Firm of the Future Profile: Mattice Business Services
Welcome to another in a series of profiles spotlighting the 2016 Firm of the Future finalists. Our latest edition features Lynn Mattice of Mattice Business Services. Stay tuned for details on how to enter our next Firm of the Future contest and continue visiting our blog often.
Kim Amsbaugh: Hi Lynn! First, share a little bit about yourself.
Lynn Mattice: Mattice Business was founded in 1999, and in addition to myself, we have one full-time bookkeeper and three virtual bookkeepers. We serve small- to medium-sized businesses with bookkeeping, payroll, profit first implementation and consulting services. Clients range from $100,000 in revenue to more than $10 million. We also serve many nonprofit organizations, including small town government clients.
KA: What makes Mattice Business Services a Firm of the Future?
LM: We have adopted the use of cloud services, and transitioned from hourly rate pricing to packages with monthly or quarterly fees. Additionally, we “see” most of our clients through Zoom sessions, and have a corporate office for our clients to come for initial consults, training and meetings. We also have clients out of state that we are able to service through all of our cloud services.
KA: What’s your best advice about getting online today and adopting online technologies?
LM: Get on the bandwagon now with cloud services! You don’t have to know each and every app option; just know that they are available.
KA: How do you choose software and app partners before recommending to your clients?
LM: Joining a Facebook group (or a few) that can help you find the right solution for your client is a great resource. We also use apps.com, of course. I try to get recommendations from colleagues or use the product first.
KA: What apps do you use for your firm?
LM: We use QuickBooks® Online for the majority of our clients, Intuit® Online Payroll for Accountants to process payroll, Hubdoc to gather bank and credit card statements, and Zoom for meetings to conduct trainings or fix an issue. We also use Track1099, Google Suite, ScheduleOnce and Asana.
KA: What apps do your clients use?
KA: Which app do you recommend most frequently, and why?
LM: It depends on the client. Each client has different needs, so we research the best app to fit their needs.
KA: You mentioned in your contest entry that when you started your business in 1999, you spent half the time traveling to clients. How have the cloud, QuickBooks Online and apps such as TSheets and Expensify changed the way you work with your clients and impacted your efficiency?
LM: I now have more time to spend on consulting and helping my clients become more profitable, rather than spending a good portion of my day driving. Using apps to do the manual work has also saved me time. I can now better serve my clients, helping them on other aspects of their business than just bookkeeping.
KA: How did you introduce value pricing to your clients three years ago? What was their reaction, and what changes have you seen in the way you collaborate with them?
LM: When making the original transition with my hourly clients, I averaged the monthly fee and increased it just a bit by adding more consulting services. My clients understood, and liked, the idea of a fee that never fluctuated. At the same time, I also incorporated ACH payments on the first of each month for all clients. This also saves me time and money – no more receivables! After transitioning my current clients, it was easy to tell new clients that this is how we work. I believe that clients see this form of billing as a more professional approach.
KA: What advice would you give other firms thinking about transitioning from hourly fees to monthly fixed fees?
LM: Don’t be afraid, and use analogies such as “your auto mechanic,” “your doctor,” “your painter” and “your plumber.” All these experts give a “value price” for their job. You don’t ask for their hourly rate; you trust that they know what they are doing, will get the job done and you pay for their expertise. Clients get it, and if they don’t, let them move on, as they’ll probably never value your services and expertise.
KA: You mentioned in your entry that you have a weekly online chat in the Facebook group called Accountants, Bookkeepers and Business Owners (ABBO). How has using social media to share your knowledge with businesses, and also exchange advice with peers, helped you better run Mattice Business Services?
LM: I write about Profit First each Wednesday on ABBO. This becomes an interactive chat with other members, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge of Profit First with them. I also led a CPE webinar on Profit First for astUtemy members, which has enabled me to get to know many of my peers better. I also turn to them for advice on apps that I have not personally used. By perusing the Facebook page frequently to follow discussions, I seem to learn something almost every day.
KA: How do you find the balance between marketing and run-the-business type work?
LM: I have been fortunate in my business because I have never had to spend too much time or money on marketing. I hired someone last year to create a new website for me, something I did not find time for. I believe that if a part of running a business is not your area of expertise, outsource it!
KA: How do you use the ProAdvisor® Program or social media channels to connect with prospects and current clients? Is there one that has been particularly more successful than others?
LM: I have been getting leads from the ProAdvisor Program’s website since 1999! Many new clients start off Googling “get to the Find-a-ProAdvisor page,” link to my website and set up an appointment. I love that automation.
KA: What are your plans to continue growing Mattice Business Services?
LM: I’m launching my speaking career this year to add to my current services. I’m a certified Profit First professional, as well as a Certified Partner with the “Fun Department.” I’ll be spreading the word on both of these awesome programs with my presentation, “More Fun, More Profit.” My new website, lynnmattice.com, is under construction, and will bring in more Profit First clients, as well as those who want to incorporate fun into their businesses in order to become more profitable.