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How these two firms built a successful niche advisory partnership – part two

Posted 3 months ago in Advisors by Sarah Richards
Posted by Sarah Richards

Meeting the needs of a specific niche audience – food trucks – was top of mind for the collaboration behind Food Truck Accounting, a partnership between Bean Counter 4 Hire and Polay + Clark. This blog series has shared how the Xero community connected them and the foundation of their partnership, and today, we share how they put this into practice every day – the technology and the communication created with their clients to establish the advisory roles they knew would have the most impact.

Food Truck Accounting offers a comprehensive set of services delivered by two different accounting firms. Michael and Mindy Levy of Bean Counter 4 Hire handle the day-to-day bookkeeping and payroll, while Tate Henshaw of Polay + Clark handles the sales tax, compliance and tax return side of the business. Together, they address the unique needs that food trucks have. To do this, collaboration and communication with each other and their clients has to be seamless and simple.

From the beginning, they knew they wanted their clients to experience “one team”, not multiple sources of truth. They knew they could challenge the traditional bookkeeper or CPA relationship, and set up the right processes and workflows to create a daily flow of information and connection – using the best of technology to make that happen.

Build the Right Tech Stack

Bean Counter 4 Hire is a fully remote practice — Michael and Mindy run their business from their home and their employees are all remote. So, collaborative communication is inherent in what they do every day. Extending that practice to their clients required systems, communications processes, workflow and the technology that would faciliate a seamless experience. So Tate, Michael and Mindy built a robust app stack for their food truck clients, all integrated with Xero:

  • Xero
  • Xero “Discuss”
  • Square
  • Hubdoc
  • Receipt Bank
  • Gusto
  • Google App Suite
  • CCH Access
  • Slack

Working within Xero was key, as it was the hub of their activities. “Xero is where we start our day and where we end our day,” says Mindy Levy, of Bean Counter 4 Hire. And it’s been a game changer in the services and detail that they can provide and the speed at which they provide it.

Each app selected for their clients layers on functionality that streamlines the data entry work involved both on the side of Food Truck Accounting, as well as what’s required daily from the client.

“Although this app stack seems like a lot, it saves all of us a lot of time,” says Mindy. “Without these systems in place, our work would take five times longer and require a lot of data entry and wouldn’t be as accurate. Our tech stack allows us to offer comprehensive service packages at very affordable rates.”

Xero’s strong app integrations enable their teams to work as efficiently as possible, which means they can trust the data they are seeing and focus on providing answers.

“I’m better equipped to give more timely responses,” confirms Michael. “It’s easier for me to find the answer in Xero than looking through larger systems where there’s quite a bit of navigation and steps required to get it. We can get real-time information about one of the biggest things that our customers are interested in: cash flow.”

Establish an advisory relationship

“It’s easy to be an advisor if you have the numbers solid, right?” says Tate. “That’s one thing Xero is leaps and bounds better at than other solutions we’ve used, whether it be cash coding, or the bank fees, or bank rules, or the AI suggestions, or syncing with Hubdoc, or bill.com. It’s been a night and day difference for getting the data there.”

Being an advisor means that the client is also seeing the power of the systems in place and gaining the same benefits. No matter where they are or what device they are using – phone, laptop, tablet – they have instant access to up-to-date numbers at any point of the day. This is invaluable for the client and a must-have step in establishing a strong advisory relationship. When Food Truck Accounting consults with their clients, they are looking at the same data, the same reports, all within Xero. There is no second-guessing.

“We’ve been able to move clients away from the fire drill of just getting everything up to date,” comments Tate.

For their food truck clients, accuracy can mean the difference between success and failure. With a trusted advisor by their side, the business owner can focus on what they love most: their food and their own customers, knowing that when they need financial information it will be ready at their fingertips. That gives them the freedom to make informed business decisions and the confidence to trust their accounting team for valued advice to help guide them.

“Xero keeps up with them in their fast paced industry,” Mindy adds. “So we’re able to, in real time, see where the money is going, where it’s coming in, and provide that data to our client. Then they can make the decisions that they need, not months later, not at the end of the year, but now. It’s real time. There’s nothing better in the world than seeing our client be able to take their truck to the next level.”

One client, That Awesome Taco Truck, loves the collaboration and the focus on their future that this accounting team offers them. Stay tuned for our next post where we meet Danny and Lauren, and learn why Xero and this dynamic accounting team are such a huge part of their success.

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