Energy bar maker needs a trusted financial advisor to improve financial processes

chef-hat-icon-cropWhen a Chicago commercial bakery’s customizable energy bars were featured on ABC TV’s “Shark Tank,” business increased significantly in a short timeframe. So it engaged a large, well-known accounting firm to help manage its suddenly more complicated finances.

But it quickly found that, as a small, entrepreneurial company, it was a low-priority client, and was getting only basic accounting services at a high cost. Worse, the company had no real relationship with its accountants – and had no one to help its owners manage finances better, run operations more efficiently or find opportunities for cost reductions.

DBS Accounting Solutions (DBS) was hired to straighten out the bakery’s basic finances, and found that the company’s top executive still was handling bookkeeping – and not doing it properly or on a timely basis. Improving bookkeeping became the top priority.

DBS took over complete responsibility for the bakery’s day-to-day accounting functions. To start, DBS cleaned up the books and reviewed all financial data to ensure it was correct and consistent. Then it built comprehensive statements to deliver a complete, up-to-date picture of the bakery’s finances and operations.

The benefits were immediate: more accurate and useful data, significantly improved financial insight, faster monthly closes, and the opportunity to discover new efficiencies and savings.

These critical improvements were implemented just in time: Shortly afterward, the bakery was selected by a global yogurt company to produce a line of energy bars in the United States.

Today, DBS President David Saltzman is working closely with executives to implement a much-needed job-cost system, reduce inventory costs, and find other opportunities to improve financial processes and overall profitability.

Broad accounting and business advisory services help growing company work smart

wheelbarrow-icon-cropBased on the West Side of Chicago, a fast-growing landscape materials suppler had serious accounting issues: Its bookkeeper quit, and a replacement was proving difficult to find. It was beginning a long complex changeover from QuickBooks to KiBiz accounting software.  And, most important, its relationship with its large suburban accounting firm was poor.

The accounting firm’s services were expensive, especially for a mid-size company selling hardscape materials and urban agriculture supplies, and the firm was not providing any value beyond basic tax preparation and simple financial statements.  Plus, when the company’s owners had financial or accounting questions, the firm was unable to provide easily understandable answers: “Instead of educating us,” the owner says, “the accounting firm’s partners kept talking over our heads.”

DBS Accounting Solutions (DBS) was hired to take over bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation, and to provide assistance in the move from the QuickBooks to the POS- and inventory-focused KiBiz application.

Today, with the company’s bookkeeping conforming to accounting standards and the software switchover complete, DBS works hand-in-hand with the owners, providing financial advice, teaching accounting processes and standards to top managers, and, most important, offering simple answers to their questions.

The goal, says DBS President David Saltzman, is to set up the company for long-term success.  Next up in the project queue: implementation of inventory controls, intelligent tax planning and preparation, more timely inventory and financial reporting, and a major effort to improve cash flow.

Change to S Corporation status drives significant tax savings – and new options

check-icon-cropAs a Limited Liability Company (LLC) with just under $1 million in annual revenue, thousands of inspections per year and several employees, a suburban Chicago home inspection firm had complex bookkeeping and tax requirements – and was paying too much in Illinois and Federal taxes.

When the principal of its longtime accounting firm retired, the owner of the home inspection firm realized it was an opportunity to find an accounting firm that could take on key financial functions and, most important, discover ways to reduce its tax burden.

DBS Accounting Solutions (DBS) was selected to replace the outgoing accountant, and the first task was to elect to file Federal tax returns as an S Corporation.  This simple change offered a number of important tax benefits, notably the reduction of onerous self-employment taxes.  Ultimately, becoming an S Corp generated significant savings for both the owner and the company.

In addition, DBS handles day-to-day bookkeeping functions, and DBS President David Saltzman is working with the owner on tax planning and retirement savings/planning.

Honesty, understanding and respect helps client relationship grow

precision-icon-cropLocated in a far Chicago suburb, the precision machining and manufacturing company was lost in the woods when it came to accounting.  Its QuickBooks software was old and semi-functional, and provided no reporting. And its monthly bookkeeping was performed on a less-than-monthly basis.

The owner brought in DBS Accounting Solutions (DBS) to help him find answers.  DBS President David Saltzman began by telling the owner that if he continued to handle finances in the same way, the problems would only get worse.  And he told him that big changes were required.  The owner told Saltzman to do what was necessary.

DBS immediately took over the company’s bookkeeping, implemented appropriate accounting processes and standards, and began providing the owner with accurate financial reports within days of month-end.

In the process, Saltzman and the owner developed a solid business relationship based on straight talk, trust and mutual respect.  “Accounting is about business, but for many small companies it also is personal,” Saltzman says.  “When you have trust, you can help clients improve their financial situation and, ultimately, help them achieve greater peace of mind.”

DBS role evolves by providing important mentoring, timely input and valuable insight

truck-iconA fast-growing, $24 million suburban Chicago freight brokerage needed extra accounting horsepower.  So it hired DBS Accounting Solutions (DBS) to provide outsourced CFO services.  DBS came in regularly to prepare key financial statements, review processes, ensure work met accounting standards, and meet with accounting staff and the owner.

The goal: Educate the inexperienced accounting manager and, ultimately, enable the client to handle all its financial functions without DBS oversight.

That process is ongoing.  And DBS’s time on-site already has decreased. But the importance of its role has increased.  For example, the brokerage owner recently asked DBS President David Saltzman to help prepare for a meeting with a private equity group, and invited Saltzman to attend the important meeting as well.

“This job started out as an accounting job,” Saltzman said.  “But over time, we’ve become trusted advisors to the owner and an important resource for the company.”