about cloud tools is they do automatic backups. I think the majority of the museum is on Web services and they do redundant backups across the world so if one server farm goes down, there’s backup over on the other side of the world or if something bad happens there’s actually a bunch of server farms in Phoenix as well. But if something bad happens, it’s always there and there’s redundant data.
[00:14:59] Andrew: So, the hesitation that a lot of business owners think in terms of the cloud and my numbers being up there when you try to put them at ease and that peace of mind that there is the safety built in, the encryption built in, what are you and then we’ll dig in to what technology are you using, but how do you convey that to the client that their books, their numbers are going to be safe using any cloud-based system or I guess the ones that you know are going to have that secure encryption bank-level security?
[00:15:29] Liz: Yeah. So, I think actually most of them have better even bank-level security because right now what’s required for banks is not the best security out there available, but I think the understanding that people have come to see and what I coached them through is first off, a desktop is not infallible. You can steal that pretty easily. A server in your local office is also pretty easy to hack. Somebody can just walk in wearing like a polo shirt and say, “Hey, I’m your IT guy. I need to go check something and pull all your data off the server,” and your employees will probably not even bat an eye and they’ll be like, “Oh yeah. Okay. Whatever.” And that’s a problem and not to mention the risk of loss.
Now, the server farms that the cloud-based tools are hosted on our either bank level or better than bank-level security encryption. They’re redundant across the world and they actually have physical protection as well. So, I was having trouble with a prospect. He was probably about 75 years old, locally-owned company, great company. They’ve grown really quickly, and he was at the point where he couldn’t handle it himself anymore. I mean, he didn’t want to. He wanted to retire and kind of set up all the pieces in place. So, I was working with him to get an outsourced accounting department set up so that he could pass it on to his son who had no accounting background or knowledge and wouldn’t be able to handle it. And he was like my biggest holdup is I don’t want my data in the cloud like how can you tell me it’s secure when you don’t even know where it is.
So, I called the software company, one of the software companies we use, and I said, “Hey, how would you sell this like what would you tell them to get over that? Because that was his only holdup.” And the guy sent me a picture of the server farm with armed guards in front of it and he had these like giant guns that were as tall as me and these like really beefy security guards out front. And so, I brought that picture to him kind of as a joke and kind of as like. “Yeah. This is true.” And he saw the picture and laughed hysterically, and he was like, “I can get behind that. I’m from the West. I understand big guns. If there are big guns protecting my data, I trust it.” And so, that was an interesting way we got past that with a client.
[00:17:33] Andrew: So, looking at entrepreneurs are wearing a lot of different hats, that is I think a critical issue where they’re trying to run the business, deal with the employees, build out, invest in the business, but then trying to do everything on their own and especially with the numbers and the payroll and things to that nature. That’s where I think an entrepreneur has to look at, from my side, I definitely recommend looking at outsourcing and working with a partner that understands this, that can take a lot off your plate especially how complex the tax laws are and how I think they’re going to continue to get complex with the tax reform bill.
So, when we look at some of the technology that you guys incorporated, some of the partners that High Rock has worked with since 2013, who is the one firm or a couple of firms or how do you look at with regards to the books? Let’s focus on that first and walk through why you chose those as partners.
[00:18:27] Liz: Yeah. For sure. So, that’s actually a big part of my job is to vet software providers and make sure that they have the best-in-class technology for what they’re doing and then also that they have the right team to grow it and keep being the best-in-class forever. So, it’s really cool right now in systems there are ways to integrate things. There are open APIs that makes it, so you can actually pick companies that are best-in-class instead of picking an overall ERP system and then using their modules inside of it that may or may not be the best that are available. Right now, you can easily build your own ERP with these integrations.
And so, 2013, flashback to the beginning, sitting, I’m trying to figure out the best systems that are out there and so I just start researching. Then looking at every accounting system that’s available and what they do and how they do it and started talking to their people, their engineers. And so, I also actually have a master’s degree in Information Systems and so I’m very good at actually talking to engineers and getting information out of them from in their language, if that makes sense.
[00:19:33] Andrew: When did you throw this Master’s in by the way? This was in between. You’re in couple of the…
[00:19:37] Liz: Yeah.
[00:19:38] Andrew: Right after?
[00:19:39] Liz: So, in 2010 I graduated with my Master’s. I went to the ASU MSIM program at night. I mean, I did it in one year. So, it was a very intense year, but it was worth it because I just love technology.
[00:19:52] Andrew: And I love the fact that at this leadership conference or this group and you’re looking at and saying, “What have I done?” So, I think, yes, humbling but by that point, you’ve done a lot, so you got to give yourself a little bit more credit, Liz.
[00:20:04] Liz: I think I just always expect to do more and so that’s what’s driven me most of my life.
[00:20:09] Andrew: Love it. So, you started to dig in and looking at these different software programs out there?
[00:20:14] Liz: Yeah. So, I started interviewing people and understanding what people like, what they didn’t like, how they were adapting and changing, and we really identified two programs that were from a core accounting perspective, worked in a way that I understood and liked and had the team and the sources behind them to build to be amazing programs. So, the first one we chose was Xero and that’s with an X and they started out of New Zealand and one of the reasons I really liked them was because they started in New Zealand, they had to be able to handle international commerce immediately.
So, they have this amazing platform that handles companies all over the world. They actually have the market share now in 2017 outside of the US. The only market they don’t have a share in is the US because it has it with QuickBooks, but they were growing really quickly. They were almost unheard of in the US and had almost no users here, so they were trying really hard to build partnerships with accountants to grow their user base. And I liked the company. I liked the idea that they had in the way that they did it in their clean interface and the fact that it was built 100% in the cloud.
So, a lot of these other companies had taken a desktop program they had and just thrown it into the cloud and said it was a cloud-based program which didn’t quite translate well, and it was very slow and sluggish and hard to use. And so, that was a big important factor to me was how quick it is. I need things to go quickly or I get bored and distracted and things don’t get done. And so, the other program we identified was Intact which was recently acquired by Sage. Then Intact was built in the cloud as well and it’s one of the few larger accounting programs that was built in the cloud. So, it scales from locally-owned companies all the way up to Fortune 100 companies.
[00:22:02] Andrew: So, when you’re looking at building in customized solution for each client, how do you look at Xero versus Intact and make that, what’s the value? Is Intact for bigger companies and Xero more for growing companies that aren’t there yet?
[00:22:16] Liz: So, yes and no. There are certain business models that work excellent in Xero regardless of the size. Service-based companies which is the majority of what we do, worked really, really well in Xero all the way up, so you could have $100 million service-based company on Xero and the platform would handle it, no problem. Intact works well for complicated accounting so if you have multiple entities and a complex consolidation, if you have revenue recognition issues or you have significant journal entries that have to be booked every month to get into GAAP basis or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. It’s for more complex accounting in nature.
[00:22:59] Andrew: Okay. Looking at with Xero and when we came on board with High Rock, I hadn’t heard of Xero. You had come to us with a proposed solution and I looked at Xero. I’ve never heard of them then I started researching them beyond going off of your feedback and it did make a lot of sense. I had tried in the past, we had tried QuickBooks Online and that just from that standpoint, yes, it was sluggish and it just didn’t feel right, plus my other bookkeeper who wasn’t technologically savvy couldn’t figure out how to incorporate that all. So, the one thing I saw is that I wanted to have access at my fingertips to my numbers especially with business owners traveling or we have company that have different satellite offices and always on the move, very important to be able to dig in and see what the numbers are up to date, what we have receivables coming in, what we owe.
And I’ll be the first to admit on that. It was definitely as we got everything moved over which as you know in that scenario of starting that relationship, that’s the hardest part is getting things moved over from the old school systems to the new one and I think that takes a lot of the work in any firm. But once we got that up and running, it was from my side a game changer. I’m looking at my Xero right now, my income statement, and just being able to see things at a fingertip high-level and then be able to detail and drill down on each specific whether it be revenue, the cost of sales, the operating expenses, it’s just a game changer in how we run the business now.
[00:24:32] Liz: Yeah. And Xero has really, really pretty reports and they’re very easy to use interface and that was one of the things I enjoyed about it was it doesn’t take an accountant to read what’s going on. It takes somebody who understands English as long as the things are entered correctly on the back end, as long as you can speak the language, you can figure out what you want in Xero without a lot of training, and that was a big deal to me as well because the QuickBooks Online does function. It does work but it’s not clean and it’s not easy to use. You have to actually learn it.
[00:25:04] Andrew: Yeah. And business owners just don’t have the time to learn that and that’s where Xero comes in. Okay. So, we look at the Xero and Intact as one of the partners there. What other technology services have you brought in to systematize and work with your clients to make everything aligned together and make things more efficient?
[00:25:23] Liz: Yeah. So, one of the biggest problems companies have, in particular, small businesses especially with entrepreneurs that start them is payroll. Payroll is ugly and messy and there’s a lot of things that have to get filed and a lot of people miss them because they’re both state and federal and if you have remote employees which many companies at this point do, there are other states involved as well. And so, payroll was a big issue for us and we wanted to make sure that we got people in the right position, so we use a program called Gusto for payroll for our clients and it’s a very clean interface. Again, it’s cloud-based. It’s streamlined the on-boarding process, so people can just log in and enter their W-4 and their I-9 information and then the business owners have everything organized in one place and it integrates back into Xero which is phenomenal. So, all of the payroll numbers just pushed right in as a journal entry and you have the expense in there.
[00:26:20] Andrew: Yeah. I mean, Gusto which again we’re using it as well, it almost makes payroll they try to make it – I can’t say if it’s fun.
[00:26:28] Liz: They try though.
[00:26:29] Andrew: They try to make it fun. There are different graphics and things to that nature and it makes especially if you have millennials as employees, that clean interface, make it a little bit of fun, adding some jokes to it. It makes it across the board from the top, from the executives or the business owner down to the employees just made payroll for us a much more of a breeze. And then the fact that it does tie back into the other system, that gives me the peace of mind, the confidence that we know we’re getting things done, we’re getting the employer taxes paid, all of those things that when you have systems not talking to each other, you’re always running that risk that you’re missing out or that you’re not doing something correctly and that your business partner, the IRS, may come back and not be happy with some of the complexity of you not paying taxes on both whether the federal, the state, all of those different things.
[00:27:16] Liz: Yeah. And actually, that’s one of the biggest fears that entrepreneurs have is of the IRS and I didn’t realize how bad it was because being in accounting, in particular, being in tax and a public accounting firm, I dealt with the IRS all the time and to me I’m like, “Oh, they’re just people,” and they’re trying to do their job and enforce laws that don’t make any sense but they’re trying. But this idea that the IRS is this monster that basically has all this authority which they do have a lot of authority and they can shut down your business at any point is a really big fear for many entrepreneurs. And so, one of the things that we do to make sure that they don’t worry about it is stuff like using Gusto and making sure that those filings are done in the backend and that they’re clean and there’s never an issue. And if there is an audit, Gusto helps.
[00:28:05] Andrew: When we look at then another fear that business owners have is paying your bills on time or making sure that no invoices are missing and, again, personal experience doing it the old school way where we have no cloud-based, we’re getting invoices mailed to us, sometimes not even emailed, and me as the business owner not really understanding or seeing what my outlay is going to be over the next two weeks, over the next month, over the next quarter. What was the solution that you guys looked at to help solve that incorporating the technology to, again, make things more efficient and streamlined?
[00:28:40] Liz: Yeah. So, cash management is a huge issue and is probably number one for all new companies and that they have to learn how to manage cash on a business enterprise level. And so, we use a software called Bill.com and it functions as an Accounts Payable department let’s say. So, you get invoices in the mail. You get them emailed to you. You update the email address to your new company, Bill.com address, and it goes straight there, or you have an assistant come in, check the mail, scan every single bill straight to that inbox. So, everything in the process is centered around getting it into that inbox and then as a business owner you can use it and code it yourself to whatever expense account it is and make sure that the due dates are correct or you can use a partner like High Rock and we go in.
Actually, so we have our engagements and start to do it weekly. We actually go in more often. I think our people are in Bill.com daily and almost all of our clients [inaudible – 29:36] as well. And so, all of the payables get coded and they get put up there. You approve them. You say yes, that’s a legitimate bill and then we help with the cash management. So, we say, “Okay. This bill is not due for another 30 days so let’s wait and pay it then,” or we have a ton of cash right now and this vendor we want to keep happy, “Let’s pay it immediately.” So, we make sure that all of those business considerations are done and then also when you’re looking at your reports consistently you know like if you have a utility bill that you have to pay, you can see, “Oh crap, my utility bill wasn’t paid last month because it’s not in my accounting.” So, I have to go in and actually pay that but making sure that you have processes where all of this goes into a software like Bill.com makes you not miss that. And then monitoring the numbers again as a double check to make sure everything is going out.
[00:30:24] Andrew: Yeah. And you think of the ease and the simplicity if you have an admin or somebody, an assistant, that is getting those invoices and then just emailing them, and they’re done with it. And then I’m looking here at my Bill.com and my payables right now. So, I’m going to have to go. I have to go make some money, so I could pay some of these right now. But the fact that I could log in and see the bill and the other thing that a partner, a CPA firm, can really help you do is they can research and identify not only we should pay this one now versus this one later but then if there are any issues being able to go in and have the firm itself maybe take the ball and run with it and making sure if there were any issues in regards to that bill. We’ve had situations in the past where we know we paid it, we have to go back to the service firm that we were working with. And we have now all the details down to the technology side of it to make sure that we can prove to them that this was paid. So, that’s been an invaluable thing and I think a lot of firms aren’t providing that value to their clients and that’s where you’re offering that niche of being that full-service partner is really helpful.
[00:31:31] Liz: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. And, yeah, we definitely do the accounts payable and accounts receivable. So, we actually have a Russian mobster on staff, so if things get really bad and people aren’t paying, we can just dial him up and have them take care of it.
[00:31:45] Andrew: And in the show notes we’ll actually have a picture of him so if you need that, that’ll be in there as well. So, with regards to, so Bill.com that’s basically with the bill pay services, that is the one software that you guys use. There are not any other ones out there?
[00:31:59] Liz: There are a few other alternatives out there. I think every bank has a bill pay service and they’re getting a lot more technologically savvy. So, the reason they like Bill.com a lot is it gives you the image and so you can see the image when you – you can even pull it up on an app on your phone and you can see the image of the bill, so you know it’s a legitimate bill. You can see like all the check numbers and everything else and it’s easily traceable and then there’s an approval process.
But I know some banks like Chase Bank has a platform where they do that now where you can see the image of the bill as well as approved and then they send payment. So, there are some other services that are working towards that. I know American Express also has a good payment platform where you can get points for paying your bills as well. They don’t all integrate into the accounting system though so there’s some downside to using them. There are some other programs for larger corporations that do similar things like Tipalti is a good one for multi-currency payments if you’re constantly paying things outside of US dollars.
[00:32:55] Andrew: Okay. So, we’ve got, so let’s kind of back up. We’ve got Xero, we have Bill.com, Gusto. And then what are some of the other technological solutions that you guys use to bring the full service together so that the entrepreneur knows that all things are being handled and efficient?
[00:33:12] Liz: Yeah. So, that’s the core of our software stack. We also use a program called Receipt Bank and Receipt Bank functions really well when you have a bunch of people charging stuff on company cards or you have like people they just have a million receipts for their business honestly or invoices or things that need manual coding and need to be stored somewhere. And so, we use that program and it’s really easy. You just email the receipts or you can use the app and take a picture and leave it in there and then it auto matches and codes and feeds into Xero. And the reason we use that is we like to do real-time accounting and not retroactive accounting. So, we like to account for things based on the receipt or the invoice versus the bank line, the item on the bank statement. I mean, a lot of bookkeepers just use bank statements for accounting and that’s not actually real accounting. That’s retroactively putting numbers together. That should be your double check, not your forefront of the transaction.
[00:34:10] Andrew: Yeah. When we think of Receipt Bank is that there’s an app on the phone so very easy to you get the receipt, you pull up your phone, you take the picture, you send it and then it’s gone. And then you can throw out that receipt. You know, the one thing I think a lot of business owners they’re not great at is organization and keeping those receipts. So, if they’re not doing that, you feel that the – because most people pay on credit cards. Do you feel like the credit card in a sense statement would that be sufficient or are you bigger proponents of making sure that we try to keep every receipt or use Receipt Bank and keep a detailed track of each one?
[00:34:47] Liz: So, the IRS’s official role is under $25, they don’t really care about receipts. Over $25 they do. So, that’s a pretty low threshold if you think about it. I don’t know anyone that charges things frequently under $25. Maybe if you take a client to coffee, you’re going to get away with less than that but that’s about it. Any kind of lunch at this point will be more than that. So, we recommend people take pictures of everything and Xero actually does a good job of this as well if you can just take a picture and direct it straight into Xero if there’s one person with company cards. It’s just when it gets to be a lot, the Receipt Bank program handles the volume better.
And then from the perspective of keeping the receipts, I throw them out after I take a picture. Technically, the IRS requires you to present paper receipts, but I haven’t had in the last eight years, I have not had an audit where they requested paper receipts. I’ve given them a CD or a thumb drive with all of the backup for whatever they’re auditing, and they’ve been fine with it. I did have one audit which was exactly eight years ago now where they requested paper receipts and I sat there with it, not even kidding, with a file cabinet in a client’s office like taking their receipts from it was like two years earlier putting them all into a binder and like taping them to paper for the IRS. It was miserable.
[00:36:07] Andrew: Well, that’s full-service planning right there.
[00:36:11] Liz: Yeah.
[00:36:12] Andrew: So, the technology side, I hope listeners this makes sense. I think one of the things you can do is go back to your current provider and ask them these questions. And just ask, “Hey, why are we not looking at this? Why are we using cloud? How can we be more efficient?” Those are things that you can first have those conversations as we’re looking into 2018. In the show notes, there will be a way to get a hold of High Rock if you just want to have a checkup or a conversation, find out a little bit more of how they could benefit you there. And the key is efficiency, getting some of your time back and knowing your numbers helps you grow, helps makes sure that if you did need to get credit with the bank, if you come in with your numbers all over the place, they’re going to laugh at you. So, now you got to spend the time going back and spending your precious time trying to get those numbers tied in so that you could get that credit line, things of that nature. So, very important there.
So, Liz, let’s put on the hat now that you as an entrepreneur focusing on how you built your practice from the ground up and really your vision. So, to back what you look at as we can do this better, we can tie in and make it more efficient but when you started building High Rock, how did you incorporate some of what you were doing for your other clients? How did you incorporate that into both your work culture, the employees that you hired, the value-add that you brought on? And I do know that you have what’s called like you indicated earlier, shareholders. So, walk us through what that looked like as you’re building out and trying to keep your team in place and bringing in the right people?
[00:37:43] Liz: Yeah. For sure. So, that was a very loaded question so I’m going to try to hit on every point that you brought up. So, from founding High Rock, the mission and the vision was to build a company that had happy successful intelligent people helping companies grow, utilizing the technology. So, that seems like a lot of goals but it all wrapped in together. And so, using really awesome technology allows us to be more efficient. It allows us to do our job from wherever we want. No longer do we have to be at a client site or do we have to be at our office to physically get work done.
And so, we’re really flexible with our team. And I’m only flexible with really good performers but I had an interview. We interviewed a guy who was straight out of college for an associate position and he asked me, he told me it had sounded like I had very high expectations of people and what I did with bad performers. And I said yes, I do have high expectations for people, but I don’t have bad performers and I don’t think he quite understood what that meant. And to me, that means that we spend a lot of time upfront making sure we hire good people and in the occasion that we don’t, we coach them to a better position for them and we find what’s best for them as a person and it might not be with High Rock because we expect people to embrace the technology to really love it and to be able to perform from wherever and whenever.
And so, when we founded trying to find a way to make sure people had a work-life integration that I like to call it, they had a work and they had a life and they were able to do both, was a lot about this flexibility and making sure that people could work from wherever they needed to. I mean, a couple of years ago I spent like a month in Japan and I worked on bullet train so that was pretty phenomenal. And I don’t think any of my clients actually realize I was out of the country except for the fact I was emailing like 4 a.m. but I don’t know that they thought that was out of the ordinary either.
[00:39:39] Andrew: Yeah. Definitely. We’ve had some email exchanges late into the night, so I know like with my side I was making sure the clients there, you guys were right on top of it too.
[00:39:48] Liz: Yeah. And so, it’s about making sure people have that flexibility and they can travel. I know I have a business partner now, Melissa, who’s phenomenal and she spent a month in California. They rented a little cottage on the beach and so just being able to do that and still have a life and do good quality work, I think the technology enables us to do that.
[00:40:10] Andrew: Yeah. And then when you’re presenting that value-add to your potential clients, I mean, you can use your own experience and how you built your company and how the technology allows you to do this and have Melissa over here and maybe another team member that you bring on that doesn’t even live here. Those are the types of things that you can actually prove and show the proof is in the pudding that it’s working for High Rock.
[00:40:30] Liz: Exactly. I mean, so we’ve integrated all the technology into our own practice. We test everything on ourselves before we implement it for anyone else.
[00:40:38] Andrew: Then also I’ve been to your office. We’ve done a little lunch and learn there but the neat thing on how you built your business within is that you built a culture more like a technology company and that’s so different than most CPA firms, not to say they’re all stodgy and built like that but it’s definitely refreshing, it’s different when you’ve got a firm that embraces that and that probably also leads you to have happy employees and bring the right employee in but then trying to find who you want to work with that niche client that’s in the service industry that’s focused maybe a lot on more on the technology side. How long have you guys, when you built High Rock, how long have you had that type of culture of more like a tech firm than a CPA firm?
[00:41:22] Liz: From the ground up. And so, we’ve definitely made a lot of effort in ensuring that our people have fun as well as do a good job. And so, yeah, as Andrew referred to, our office is fun. We have like a foosball table and we have a Bluetooth speaker and our office is pretty open. We don’t have that many closed doors which is great at times. Other times it gets to be kind of difficult, but we do have conference rooms you can lock yourself in when you need to really focus and dig in. But we also give people, it’s a professional environment so people can do what they want to do which to me means like I don’t track people’s hours. If they are running late, I don’t really care. They can come in at 10 a.m. and leave at 10 p.m. for all I care. And so, from that perspective we are much more like a technology company and that we don’t have the be in your desk by 8:30 a.m. in business casual clothing and ensure that you look like you’re doing work in case a client walks by. We let people be themselves.
[00:42:23] Andrew: I think that’s refreshing and that’s the evolution to bring on the right people especially the millennials. They want to have that work-life balance. And it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, to bring in the right people you’ve got to look at your culture first and beyond. You could have the best service offering but if you don’t have the right people, there’s no way that you’re going to service that and bring on the right clients and be able to make sure that you’re keeping them happy.
[00:42:50] Liz: Oh, for sure.
[00:42:51] Andrew: You know, when we look at marketing for CPA firms, what are some of the things that you guys have been doing to enhance your brand, get the messaging out there, tying into the network that you built and making sure that the right people are finding you the right businesses?
[00:43:08] Liz: Yeah. So, that’s a great question and we struggled with figuring out what our good core marketing should be. So, when I started, I basically did a ton in networking and I did networking in all the wrong places, but I met some really cool people and finally, I settled on finding a core good group of entrepreneurs in Phoenix that we’ve helped a majority of actually. And so, that’s been really fun. There’s a group called Yes Phoenix which is focused on a lot of technology startups which is a great niche for us. They’re mostly software-as-a-service and service is where we really excel, and then also nationally. So, we have clients all over the country. We actually have some international as well. So, we just started doing a great job in getting referrals and that’s where our growth has happened organically. Now, this year we decided that we’re going to push marketing and actually grow more than organically and to start focusing on High Rock. We treat internally our culture like a tech firm. Why are we not trying to grow like that?
So we built a really cool scaling model to be able to build this business epically. And to do that, we need legitimate marketing. So, we started doing things completely differently from any other CPA firm and basically threw the book out on what accounting firms should do from a marketing perspective and decided to do our own thing. And what that means is we started a YouTube channel and it’s a very painful YouTube channel. We have a show called the hot accounts and we sit around eating really hot sauce talking about small business topics. So, we’re focused on these like locally-owned small to medium-sized companies and the issues that every entrepreneur deals with on a daily basis and we’re bringing that education to people in a very painful and hilarious way. I think it’s hilarious to everyone else and painful to me.
[00:44:55] Andrew: How did you come up with this idea? Because I think that’s great taking from not saying it wouldn’t be entertaining to just have some business owners come in and talk through with some of the trials and tribulations but how did you guys come up with this awesome idea?
[00:45:08] Liz: Yeah. So, actually, I can completely attribute this to Neil, that we have a guy on our team called Neil Vermillion and he is phenomenal. He’s a veteran and he spent his early part of his life in the military doing all sorts of crazy things and then he working random jobs and he was asking me some small business questions and I said, “Hey, why don’t you come be a bookkeeper with us? I’ll train you how to do accounting. You’ll learn all those small business questions that you’re asking and then we’ll figure out what you’re good at.” And he came in and we started talking about all the marketing stuff we were doing, and he was like, “I can help with that. That’s really interesting.”
So, long story short, we realized he’s an incredibly creative human and we put him in charge of our crazy marketing and part of that was because we wanted somebody with no experience that could look at what worked for companies in other industry than what worked for people in terms of just entertainment value. And so, he came up with that idea and a few others that we’ll be recording and implementing as well.
[00:46:10] Andrew: And in the show notes, you’ll be able to link out to some of these videos. I actually watched one just recently and it is quite entertaining to see you guys taking some of the hottest salsa it seems like on the planet and then trying to have some business conversations while tears are coming down your eyes or you’re trying to chug back some milk. You could definitely tell that it’s hurting going down and then trying to have those conversations. So, it’s almost like you’re doing I wouldn’t say you guys would have a situation where you’re ever doing a shot every five minutes, but it gives you the ability to make it real and entertaining, so I think that’s a great vehicle there to separate you guys to show who you are, to show your culture.
And business owners out there, you got to think outside the box because if you do it the way everybody else is doing it, you’re going to get lumped in with everybody but High Rock you saw that value there and it’s going to definitely be memorable. And as you guys continue doing that, I think it’ll get bigger and bigger and you’d be able to reach more people and they’ll be able to see that High Rock is a real – they’ll be able to get to know you which is important.
[00:47:13] Liz: Yeah. Right. Well, and that’s the point is to make us humans. We’re all just people. We’re all doing really cool things with our businesses and how do we help build each other and that’s the ultimate goal.
[00:47:23] Andrew: How do most CPA firms, what’s the normal way of marketing? Is it just newsletter goes out?
[00:47:29] Liz: They do like golf tournaments. I swear, that’s where you see marketing for them. They’ll sponsor golf things and they’ll go to these places that they think rich people are and they’ll put up banners. That’s effectively what they do for marketing.
[00:47:42] Andrew: And are you guys doing anything on the social media front?
[00:47:45] Liz: Yeah. So, we have a pretty active Instagram account as well as we post things on Facebook and Twitter. And so, the other thing that I do frequently, and this is more of a passion of mine is I speak at conferences quite often and I publish as regularly as possible and I’m quoted in lots of like random articles mostly just because I think it’s fun, but it’s been a great vehicle for marketing as well. And so, I think that, and we use our Twitter account to kind of get the word out about whatever new article has come out. Although, it’s really funny, the other day I was googling my name because I do that probably once every other month just to make sure like I know what’s out there on me so when new clients are coming, and they google me, I see what they see. I mean, I found two articles that I was quoted in that I didn’t even know about so that was fun.
[00:48:33] Andrew: Yeah. I mean, you never know what’s out there and you’ve got to, as business owners, it’s not I think arrogant to do that. You have to know what’s out there and overall as you get bigger, you have to know what your prospective clients are seeing, your competitors are seeing.
So, if you’re not doing it a couple of times a month just seeing, googling the business or your name, the other thing you can do is set up a Google alert for whether it be your name or the business and any time a story comes out that is indexed within Google then you’ll get an email that says High Rock was in the news or Bayntree was in the news so that helps things become more efficient. So, that’s something that’s very easy to set up, just go to Google alerts and then you can put in any keyword. You can even do competitors. So, it keeps you in tune with what’s going on in the industry.
So, the other item that I wanted to go through with you, in regard to marketing too, I think we’ve done this at your office, but you implemented I wouldn’t call it lunch and learns. Do you call it more like a happy hour where you’ll bring in a local expert or business owner that can then provide value to your current clients?
[00:49:37] Liz: Yeah. So, one of the other passions that I have is education. I feel like what I do is not that difficult. I could teach somebody to do it. The reason why I have a business is because entrepreneurs are too busy to learn it themselves and I am happy to step in and do it for them but what we do is when we’re working with all these clients, we learn things that they find valuable or that they don’t have information on, so they ask us questions. And so, we try to bring in experts in that particular area to talk to our clients when we see that there’s a big knowledge gap. And again, because I love education, I just make sure that we are providing that education on an ongoing basis and I wouldn’t say it’s much of a marketing draw for us. It’s more of help our current client base learn so that they can grow faster, and they have more information to do it with.
[00:50:28] Andrew: Yeah. And I assume with the Tax Cut bill, the tax reform that you guys have your job out in front of you there to make sure that your clients understand it and then are able to benefit from. So, what are you guys doing right now preparing for 2018 to not only for your clients but prospective clients? Do you guys have a game plan in that regard?
[00:50:45] Liz: Yeah. So, we’ve been doing a lot of fun tax planning and I’m sure as you’ve gone through this bill as well, Andrew. You’ve seen that there are things that phase in and things that phase out and items that are permanent and items that are temporary. And so, it’s looking at it going, “Okay. So, let’s place a bet. Let’s place a bet on what is actually going to stay here and what is not going to stay here.” So, what do we know right now? We know right now that 2017 taxes are going to be higher than 2018 taxes so we’re going to maximize people’s deductions for 2017 as much as possible and then figure out the beginning of 2018 what we’re going to do from either a corporate structure or taking advantage of different tax attributes that may be temporary going forward.
[00:51:27] Andrew: Yep. And that’s that proactive planning, partnering, those type of things where whether it’s on the individual side or your business side, you don’t want to wait until the last minute. You don’t want to wait until April 10 and try to get everything done. So, whether you are a business owner or not, be proactive in that planning and plan for the forwards rather than being reactive. It’s so important there. I think most people taxes are just like a state planning. It’s the last thing that people want to think about, but you’ve got to take handle on it. You’ve got to take ownership of it and align yourself with the right people.
So, as we kind of come to a close, if you were talking to a business owner and you were to give them some advice of what they should be looking at with whether they have a partner already or they’re looking out for a partner, what are some of the things that questions that they should ask so that they can make sure that they’re aligning with the right team because obviously, with CPA firms and bookkeepers, you don’t want to go around from choosing one and then two years later choosing again. You really want to get in bed for the long-term.
[00:52:28] Liz: Yeah. So, the biggest thing is cultural fit and so we do a lot with technology companies because we understand their culture, we understand how quickly they move and we understand their business model really well. And so, there are a lot of CPA firms that don’t do that at all because they just don’t get it. And so, finding a cultural fit is first of really important and then aligning values. So, I value efficiency. Our firm values efficiency and technology. It values information available quickly. Those types of things are really important to us but if that’s not important to you then finding a firm that’s going to be a little bit cheaper and maybe give you the reports once a month like you’re used to would be good. But it’s all about finding what fits for you and what you need.
And so, if you’re currently not working with somebody that’s outsourcing your accounting department or you’re doing it yourself, I would just advice you to get it checked. And if you worked with a tax CPA, you probably at least have a check once a year so that’s good but also making sure that you’re interviewing firms not just for their technical ability but also for their ability to give you what you need.
[00:53:33] Andrew: And do you think it’s important for a firm to work with on a bookkeeping side as well as then on the filing the taxes both on the business and individual? Is that an important criteria for somebody to align that together?
[00:53:48] Liz: No. Honestly, I think that there are some reasons why it’s easier if you do. If you have somebody in your books on a daily basis, they’re going to know everything for the tax filings. However, if you are an extremely aggressive tax filer, you might not want them to know everything that’s going on in your business, so you might want a separation and have a separate tax accountant that could be a little bit more aggressive on some things.
[00:54:11] Andrew: And when you guys are looking to bring out a prospective client, what are some of the things if somebody reaches out to High Rock, do you offer kind of a review to see where they are and then the value that you can bring?
[00:54:22] Liz: Yeah. So, in the proposal process we’ll look at what they have currently so we’ll look at their current books or at least get prior month reports and take a quick peek and a lot of times we’ll just ask questions. And so, if we see things that look out of whack, we’ll ask what it is or why and if the business owner knows then that’s great and they’re on top of it and things are generally correct, but I would say nine out of ten times they have no idea why or have any idea what that account is or means. Somebody just puts something in there and they really don’t get it and in those cases, we tend to quote a new system and then cleanup work, so we’ll tend to go backward and get things in order at least from the prior year.
[00:55:03] Andrew: Great. And then where do you envision High Rock in five years, in ten years? What’s your overall goal in building the company?
[00:55:10] Liz: That’s a phenomenal question. So, I briefly mentioned that I have this plan for scaling High Rock earlier in the podcast but my vision for five years, so, part of the scaling plan is to bring in other like-minded CPAs that want to be advisors for their clients and don’t necessarily have the ability to do all of the back office themselves and by back office, I mean, all of the bookkeeping and data entry and management of systems, and the implementation.
So, what I want to do is provide them the ability to grow their own book of business under the High Rock umbrella and use our branding, use our training and then we would do all the back-office process for them. So, the CPAs will come in in different cities and be able to provide the same type of service. And ultimately, I want to bring them in in different locations and in different industries so that we have varied industry niches across the country. So, in five years I hope we have 20 different High Rock partners working with us in a larger back-office here in Phoenix.
[00:56:07] Andrew: That’s a great idea because you’ve got the systems in place. You’re building the foundation and just like most, I would assume a lot of the CPA firms out there is fragmented. You’ve got your large firms and then you’ve got your very small firm that’s maybe a one-person shop and they don’t have the skill set or the technology set to be able to expand their business. So, do you see this as more of a white label then where if I’m Joe Smith CPA firm that I would tie into the High Rock’s backend, but I would still present myself out to my clients as the Joe Smith firm?
[00:56:38] Liz: No. So, Joe Smith CPA, if they wanted to join our network would become High Rock Accounting and they would still have their LLC or their PLC or whatever it is holding their client base and they would own their book of business but under our contract they would use our branding and be part of our network and really get ingrained with our training. I want to support people and being able to build these books of business at the same time as providing them all of the staff and the team they need to really succeed. So, they would be really a part of the High Rock network.
[00:57:09] Andrew: And no offense to Joe Smith CPA but that’s an awful name so I think adding the High Rock name would be so much better in that regard. I like that vision. That’s great because it’s being able to serve more people but then also being able to help CPAs be more efficient and to take some things off their plate because a lot of them are drowning as well. So, any listener out there that may be is a business owner but as a CPA and wants to learn a little bit more of how High Rock can be potentially a partner, there’ll be a way for you to reach out as well. Are you guys there yet or are you still in the infancy of building out what that offer would even look like to a CPA?
[00:57:48] Liz: We have the offering ready. We just have not found the right partner. So, we are currently accepting applicants for that and honestly, we’re going to be really picky. We’re only going to pick the best of the best because we’re bringing the entire family and we want part of the High Rock mission is excellent quality of service for our clients and we would not pull anyone in that could not perform at that level and we will give them all the support they need to do that. But there is definitely a high level of expectations and a high level of performance that we need.
[00:58:21] Andrew: Yeah. And I think the nice thing is it’s not like in a sense you need them right now, so you want to find the right one that fits in both on I think they probably need to be a little bit technology savvy and have that belief and that philosophy. And as you indicated, not just a CPA but an advisor and that sometimes does not go hand-in-hand. We see that on the financial side working with clients, we ask them questions, “Did they ask this with their CPA? Has their CPA give them instructions here?” And a lot of them just look at me, they just stare at me like, “What are you talking about?” And we just look and say, “Well, why didn’t they say this or why they didn’t do that?” and the problem is most of them or a lot of them are just in taking. Here are the numbers here and I’ll take it and give it back to you.
[00:59:03] Liz: Exactly. They’re so overwhelmed. They’re just inundated with detail work and don’t have the ability to be that advisor. And so, that’s really why we want to have this back-office team that’s available.
[00:59:14] Andrew: Yeah. I think having that mission and on High Rock site you talk about it the team approach and knowing that that business owner has – if you’re not available, there’s Melissa. If Melissa is not available, there’s Neil, there’s Kevin, there’s Cheryl. You guys ingrained that in. Working with you guys, I’ve worked with a number of your employees, so I feel comfortable if I need something, I could go to one or the other and I know the job’s going to get done because you guys are on that same page. So, conveying that to your prospects and to your current clients there’s that piece of mind that I have that High Rock’s looking out for me.
And for you listeners out there, that’s the type of relationship that you should have with your CPA firm and, Liz, as you mentioned earlier, it may cost a little bit more to work with a full-service firm like yours but thinking about bringing that in, having all of those pieces of the puzzle fit together from payroll to the online functionality of the books, to helping with the receipts, to then forecasting and being that partner, think of it as an investment and in any investment there should be a return and I think if you work with a firm whether it be High Rock or somebody else that’s providing that value, you’re going to see a return on your money and you’re also going to see a return on your time and sometimes we can’t put a price on that.
[01:00:28] Liz: Yeah. That’s the biggest thing we hear with entrepreneurs is that we free up a lot of time for them to do other things which is exactly what we should do. They shouldn’t be focusing on the accounting. They should be focusing on growing the company and being strategic.
[01:00:40] Andrew: Fantastic. So, as we close up today, is there anything else that you want to leave the listeners with as we head into 2018 and beyond?
[01:00:50] Liz: You know, honestly, I would like any entrepreneur that’s listening to this to know that there is a better way. I think that the biggest holdup or issue we have on accounting and the biggest frustrations people have is non-responsiveness. Their CPAs are too busy. Their bookkeepers aren’t good enough. They’re using terrible technology. Just understand that there is a better way. High Rock is one of the companies doing this but there are others out there and there are great people that can help you get the accounting and the numbers you need to really, really grow.
[01:01:18] Andrew: Awesome. I love what you guys are doing and the vision that you guys have. It’s important to continue that on. And so, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished to this point. Thanks for taking the time today to speak to us on how to be more efficient, what to look for, and overall, happy tax planning to everybody as we end in 2018. And if you have any questions in the show notes, there’ll be a way to contact Liz and her team at High Rock. Once again, thank you all for listening. Stay tuned later this month for more episodes of Your Wealth & Beyond. Have a great day, everybody.
[01:01:54] Liz: Thank you, Andrew.
[01:01:56] Andrew: Thank you for joining me for today’s episode of Your Wealth & Beyond. To get access to all the resources mentioned during today’s podcast, please visit Bayntree.com/Podcast, and be sure to tune in later this month for another episode of Your Wealth & Beyond.
Investment advice is offered through Bayntree Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Insurance and annuity products are offered separately through Bayntree Planning Group, LLC. Bayntree is not permitted to offer and no statement made during the show shall constitute legal or tax advice. You should talk to a qualified professional before making any decisions about your personal situation.