This is it! Scaling New Heights is upon us and we are wrapping up our Road to Scaling New Heights series with Sabrina Parsons, CEO, Palo Alto Software, a provider of small business financial planning and tracking software.
IA: Tell us a little about Palo Alto Software
SP: Palo Alto Software creates business planning and financial tracking software designed specifically for small businesses and their accountants. Our flagship product, LivePlan, offers small business owners and easy way to set financial goals through budgeting and forecasting, a tool for building a 1 page business plan, and a KPI SMB management dashboard to compare actual results . Our dashboard, called Scoreboard, is integrated with QuickBooks, Quickbooks Online, and Xero. The accounting data is automatically uploaded to the Scoreboard and then provides business owners with automated visual reports, and business intelligence to help manage their business financial metrics. The Scoreboard is a great tool for accountants to use with SMB’s in order to give them outsourced CFO and strategic advisor services.
IA: Attendees have a lot of options when it comes to training at Scaling New Heights. What will you be teaching and why should they choose your sessions?
SP: I will be teaching a course called MBA Crash Course: Propel Yourself into the Role of Strategic Advisor. Small businesses today are looking for more from their accountant. In fact, the number one reason small businesses change accountants is because their accountant was not offering proactive financial advising services for their business. Accountants can propel themselves into the role of strategic advisors and retain clients long-term by learning the business basics I will outline in my workshop.
Aside from my workshop I will also be providing the keynote address on Monday, June 16. My presentation will immediately follow Frank Abagnale, an American security consultant known for his history as a former impostor and con artist.
IA: I know that you will not be “selling” during the session, but will participants learn the advantages and benefits of being a LivePlan Partner during this session?
SP: Yes, by using LivePlan or similar financial tracking dashboards, accountants can offer their small business client an anytime, anywhere view of their financials in simple, visually appealing charts and graphs. This saves accountants many hours of running reports and frees up time for them to work with the client on the actual strategic and financial advising. Rather than just providing the accounting data, accountants can use LivePlan to help their clients determine how their business is doing, and where they can improve their KPI’s to grow their business quickly, while remaining fiscally healthy.
IA: What would be the ideal profile for someone attending your session? How many clients would they have? What type of clients would they have (manufacturing, distribution, retail)? Would they need to already have clients with a need that LivePlan can solve?
SP: My session is geared at accountants that serve any small business up to 100 employees. Financial analysis, budgeting, forecasting, and tracking is agnostic to industry, and the strategies I present in my session can be used by any small business industry. Accountants that offer bookkeeping service, outsourced CFO services, and strategic advising (or want to offer these services) would be best served by my workshop.
IA: What do you hope to gain from the investment you’ve made in being and exhibitor and a speaker at SNH?
SP: I hope to help accountants learn how to work better with their small business clients. All too often we see small businesses leaving their accountants because they’re not happy with the services they’re receiving. But, I understand that as the accountant there is sometimes only so much you can do. With LivePlan, it’s easier for accountants to not only offer the bookkeeping and tax services that business owners most often go to them for, but also help them with strategic financial advice that will truly make their clients grow faster, while still remaining fiscally healthy . Small business owners want their accountant to help them strategically, and want to have a better handle on the numbers that they can actually affect to grow their business.
IA: What are the 3 most important take aways a ProAdvisor will receive from your session?
SP: Overall, I hope accountants learn how to become more of a strategic advisor for small businesses. The three biggest steps to achieving this are:
- Learn how to plan strategically
- Learn how to create a forecast and budget and set financial goals
- Learn how to pick and choose the right Key Performance Indicators to track and manage
- Are you looking to connect with ProAdvisors from any particular part of the country?
IA: Are you looking to connect with ProAdvisors form any particular part of the country?
SP: I’m open to meeting ProAdvisors from all parts of the country.
There you have it! We hope you have found our Road To Scaling New Heights series beneficial and look forward to seeing you in San Antonio.