From the Sept. 2008 Issue
In recent years, technological advancements have made it possible for many companies, even accounting firms, to allow some of their professional staff to work remotely. With a shortage of experienced staff in the profession, it often makes sense to hold onto seasoned workers, even if they move out of the area.
Likewise, many of these same technologies have allowed traditional accounting firms to provide remote accounting and bookkeeping services to their clients, essentially acting as a “virtual CFO,” providing most or all of the posting, closing and reconciliation functions, as well as payroll, financial statement preparation and financial analysis. One accounting professional has found a way to merge the best of both concepts.
Based in Kansas City, RPPC, Inc. (www.RPPC.net)
has never had a traditional office during its more than 10 years, opting instead
to have its president and staff work from home offices, from the road or from
client locations. Pam Newman, who started the consultancy in 1997 and holds
CMA and CFM credentials, says this has enabled the firm to keep overhead costs
at a minimum while offering competitive services that are based on client needs.
Kansas City, Mo.
“I focus on building long-term relationships with my clients that are based on helping them build strong businesses with solid financial foundations and an understanding of what their own financials really mean,” she said. “With today’s remote technologies, I can be anywhere and be responsive to client needs. The firm’s name is an acronym that also represents Pam’s mission with clients: “Realizing Profitable Potential through Change.”
RPPC specializes in QuickBooks and its POS offerings, and provides a full range of accounting services that includes bookkeeping and financial analysis, aiding in payroll processes, business consulting, and education of business owners. With some clients, the focus is on helping them perform tasks themselves, while for others, RPPC offers full, in-house accounting services. The firm intentionally does not prepare taxes, but rather partners with area practitioners to prepare clients for annual reporting. “I try to help a business be more responsible with its finances by better understanding their processes, so my relationship with the business adds value to their relationship with their CPA.”
Pam and her office manager both use laptops, and with an obvious reliance upon technology built into the consultancy’s business model, RPPC scored a 226 on the Productivity Survey, a free tool at www.CPATechAdvisor.com/productivity that helps firms assess their usage of technology.
Education is really the core of Pam’s interests, with her goal being to help entrepreneurs truly understand the financial aspects of their small businesses and assist them in developing and implementing strategies to succeed in their market. She is a QuickBooks Pro Advisor, which helps on the technology side, and she also offers a monthly newsletter with practical tips, in addition to training seminars for businesses.
So what led her toward her current path? Pam received her MBA and BS in Accounting & Management from the University of Nebraska and has experience working in-house for various entities, from a Fortune 500 telecommunications enterprise, to banking, retail and hospitality. She then owned and ran a remodeling company. With a self-proclaimed passion for cost accounting, she quickly realized that most small business owners simply didn’t understand the financial side of their work. With her knowledge of contracting, RPPC quickly gained several construction clients, and has since grown to cover a diverse business client base.