Carney Consulting Group has a mission to help small business owners run their business in a more effective and efficient manner by providing business consulting and outsourced accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services. Their client list includes private companies, as well as private non-profits and is not exclusive food, beverage and bio products sector.
Darcy Carney is the principal of CCG and has been offering business and accounting solutions since August 2004. Darcy is a CPA, and has worked with several various small businesses in accounting and management positions since the early ‘90’s. She’s also a QuickBooks Certified Pro-Advisor, which means she’s able to perform or assist in the installation, setup, training and use of all the various QuickBooks products. “I decided to focus our practice on the QuickBooks users because approximately 91% of all small businesses are now using QuickBooks,” Darcy tells CI.
But many small business owners find that after they buy QuickBooks and get it installed they still don’t know how to do accounting and payroll functions. The learning curve can be very steep for a busy small business owner and things get overlooked. Darcy reveals that “I’ve seen more than one small business be the victim of a bookkeeper who knew the owner wasn’t watching the books and helped themselves to some of the money.” This can be devastating to a small business with limited operating funds.
Carney advocates that the small business owner has to be involved and informed enough in the accounting side of the business to insure both accuracy and safe guarding of the business assets. Darcy offers, “There are some simple steps that can be taken that let the bookkeeper know you’re watching. For example you should be the one to look at your bank statement every month, and never give your bookkeeper check signing authority”.
When a small business owner gets too busy to do it all then it’s time to get some help. That means either hiring an in-house bookkeeper or outsourcing to an accounting firm. Carney Consulting Group offers a range of outsourced accounting services depending on the needs of the business. Many small businesses have in-house administrative help but don’t have the expertise to create a complete and accurate financial statement. CCG leverages all the talents that are available in-house and then augments the system where needed. Darcy states, “We can provide the end-to-end solution or we can provide the higher level of monthly review and bank reconciliation's. It really depends on the skill set within the business and the time available of the business owner and staff.”
Clients are served all over the state of Alaska through the use of current technology. Services are delivered by use of remote access with many clients. QuickBooks also has a feature to copy a “portable file” that can be easily attached to an email, enabling the QuickBooks data file to be sent to and from the accountant to the client and vice versa. There is also QuickBooks Online Edition which works very effectively for some of Carney’s clients, especially the ones that are located outside of Anchorage.
New clients come to CCG with either new or existing businesses. “I love to work with new business owners because they are usually very excited and want to learn as much as possible”, Darcy states with confidence. CCG consults with them on the best QuickBooks product to buy and can even order the software for them. Then there is the installation of the program, which is relatively easy, and the setup of the company, which can be much more difficult for a non-accountant to do in the most effective way.
“We also get clients who want to move to the next level and need more financial management expertise, but can’t justify the cost of a full time accountant. We bill that service as an outsourced CFO, and assist with budgets, cash flow projections, create financial management reports, look at internal procedures, and provide various other types of consulting as needed”, says Darcy Carney.
Most notably is the difference in the relationship that clients have with CCG versus the typical relationship with a tax accountant. Clients usually have contact with their tax accountant one, two, maybe three times a year, with a specific focus on getting the tax return completed. At CCG they have an on-going monthly interaction with clients at the very least. Their bookkeepers may have daily contact with clients if that’s the service that we’re providing, and at the very least they have a monthly interaction to review their QuickBooks program, create month-end reports and then provide some feedback on how things look, at least on paper.
If you think your business can benefit from a review of your financial services, give Darcy a call. Maybe a good New Year's resolution for your business?
Darcy Carney, CPA
4401 Business Park Blvd., Suite N44
Anchorage, Alaska 99503