Black Women Finance Professionals Who Got Their Clients Over $1.5M in Emergency Funding From the CARES Act and Will Save Your Business

You can’t do it all. 4 reasons why you probably need to hire a finance professional for your startup or small business.

What a time to be alive! There is sooo much happening in the world of entrepreneurship right now and it’s super exciting. In the past week alone I’ve had founders tell me they’ve quadrupled their monthly revenue, increased revenue YoY by 100% for June and closed on $250K in investment. That’s a lot of activity!

I posted this on Instagram last week explaining the work I do. Here’s the quick and dirty:

I am on-demand CFO and strategist for startups and small businesses. I have a team of 2 accountants / bookkeepers and a CPA. My accountant focuses on all your books, A/P and A/R, payments, payroll etc. My CPA reviews it and I analyze it and anchor it in strategy. We do a lot of work with helping startups fundraise and am in the process of raising our first fund.

Cool, huh? No?

Well, I want to be very clear about the work I do because there are so many business owners that are doing such amazing things but may not fully understand the value of having a finance person on your team. Or maybe you do understand but don’t think you can afford it and so do a lot of the work yourself.

Either way, I wanted to take some time out to explain more about the value of having a fractional CFO and then introduce you to some of those that I know that are doing great work!

To put our work into context, here’s a stat for you:

From Forbes, Just 12% of black and Latino business owners who applied for PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans reported receiving what they asked for, and nearly half of these individuals say they anticipate being forced to close permanently in the near future.

The six women I will be introducing you to — we have collectively received over $1.5 million in EIDL and PPP loan disbursements for our clients!

Now, we don’t only focus on business owners or color but as most of my readers are founders of color I want you to understand the benefit of having someone on your team to do this work.

For you, as a founder who is bootstrapping and busy (and as someone who is not an accountant) imagine having someone on your team who is able to do that type of work for you!

4 Reasons to hire an accounting professional

  1. Handle the minutiae of accounting and bookkeeping. Saving you time and ultimately money. Xero has these tasks listed on their website as things your accountant should be doing for you. This list is not exhaustive and I added things I felt they missed.
  • Complete and file the required legal and compliance documents for your business
  • Prepare annual statements of accounts
  • Keep your company’s status updated in the government’s company register
  • Maintain records of directors and other administrative personnel
  • Organize and record share/stock allocation, such as when the business is formed, when a business partner leaves or a new partner joins
  • Handle your payroll and ensure that all employees’ tax codes and payments are recorded correctly.
  • Handle all A/P and A/R including customer outreach and billing
  • Goal setting. Setting sales goals and metrics like OKRs and KPIs and accountability to reaching the goals that are set
  • Vendor or manufacturer negotiations
  • Help with diligence requests and fundraising efforts

As a note: Your time as an entrepreneur is valuable. Having someone else to help with this part of the business frees up your time to actually RUN THE BUSINESS. Which is the whole reason you started this thing. When thinking about whether or not you need to hire a finance person think about how much each hour of your time is worth.

2. Better decision making.

One of the questions I often get asked, can I afford x? Or when will I be able to hire this person? Working with a financial advisor will give you insight into making those decisions. The right advisor will monitor your cash flow and help you plan for those big purchases.

3. Keep you focused.

I always say keep the main thing the main thing. As a business owner, how often do you think about your finances a day? How often are you checking your accounts and waiting for money to clear. Even the time and energy that it takes to think about what’s next takes away from your ability to stay focused on the revenue generating tasks. Having someone in your corner frees up brain space. It allows you to focus all your attention on the main thing which is again, running the business.

4. Be ready so you don’t have to get ready.

If your business is up and running and you are raising or looking to raise funds, investors will want to see your financial documents. It’s part of the diligence process. Same goes for any loans you’re applying for. Any bookkeeper, accountant or finance consultant should be preparing monthly reports for you. These reports can be used at tax time and in applying for grants and other funding programs.

The other thing having a finance person on your team does is they provide you solace. They give you peace in knowing that you are building a foundationally sound business. You will be ready so you don’t have to get ready.

When to hire an accounting professional

My thoughts on when to hire is: It’s never too early.

Most bookkeepers and accountants do the work and that’s it. They do your taxes, they may send you monthly reports but then they leave you to do the thinking and strategizing. According to Score, 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems. If you don’t have a background in finance or accounting how are you going to be able to make decisions based on what you receive?

Hiring someone to discuss your financials monthly or even quarterly if you are just starting out gives you the opportunity to have visibility into your business regularly. You aren’t putting things off and you can identify problems real time.

Some of my favorite Black women accounting professionals

When I came up with the idea I had each woman tell me in their own words about the work they do. Read about it below!

Germeen Greene — Visionary Accounting Group

Website: www.visionaryag.com

Instagram: @thevisionaryaccountant

Specialty: Non-profits and Impact Startups

Germeene Greene of the Visionary Accounting Group helps nonprofits leverage technology to manage their accounting process and stay audit ready.

Tell me about your background.

I’ve always loved math and had a knack for numbers which led me to studying accounting. I have a bachelors in accounting and a masters in forensic accounting. I spent 10 years in corporate accounting/auditing. Four of those years were spent at Ernst & Young before transitioning to the banking industry and ultimately ending up in the nonprofit sector as a controller. In 2018, I went full time into entrepreneurship running a boutique accounting firm that specializes in virtual controller services for nonprofits.

What are some of the things you are being asked about most during this time?

Cash flow management, assistance with applying for grants / loans, and tracking the use of the grants and loans received during this time.

List some of your client wins:

Recouped over $2.8M in receivables, received over $200k in PPP funds, & successfully built tech stacks to streamline financial operations.

Atiya Brown — The Savvy Accountant

Website: https://www.thesavvyaccountant.co

Instagram: @thesavvyaccountant

Specialty: Real Estate and Small Business

Here at The Savvy Accountant we are the go to Accounting and Tax advisors for the Real Estate Industry. We want to help real estate professionals and investors build generational wealth by giving them strategies to reduce their taxes legally and keeping more of their money to build wealth. We focus on Real Estate and Small Businesses.

Tell me about your background.

I am a CPA, CA and a Certified Financial Educator Instructor. I have over 15 years of experience in the accounting/finance world. I attended The John Molson School of Business (JMSB) at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada for both undergrad and graduate studies. I finished top 5 in my graduating class before completing the Chartered Accountancy examination to become a CPA, CA.

I worked in both the private and public sector, starting at KPMG for the 1st 5 years of my career. I created and opened my own virtual boutique firm called The Savvy Accountant in 2017 and have been the firm growing ever since.

What are some of the things you are being asked about most during this time?

I have to say that compliance is a major request right now. Making sure that companies are tax compliant i.e. correct [tax] returns are filed and are accurate. Also, a lot of people are realizing the importance of staying on top of their financials right now as most funding relief requires that you show your business and personal financial statements.

List some of your client wins:

I have helped my savvy family aka clients save hundreds of thousands in taxes, by creating targeted strategic tax plans for them to reduce their tax liability! One client alone was able to save $209K in 1 year due to a tax plan I created. During the pandemic, I have been able to ensure that my clients are compliant on their taxes and that their financials are in order so they could qualify for funding.

Anything else you want to add?

I have a goal to help my Savvy Family aka my clients save $2 Million dollars over the next year — if you are paying taxes, I can most likely assure you that you are overpaying and might not even know it! Let’s have a free chat to discuss!

Kendra James — The Finance Femme

Website: TheFinanceFemme.com

Instagram: @TheFinanceFemme

Specialty: Businesses generating multi 6–7 figures

The Finance Femme is a full service firm that caters to women owned businesses. We provide high touch and in depth Accounting, Tax and Virtual CFO services for those generating multi 6–7 figures annually in business. With an all female staff of accountants, CPAs, EA, and CFOs — we are all about fully supporting women in their business so they can live their best life.

Tell me about your background.

I was in Corporate Finance for over 10+ years directly supporting CFOs of major corporations like GE. I spent hundreds of hours either preparing for — or inside of — boardrooms assisting with major business decisions based on facts and analysis. I took that experience and built The Finance Femme based on the same philosophy.

Our firm helps women stabilize & scale their business based on facts — we specialize in way more than your basic accounting. We take all of your data, build meaningful analysis, and create specific strategies and processes to take your business where you want it to go.

What are some of the things you are being asked about most during this time?

Strategy. It’s not just enough to be an accountant or bookkeeper in times like this. You’ve got to be willing to understand the ever changing laws, understand the deeper impacts to your clients needs, etc. Classifying transactions and just sending a financial statement at the end of the month doesn’t help your clients make it through these times… thinking deeper into strategy & advisory will.

List some of your client wins:

We took one client from $200k per year to $2 million per year in just 2 years. We’ve helped another client grow her team and add 5 additional staff members and still increase her profits even with the added payroll. Another client went from working 60 hours+ in her business each week, to working less than 30. Every clients ‘goal’ is different — for some it’s financial, for some it’s time, for some it’s both. We align our goals for them based on their goals for themselves.

Talibah Bayles — TMB Tax & Financial Services

Website: www.trusttmbtaxes.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/talibah-bayles-tmbtaxes/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tmbtaxesllc/

Instagram: @TMBtax

Specialty: Small Businesses operating outside of the coasts

Businesses are measured on the results provided to its clients. Therefore, we deliver the critical financial services your business needs to start, operate, and grow in a streamlined offering. Business owners are empowered to successfully sustain and operate their businesses through the financial tools of bookkeeping, payroll, tax filing & compliance, tax planning strategies, and business credit and financing coaching.

Tell me about your background.

I combined my hands-on experience and vast skill set to develop the TMB Financial Fix Toolbox, an innovative system designed to empower clients to successfully sustain and operate their businesses through the financial tools of bookkeeping, payroll, tax filing & compliance, and business credit and financing coaching.

A native of Birmingham, AL, I am on a mission to bring genuine solutions for ignored small businesses. I have built a reputation as a dynamic speaker with a capacity to connect with her audience, encourage honest conversations about their numbers, and craft short and long-term strategies designed to promote business success.

What are some of the things you are being asked about most during this time?

Individual and corporate tax filing has been the top request and this is primarily due to tax compliance requirements for federal and private disaster funding.

Working hand in hand with tax compliance is financial document preparation — a second requirement for small business funding. We’ve been doing a ton of QuickBooks accounting software cleanup work as well as account establishment. Being one of the only woman and minority owned Authorized QuickBooks Solutions Providers in the state of Alabama has certainly benefited our clients because we are able to get our clients into any Quickbooks/Intuit product and/or service at our discounted pricing!

List some of your client wins:

SBA and/or private funding is by far the most rewarding win so far. We have obtained approvals totaling approximately a half a million small business saving dollars for our clients and still counting! We’ll continue to offer our loan packaging services for small businesses until the federal money runs out!

Anything else you want to add?

Based on the work we’ve been doing with our clients over the past 13 years, we are excited to offer our results through a monthly small business financial coaching and bookkeeping service package!

Our Get Bankable Program will be open for new enrollments starting July 1, 2020. Want more information, https://tmbtax.typeform.com/to/iHDZLG.

Dondrea Owens — The Creative’s CFO

Website: www.thecreativescfo.com

Instagram: @thecreativescfo

Specialty: Coaches, Consultants, Creatives and Community builders

We help women entrepreneurs know their numbers so they can grow their profit. We offer accounting and advisory services to coaches, consultants, and community builders who take a vision and create offers that deliver their passion and expertise to their clients.

Tell me about your background.

I’m a Certified Public Accountant and spent the first 10 years of my career in public accounting at a large accounting firm. After taking some time off to grow our family and grow my first business designing wedding invitations, I found a community of business owners who were in desperate need of accounting help. I knew I could speak their language as a fellow creative business owner and support them with my professional expertise.

What are some of the things you are being asked about most during this time?

Some of the top requests are revisions to the annual budget and knowing how much cash to keep on hand at any given time.

List some of your client wins:

Pre-quarantine wins: One of my clients was able to purchase a house because we streamlined her business expenses so that she was able to pay herself bi-weekly.

Quarantine wins: We recently celebrated one of clients hitting her highest revenue month of the year (and with increased profit margin) during quarantine!

Diara Watkins — D. Rose Financial Services, LLC

Instagram: @d.rosefinancial

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drosefinancialllc/about/

Specialty: Individual and Small business taxes

We are a virtual tax and accounting firm focusing on individual and small business tax returns. We work closely with our clients to learn about the individual or small business and come up with a customized approach for their tax and accounting needs.

Tell me about your background.

I graduated from Clayton State University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and earned an MBA from Saint Leo University in 2012. My career experience ranges from working in accounting for a Tier 1 automotive supplier and a lumber manufacturer to working for a service-based freight forwarding company.

I began preparing taxes for friends and family in 2010 and that led to my desire to learn even more about tax law. Having the foundation of accounting and knowing how everything works together is interesting and exciting to me. I have used all of my experience from my corporate positions to help small businesses “think big” by thinking of ways to execute tax saving strategies and help my individual clients with budgeting and money management. My approach is different because I want all of my clients to think of their finances the way that a large company would. You should prepare a budget and always know what every dollar that leaves your bank account is being spent on.

What are some of the things you are being asked about most during this time?

I have received requests from clients that are looking to reduce their expenses during this slow time without sacrificing quality or service. There are ALWAYS expenses that can be cut but speaking with a trusted advisor can help a client sort through those decisions.

List some of your client wins:

I set up bookkeeping for a client with a hair salon and helped them to see how much they were actually spending and what they were bringing in. She enjoyed having the visibility to profit and loss reports to see her exact revenues and expenses. Since the tax deadline was extended, I have had the time to help clients understand the numbers as opposed to just being happy with the results. That is very important to me because although accounting and tax is not the business owners expertise, they should know at all times where their business stands from a financial standpoint.

If you have any questions or thoughts please reach out to me at shondra@tbc-capital.com.

If you’d like to get on my email list where I send out blog posts, analysis, and step by step guides for founders and investors click here.

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