James Cliame is owner of Net Result in San Diego, an accounting solution provider that specializes in QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. We recently spoke with Cliame about manufacturing and distribution, one of the vertical markets he caters to in the greater San Diego area.
Cliame says he focuses “on anyone with advanced inventory needs.” Why the focus on inventory? “Because other accountants avoid it, fearing they’ll make mistakes,” he says, “and I want to go where it’s easier for me to capture the clients.” Cliame sees a growth opportunity where others see obstacles.
One common mistake, where some financial solutions enable a business to sell inventory it doesn’t actually have in stock, can lead to obvious customer dissatisfaction. “These financial solutions can be easy to use, as advertised,” Cliame says, “but it gets more complicated with inventory. I’ve seen financial statements that are very wrong because this was done incorrectly.”
What helps Cliame’s clients address the more complicated aspects of advanced inventory is having a cloud-based system that lets them – as well as their accountant – interact with their data any time, from anywhere. According to Cliame, today’s trusted advisors must have better daily visibility into their clients’ businesses, something that can only happen in an online environment where real time data is only a few clicks away.
Moving to a single cloud-based system also helps Cliame’s clients consolidate a hodge-podge of Band-Aid solutions that typically include Excel and some mix of paper-based processes. “These old processes are inefficient, and it’s easy to make mistakes because they have to duplicate data entry,” says Cliame. “If their numbers aren’t correct, their budgets and their forecasting are all wrong – but a single application can fix all that.”
A cloud-based system also lets accounts play a more strategic role with clients, providing value on an ongoing basis instead of just during tax time, when any problems have already compounded. “Having an online solution allows for proactive decision-making rather than post-event triage,” says Cliame. “It allows accountants to have an ongoing relationship with their clients.”
So what keeps small manufacturers and distributors from adopting online solutions and addressing inventory issues proactively? “The number one factor is money,” Cliame says. But he also says that a little education about the benefits would go a long way, both for the companies and their accountants. “These systems can pay for themselves,” he says, and that makes a more comprehensive accounting solution a good investment indeed.
Jeffery Rice, EcoSystem Manager for Exact Online