First up in The Solopreneur’s Guide Vendor Series is an interview with Cindy Go, founder and president of Boston Finex Group.
I chose to interview Cindy because accounting typically is a secondary function to sales and marketing for most solopreneurs, yet an extremely important function.
Although I asked the questions in the first person, I created questions to cover a variety of needs – not only my own.
TSG: Let’s get the first and most important question out of the way. Do you provide service to solopreneurs?
BFG: Definitely. Most of our clients are solopreneurs. We provide a lot of value to them by taking the mundane and tedious tasks of bookkeeping from their plate, so that they can concentrate on growing and marketing their business. Plus, by outsourcing this service to us, solopreneurs are not locked down by having a full-time employee.
TSG: Will I have one person that is my point of contact or will I work with a team?
BFG: You will have one dedicated project manager as your point of contact. Behind the project manager is a team to provide you the best service possible.
TSG: Are they a CPA or an accountant?
BFG: Our firm is not a CPA firm, but our staff is all trained and seasoned accountants. We deal mostly with internal operations. For example, for tax preparation purposes, we deal with all the paper works to get the company ready for their tax accountant.
TSG: Currently I receive payment via check, cash, credit card, and PayPal. Will I need to eliminate any of these options in order to use you as a service?
BFG: Our service doesn’t contradict but complements client’s current processes. Hence, client doesn’t need to reengineer any of their current operations to use our services. In this case, what our current clients have done is to give us access to their accounts so that we can track the transactions for them. They then get a summarized report.
TSG: What if most of my transactions use a paper invoice? Is this a problem? Do I need to move to an all electronic billing system?
BFG: There is no need to move to an electronic billing system. Clients can scan the invoices, mail us the invoices, or fax the invoices to us. In the process, the invoices become electronic. We then move the electronic copies of these invoices to a proprietary online document retrieval system that the clients can access. One more thing, this document retrieval system comes with our service for free. We own the software and thus can provide it to our clients free of charge.
TSG: I am trying to decide if the best legal structure for my business is a sole proprietor or an LLC. Do you provide this type of professional advice?
BFG: We don’t provide this service but we can point you to the experts who should be able to guide you.
TSG: If the growth of my business requires that I secure outside funding, what assistance can you provide with creating balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements for me to include with a business plan?
BFG: We are very experienced in financial modeling. We can help clients think through and model out their financial forecasts to include in their business plan.
TSG: If I bring on employees, do you provide payroll services?
BFG: We don’t provide payroll services ourselves, but have an affiliate that provides payroll services.
TSG: What are the hours that I can get live assistance?
BFG: We currently operate on East Coast time. We provide assistance from 8 am – 6 pm EST.
TSG: Does this hold true as we get close to April 15th?
BFG: Oh yes.
TSG: What are your rates?
BFG: Our rates are typically at $15/hour. We made an effort to make our services as affordable as possible to solopreneurs.
TSG: If you bill by the hour, what kind of reporting do you provide back with your invoice?
BFG: We provide a breakdown of where the hours were spent.
TSG: Do you bill weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly?
BFG: We bill monthly.
TSG: How long have you been in business for?
BFG: We’ve been in business for almost a year now.
TSG: Do you only provide service to customers in the US?
BFG: As of now, yes. Our current expertise is in the US accounting system, as well as our trusted affiliates.
Thank you, Cindy, for your time and education about the valuable services that you provide.
You can contact Cindy and Boston Finex Group for additional information and to contract their services at the following:
As a solopreneur, the majority of your time should be spent on product / service creation, marketing and sales. If accounting isn’t one of your strengths, contract a professional to handle it for you to free up your time to focus on profit producing activities and to keep you out of cash flow and tax trouble.
All The Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide