A good advisory accountant means a lot to the small businesses that they support. Here at Futrli, we’re lucky enough to supply amazing accountants that use cloud accounting software to give their clients the best user experience possible and an accounting solution tailored for them.
One of those fantastic accountants is Lyssa Kemper, owner of Virago Accounting (and all-around really lovely person). Lyssa started Virago in 2019 with a mind to creating a different experience for the businesses that they cater for; providing outstanding service but with an emphasis on client re-education so that they can make better financial decisions for themselves in the future.
What sets Virago Accounting apart?
"We are a full-service virtual accounting practice focused on clients that are working towards different avenues of corporate sustainability."
They offer a wide range of services and leverage the latest cloud accounting software to help the small business owners they work with; from moving them away from traditional desktop accounting software to making tax digital. There is also a focus on environmental impact and a service that they call "Green Reporting" which assesses the eco-impact that businesses have.
"As an all female staff we also work with a lot of female entrepreneurs."
Female entrepreneurs are very much part of the DNA of Virago Accounting, both internally and externally. In fact, "Virago" is actually an old English word for a female warrior and perfectly representative of the passion that the team brings to the table.
What problems have you encountered in providing proactive support to small business owners?
"The compliance side of things is what everyone keeps top of mind but we like to focus on proactive support. The problem we run into is being able to gather GOOD information quickly to get in front of problems."
Data quality is a hurdle that anyone looking to provide accounting advisory services needs to be prepared to jump. The average small business may not keep the best records, whether that be because of a lack of bank reconciliation or because they simply don't know what management information to retain, so it's best to call in the experts.
That's where Lyssa and the team come in.
Online accounting services have helped a lot. Despite being based in the US where QuickBooks Online is usually the cloud accounting software of choice, Virago accounting has all of their clients on Xero as they prefer the system. However, the issues don't disappear as soon as you've got your accounts and accounting solutions in order.
"We also have had a hard time getting the information to clients that is easy to understand. We don't want clients to be overwhelmed with spreadsheets. Futrli really has solved these two problems for us."
How has cloud accounting software helped?
"If we didn't have cloud tech our business wouldn't exist, we use all cloud products. In comparison to other firms I have worked for I believe it has simplified our lives and helps the whole team be on the same page."
The advice that the team at Virago give to companies about their business finances can be very complex, so they need a reporting solution that takes that into account. Finding a cloud accounting software that has a user interface that doesn't require business owners to be accounting professionals means that they can provide their accounting advisory services to a wider audience.
How have your small businesses responded to your current accounting advisory services?
"Our clients are always surprised when we show them things in Futrli. Once they see what we can do they request more. It has been an invaluable resource."
Virago are users of both Futrli Advisor and Predict, allowing them to maximise the number of clients and small business owners they can support.
What advice would you offer to a firm moving into 'advisory'?
"Advisory is the future, don't be afraid of it, take it little by little and use really great tools like Futrli. It is nice to use all of the information we have built up over the years being in the biz. Businesses need us for this!"
If someone asked you about Futrli, what would you say?
"That it is an invaluable resource. I can't imagine trying to do advisory without it."