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Customer FAQs

What makes SMART different from a typical accounting firm?

  • We bring solutions, not just checking off boxes.
  • We give a sh*t- you're not just a paycheck.
  • We are early-adopters of technology and tech-focused.
  • We are constantly improving and evolving our services.
  • We think like entrepreneurs not paper-pushers.
  • We are a partner, not a provider.

What makes SMART different from an in-house bookkeeper/accountant?

  • We have the ability to blend our accounting, tax and strategy services across our diverse and highly-skilled team. You do not want a bookkeeper doing intensive budgetary planning, just like you do not want your CFO reconciling weekly invoices. With our team, we can match the complexity of the work with the correct expert (and hourly rate). This blended approach ensures the work is correct and reduces your overall cost.
  • Your financials will be reviewed by a CPA each month. This review allows for issues to be caught and corrected before they get out of hand, or you have a large adjustment when you file your taxes.

Do you prorate the monthly fee if I start in the middle of the month?

  • We try to start our engagements at the beginning of the month. If that is not possible, we do not prorate our services. Keep reading… there’s a good reason for this.
  • Even if you start in the middle of the month, we will still reconcile, close and review that month in its entirety, not just the days after the engagement.
  • Although the days in the month will be less, you will still be receiving the total month worth of services and attention, just in a condensed amount of time.

What is including in the client onboarding package?

See the above section regarding onboarding requirements, deliverables and expectations.

What accounting software do you recommend and why?

  • We are open to and have experience working with just about every accounting software out there. We typically do not make you switch software if you are happy with the system you're currently using. That said, we will offer advice on how to improve your processes and if this involves changing software, we will make the recommendation, but we will not force your hand.
  • Our go-to accounting software is Xero. We believe it has all the advanced accounting features needed, but also presents a simple and understandable user interface. Xero is also on the cutting edge of integration with 3rd party software that you most likely already use in your business (Stripe, Square, Practice Ignition, etc.), which makes it easier to connect data and increase automation.

What is the typical cadence and who do I direct my questions to?

  • Once you are onboarded with our team, you will be assigned a dedicated senior account rep who will be your primary point of contact moving forward. However, our management team (really anyone at SMART) is more than open to field any questions you might have.
  • Danielle Wilbur - our Head of Sales; whom you've already met - will also be scheduling a 60-day check-in from the date your onboarding kicked off. This check-in will ensure expectations are being met and scope creep is not occurring at the start of the engagement.

What is the bill pay approval workflow through bill.com?

Step #1 - Capture: Import bills & expenses directly.

Step #2 - Approve: Configure custom user roles to manage approvers and set thresholds by bill amount or add notes or questions to a bill.

Step #3 - Pay: Link to multiple bank accounts, checks, CC, ACH, etc. Schedule automatic payments, pay multiple invoices at once or make partial payments.

Step #4: Reconcile: Integrate seamlessly with your cloud-based accounting solution to gain insights into bill payments, unpaid bills, vendor balances, aging, funds transfer and transaction lists. Also, you can automatically void checks, create vendor forms and see when checks clear at this stage.

Do you offer Payroll Services? What is your preferred Payroll software system?

  • Yes, we offer payroll and people advisory services.
  • Our preferred Payroll system is Gusto. However, if you prefer to stick with your existing payroll system, we will not force your hand.

What is the difference between accrual and cash basis accounting?

Accrual accounting means expenses and revenues are recognized and recorded when they occur. Cash basis accounting means these items aren't documented until cash exchanges hands. For example, if you purchase an annual software subscription, here is how both would apply:
  • Cash basis - the books will show cash leaving the business when the invoice is paid.
  • Accrual basis - the books will show cash being distributed across the 12-month period.

When can I expect my books to be closed and financial statements to be delivered?

All statements are finalized and delivered on the 10th of each month.

Am I filing my taxes as the correct / most advantageous entity (Sole Proprietor, LLC, S-Corp, Corp, etc.)

Your business structure affects how much you pay in taxes, your ability to raise money, the paperwork you need to file and your personal liability. If you need our advice or help, we'll work with you to choose a business structure that gives you the right balance of legal protections and benefits.

Do you offer sales tax filing?

Yes, on a case-by-case basis.

Why are you more expensive?

Are there cheaper companies out there? Maybe! But will those individuals or companies make you feel 150% safe, confident and proactive about your business' financials 24/7? With us, you get what you pay for. We don't skimp on time, quality, technology or expertise when delivering on our white glove services.
  • We’re a true "one-stop-shop" for all your tax, accounting, payroll and strategy needs, so you don't have to hire multiple full-time employees + additional outside/3rd parties to do what we do all under one roof. Without the overhead of FT salaries and various 3rd parties (that may or may not communicate with one another), you're more likely to SAVE money and time with us.
  • We do NOT outsource abroad...period. This is a big deal because-
  • It means you're promoting a business that keeps and adds jobs in America.
  • It means additional safety knowing your books are not being accessed by a 3rd party that has not been properly interviewed, screened and/or vetted.
  • We also utilize the best, top-of-the-line technology to ensure that our work is always accurate, timely and impactful. Many big firms and old school accountants are admittedly late tech adopters - meaning they don't feel comfortable utilizing the new tools that can provide business owners with MORE info, BETTER insights and FASTER advice to help them pivot proactively vs. reactively.

How long until we can start onboarding?

Once you sign and complete the engagement letter, we will determine an onboarding start date with your dedicated account representatives and send you detailed instructions for what to bring/prepare for that first kickoff call.

Why do you ask for so much information before you send a proposal?

We do our due diligence upfront to ensure that we're managing expectations on both ends, and to guarantee the fairest and most accurate scope of work and pricing. This preliminary discovery work helps mitigate scope creep and ensures we staff each client and project properly from the start to always guarantee top-notch customer service levels and expertise.
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