Palo Alto Software’s LivePlan Expert Advisor program launched a directory of accountants this week that gives small business owners access to accounting professionals who have completed the LivePlan Expert Advisor Certification program and can provide strategic business planning and financial management advice.
The Expert Advisor program, which was launched in December 2014, is a certification program for accountants interested in better serving small business clients by providing long-term proactive advice. To receive certification, accountants complete a training session with a Palo Alto Software expert to learn how to foster strategic growth for clients through use of Palo Alto Software’s flagship planning and tracking tool, LivePlan.
Accountants who have completed the certification can be included in the directory if they are actively using LivePlan with at least three current clients. The directory is available for both LivePlan customers and Bplans.com unique visitors, which is a combined audience of over 1.5 million entrepreneurs every month. The scale of the Bplans.com and LivePlan audiences presents an opportunity for accountants to form relationships with potential clients, and gives small business owners access to accountants in the position to offer strategic long-term advice, in addition to accounting and bookkeeping services.
“We’re excited to launch the directory and be able to connect our LivePlan Expert Advisors with our small business customers,” said Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. “Accountants are often the first resource that small business owners hire, when they can afford to. Our LivePlan Expert Advisors are accountants that are better positioned than your average accountant to help small business owners manage their financials strategically and plan for growth while remaining fiscally healthy. It’s exciting to be able to bring together small business customers and LivePlan Expert Advisors, knowing that together they will produce thriving small businesses.”
Small business owners are often looking for accountants who can provide more than basic tax and bookkeeping services. Accountants should be able to understand small business forecasting and budgeting, and help create a small business dashboard to track financial key performance indicators to provide long-term proactive advice for their small business clients. Those who have received LivePlan’s Expert Advisor Certification are in the best position to offer these types of services.
"I use LivePlan with over 20 clients as a small business dashboard to explain what their numbers are actually saying. I use that information with clients to forecast for the future and increase business success and CEO happiness,” said Leah Roe, CPA at Fine Point Consulting and a certified LivePlan Expert Advisor. “I'm excited that the Expert Advisor Directory will help business owners discover my firm and engage with our accounting and strategic advising services."
“Other than the business owner, accountants are usually the only other person who truly knows a small business’ financials inside and out, so they should step in with strategic advice and lean planning and management strategies,” said Parsons. “The LivePlan Expert Advisor Certification helps accountants gain the knowledge and skills they need to add new services to their accounting practice, and the new directory puts businesses in need of these proactive accounting services in touch with these proactive, strategic accountants.”
LivePlan syncs with QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop and Xero. The tool provides a dashboard for small business owners to view their financials in simple charts and graphs. The small business dashboard - the Scorecard - used in conjunction with the lean forecasting and budgeting tools give small business owners a clear picture of where they need to go, and whether they are on track to get there. LivePlan is a perfect tool for accountants to use to collaborate quickly with their small business clients and give clients what they have been asking for: clarity, direction and the ability to keep their business growing while remaining fiscally healthy. Currently, over 140 accountants have completed the LivePlan Expert Advisor program. Thirty-four accountants have gone through a more rigorous process to be listed in the directory. To visit the LivePlan Expert Advisor Directory, visit LivePlan.com.
Current LivePlan Expert Advisors include:
Loretta Witt Simmons, Witt's End Accounting Solutions LLC. Rochester, Mich., US
Robert Salinas, Reality Check Business Solutions, LLC. Miami, Fla., US
Faith Terwilliger, Terwilliger CPA. Brattleboro, Vt., US
Danetha Doe, Money and Mimosas. Oakland, Calif., US
Cami Powell, Powell Business Solutions, LLC. Bellingham, Wash., US
David Maher, GG Technologies. Cookeville, Tenn., US
Kevin Stephens, HintonBurdick CPAs & Advisors. Glendale, Ariz., US
Joy Huffman, ebs Associates, Inc. Tigard, Ore., US
Denise Loter-Koch, ebs Associates, Inc. Tigard, Ore., US
Leah Roe, Fine Point Consulting. Madison, Wis., US
Karla Geldmacher, Altitude Financial Services LLC. Reisterstown, Md., US
Jillann Johnson, ebs Associates Inc. Tigard, Ore., US
Keith Bogard, Azendit Accounting Inc. Chilliwack, B.C., CA
Chelsea Stanton, Fine Point Consulting, LLC. Madison, Wis., US
Tina Pittman, Your Accountant, LLC. Chambersburg, Pa., US
Jan Haugo, Jan Haugo & Associates. Scottsdale, Ariz., US
Jamie Playford, Leading Strategies. Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Robyn Smithson, Smithson Bookkeeping & Business Services. Reno, Nev., US
Katherine Wynne-Jones, Wynne-Jones & Associates. Birmingham, Mich., US
Cindy Schroeder, Bright Bookkeeping LLC. Glen Ellyn, Ill., US
Marcia Lorraine, Lorraine's Ledgers. Endicott, N.Y., US
Michael Callahan, Michael Callahan and Associates, LLC. Winchester, Va., US
Dale Jellison, AccessCFOs. San Diego, Calif., US
Billie Anne Grigg, Pocket Protector Bookkeeping. Chelsea, Okla., US
Vivian Seidner, Vivian By The Numbers. Rockville, Md., US
Cyndi Thomason, bookskeep. Harrison, Ark., US
Sandy Morgan, Almost Anything LLC. Princeton, Minn., US
Catherine Wolfe, Small Business Bookkeeping Solutions Inc. Plantation, Fla., US
Ron Haws, Johnson Haws CPA. Ogden, Utah, US
Carmen Brown, Simple Organized Solutions, Inc. Parker, Colo., US
Janene Schmidt, BizIncite, LLC. Goose Creek, S.C., US
Karin Amann, Karin Amann Business Services. Placerville, Calif., US
Donna Bordeaux, Bordeaux & Bordeaux CPAs PA. Lake Wylie, S.C., US
Luke Gheen, Gheen & Co., CPA, LLC. Colorado Springs, Colo., US
LivePlan is a SaaS (software as a service) solution for business planning and financial management. LivePlan is made by Palo Alto Software, Inc., developers of tools and content resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs. LivePlan is the #1 selling lean planning and small business dashboard software in the world. It helps small and midsized businesses pitch, plan, manage, and grow their businesses. Palo Alto Software has been the market leader in its category for over 15 years, has served well over 2 million entrepreneurs, and has customers in 180 countries. Founded in 1988 by business planning expert Tim Berry. Sabrina Parsons has been the company’s CEO since 2007. Palo Alto Software is a privately-owned corporation based in Eugene, Oregon.