September 30, 2013
As featured on BroadwayWorld.com and ITBusinessNet.com
Swizznet's 50 percent revenue increase tied to growth in outsourced CFOs and their need for cloud-based financial tools
The market's increasing number of fractional, or outsourced, CFOs and their need for cloud-based financial tools accelerated Swizznet's growth by more than 50 percent in the first half of 2013. Swizznet, the premier QuickBooks® hosting and online accounting solution provider, said today that its increased revenues for Q1 and Q2, 58.5 percent and 51.2 percent respectively over the same periods in 2012, are primarily due to the rapid adoption of its platform by financial experts turning to consulting as a career. Outsourced and/or virtual CFOs, who most often are working with small- to mid-size businesses (SMBs), are turning to Swizznet's cloud-based platform for its ease of use and anytime/anywhere accessibility for financial information and document sharing.
"Swizznet's QuickBooks hosting and cloud computing solution delivers a complete virtual office without the cost of maintaining a network," said Kristin Callan, COO, Swizznet. "We've combined QuickBooks with industry-leading Citrix technology, so that users get the all of the benefits of a robust network without the required investment, facilitating secure collaboration between internal bookkeepers or administrative staff and offsite consultants."
Bill Mertz, founder of Corporate CFO Services in Maryland, is representative of the type of financial consultant adopting the Swizznet platform. Corporate CFO's mission is to seamlessly integrate with clients to provide timely, accurate and meaningful financial information. In order to deliver seamless collaboration, the company needed to utilize a cloud-based system – and Swizznet provided a platform that could help achieve this vision.
"Entrepreneurs have great vision, but their core competencies are not always in the financial arena," Mertz said. "As a result, I can play multiple roles, offering strengths in accounting, strategic planning and operations, and allow CEOs to concentrate on their businesses while I focus on their back offices. I am a big believer in going paperless, in digital scans and storage. I was using QuickBooks online, but needed more features; one of Swizznet's strengths is that it does a great job of backing up data. It also allows for access to books and records 24-7. It's an essential tool for my remote operations."
"For many startups, a full-time CFO is not a viable option," agreed Edwin Shepherdson of Tampa's Sentinel CFO Sources, a consultancy offering a full range of accounting and technology solutions. "But in order for outsourced accounting to work, it needs to be done well...and that means having easy, remote access to data for all parties. We've used Swizznet for three years and have found that it's a platform anyone can understand and use, including our clients."
The Swizznet platform has even changed the way some outsourced CFOs conduct their businesses, such as Steve Breitman, founder of Denver-based Mindful Business Solutions, Inc.
"Before Swizznet, I either had to hire an IT person for server management or I had to physically access a client's accounting software on site," Breitman explained. "Now, I can provide more timely documents and immediate reports, and month-end closings have sped up by as many as 14 days. Also, Swizznet's cloud-based platform has enabled me to expand by business outside of the Denver area."
Mertz, Shepherdson and Breitman agree that cloud-based technological tools are essential, but client communication and responsiveness are keys to success.
"From an industry standpoint, technology is the big enabler for consultancies," Mertz said. "It lets SMBs access the same financial resources available to Fortune 500 companies, but only pay for the time they use. Tools such as Swizznet let me do anything at any time, and, if a client is on vacation, the client still has access to everything at their fingertips. It's all about client service."