Category: NEWS

Don’t be Fooled into Thinking that Accounting is an Administrative Function

Many small businesses think hiring an accountant is an exercise in outsourcing an administrative burden. They want a low-cost solution to a petty problem that usually involves getting the numbers “put together” for taxes while avoiding audit risk. They send over a bunch of files to the local CPA who often hands the file off to a junior employee.

Because 80% of a local CPA firm’s work is condensed into a 3-month tax season, inevitably shortcuts get taken and imperfect data gets ported into tax software to crunch the tax implications. Because the CPA is almost always hard pressed for time, they scan for surface level issues and make a couple of minor fixes before marking it complete and waiting for the cycle to repeat itself next year. Even worse, some of these small businesses take a pass on hiring a professional and choose to tag in a family member or friend to handle the bookkeeping, then use TurboTax to handle the filings themselves.

Spoiler alert – I don’t work with these sorts of clients/companies/entrepreneurs.

If you are one of these folks, you should decision now: do I keep reading to learn why this is totally the wrong way to handle my accounting, or do I stop here and bury my head back in the sand.

For the folks that appreciate the candor – here’s the first important message – your business health is entirely visible through your financial management.

The client I do work with are a fewer, but far more savvy group of small business owners. They want to understand how their decisions are impacting their business now, in the next 3-6 months, and want careful accounting to help them keep score at how well they are performing.

Because at its essence, accounting is all about keeping score. Just like in any competitive exercise, keeping score and analyzing the results makes you better at what you do, faster at acting strategically, generate more profitability, find more efficiencies, which most importantly, leads to generational wealth.

Why People Hire Me and My Firm

When people ask me what I do, I usually pause and think about how I want to answer that question. The answer really depends on the kind of mood I’m in.

It’s kind of like when you’re sitting next to someone on an airplane. You only have a split second to decide if you’re going to be a chatty Kathy and spend the next five hours on a cross country flight sharing pictures of your kids and family pets, or if you’re going to put on your headphones, fire up your laptop and pretend to be working until you eventually doze off and hope not to wake up until the plane has landed.

if I really want to engage with someone, I try to create some alternative way of describing accounting in a desperate attempt to try to make it sound cooler than it is. I’ll say things like Business Manager, CFO, Business Consultant, of Finance Manager. It’s my own personal way of A/B testing job titles to see which one triggers the best response (spoiler alert, there isn’t a cool way to describe accounting).

Usually people see right through my feeble attempt to sound important, but often follow up with “which company?” At this point, I get to say “My own. The business is called Ironclad Accounting & Finance, and I get to collaborate with a bunch of amazing entrepreneurs who are out there every day, hustling and building empires.” This usually piques their interest a bit more.

I go on to describe how my clients operate in many different industries and are highly diverse. Included in my current client roster are bars and restaurants, law firms, a top performing digital agency, a celebrity chef, a reality TV star with a sewing company, and a very high-profile NBA player who is building a world class venture capital firm. Now they are definitely hooked. They always want to ask more questions about either the celebrity clients or the bars. Usually it’s the bars.


Because of my work, I’ve met people and seen things most people can’t even imagine.

I’ve worked with billionaires, rock stars, models, athletes, and even a prominent member of the British royal family. I’ve bought and sold private jets, exotic cars, and mega mansions in Aspen, and as the accountant, there are no secrets. Someone out there knows for a fact whether or not President Trump only paid $750 in taxes (don’t worry, it’s not me).

The most rewarding clients I get to work with are the everyday entrepreneurs who understand the value in keeping a tight grip on their finances.

They exhibit a real desire to understand the metrics and they entrust me to extract valuable insights to help guide their businesses by studying the finances. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from. The common thread is that they care about where they are headed next and are smart enough to analyze the data around them (or hire someone to do it for them).

Things that Make Us Different should be Very Important to You (Part 1: Money)

Just like any accounting/financial management team, we are a professional service. Our difference, and why we’ve maintained a perfect client retention rate is the level of service we provide and the pricing matching we use to match the unique needs of our clients.

There are 10 really important reasons why you should hire us, and I’ve outlined some of them here for you.

This first blog talks about money. At the end of the day, all of our clients are highly aware of their expenses (and that’s partially why they hire us).

Reason 1: Uniquely Tailored Monthly Retainer

We price our services based on a flat monthly fee. We do this for a couple of reasons.

First, it helps your business budget out a predictable expense.

Secondly, we want you to get comfortable letting us handle a ton of work related to accounting. The more you give us, the more effective we can be at helping you grow. Since you’re paying a flat fee, there’s no need to fear running up the clock or getting nickel and dimed when you call to ask questions.

Reason 2: Skilled team at a fraction of in-house expertise

Ironclad is staffed with multiple professionals with a variety of experience levels.

We provide lower cost associates where appropriate, but bring in an executive level CFO or CPA when needed. Using this blended approach, you get the horsepower you occasionally need, but at a lower cost than a full-time employee.

At the same time, you have year-round coverage because we have redundancies built in; our clients aren’t faced with having their accountant being on vacation or out sick.

Reason 3: Economies of scale, price negotiation, and advocacy

Due to the nature of our regular in-depth review of the books, we become hyper vigilant about eliminating unnecessary expenses on your behalf.

When we spot clients using services that are pricey compared to other clients, we dig in a bit deeper. Often times, we recommend lower cost alternatives or approach vendors on behalf of several clients together to negotiate a volume discount.

We certainly do this with the CPA’s we use to handle tax matters.

In the next blog, I explain why our work has helped our clients strategically. You can read it here.

Things that Make Us Different should be Very Important to You (Part 2: Strategy)

Finances are a window into where you are now, but if you use them correctly, they let you project what you should do next.

This blog explains the strategic advantage our clients get from working with us, enabling them to achieve better profits, better cashflows, and overall growth.

Reason 1: Perfected accounting to frame business taxes

One of my core beliefs is that you should absolutely hire a tax professional who is a true expert when it comes to understanding the tax code and employing tax minimization strategies. We all know how unnecessarily complex these laws are, and the fact that they change every year makes them that much more archaic.

Being an expert at taxes does not make you an expert at accounting. More importantly, it does not leave any time for delivering completely accurate/organized monthly accounting reconciliations, reporting, and review.

Because the accounting we manage is super clean, when we work with your tax preparer, we make sure they can go the distance when strategically minimizing your taxes. No shortcuts. Remember that we speak their language, which saves our clients time and money, ensuring nothing is lost in translation.

Reason 2: Meaningful Weekly Reviews

Our staff (not a program, or a minimum wage intern) downloads, classifies, and reconciles your accounting records at least once a week.

By maintaining this always current status, we spot problems, ask questions, and resolve issues right away. We’ve saved our clients countless amounts of money by flagging unusual credit card activity, canceling unneeded subscriptions, and disputing incorrect charges with credit card companies.

Staying current also allows us to promptly deliver ad hoc reports and other special requests.

Reason 3: Monthly insights

Our senior staff summarizes key financial metrics and business insights for all of our clients when delivering monthly financial statements.

This is really important – In our reporting, we call out items that should be top of mind and warn you of looming pitfalls such as projected cash shortfalls, unusual trends in receivables, or upcoming changes in the recurring cost structure of the business.

Doing so empowers you to make smart, strategic decisions, or identify major upcoming issues easily.

In the final blog of this series, I share how we are different in a 1-1 comparison with other CPA/accounting/bookkeeping shops. Read it here

Things that Make Us Different should be Very Important to You (Part 3: One of a Kind)

These are hard points of differentiation.

Other bookkeeping services just don’t do the things listed here. But, as any successful entrepreneur will tell you, having these elements dramatically increases success.

I am fortunate that our team’s depth of experience allows these great benefits for our clients.

Reason 1: Premium services

We offer services that other CPA’s or bookkeeping firms don’t or can’t.

We have systems in place to provide high volume bill payment, invoicing, and collections services. Most firms are record keeping and reporting only because they don’t want the liability of having access to client funds. At Ironclad, these services are totally available, secure, and provide you a single place to address all your accounting needs.

Reason 2: Access to best practices and an expert network

Because we’re in constant communication with scores of businesses, we have unique insight into how they operate.

I regularly share ideas and processes, as well as play matchmaker by introducing my clients to one another or to our deep network of specialists where appropriate or necessary.

Reason 3: Banking partners and capital investors

While we work with the largest banks and credit card companies in the US, we’ve found that our clients deeply benefit from our relationships with community banks.

We have excellent contacts in the banking community and know which resources to tap when it comes to lending or understanding technological capabilities. We also have several established relationships with family offices and other equity investors.

We regularly make introductions where appropriate.

Reason 4: Exit planning

Due to my extensive experience working with first generation family offices, I fully understand the business lifecycle from inception to exit. In fact, multiple clients of mine have created first generation wealth, and I’ve help guide them during this critically important transition.

My team has first-hand experience buying and selling businesses and deep familiarity with the strategic moves you need to make in advance of an exit. We act as a key advisor during this process to ensure that you are maximizing the value for you as well as future generations who may eventually share in the fruits of your labor.


I totally get that accounting is incredibly boring to most people. (Hence why you should outsource it to someone that really cares).

I’m passionate enough about accounting to build a differentiated business model and now have been helping entrepreneurs, athletes, and TV stars tune in their financials so they can win in a big way.

At the end of the day, my goal is to seek out a very special set of small business owners who will open up the kimono and welcome my help. Those clients will benefit from my team’s depth of skills and resources to elevate their businesses to places they otherwise would be challenged achieving.

In the process, everyone’s lives are enriched. Most importantly, I get to watch you achieve your dream of financial independence.