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How GrowthLab Financial tackled the rising cost of business [case study]

REVENUE GROWTH 3 mins 21 Sep 2022 by Angela Gosnell
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GrowthLab Financial Founder Dan Gertrudes is an Ignition customer. As the cost of business continues to rise, he shares insights into the steps he has taken to safeguard the firm and prepare for economic uncertainty.
Dan Gertrudes, Founder of GrowthLab Financial

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economic environment and reshaped the accounting profession. With more time being devoted to clients, accountants and bookkeepers are turning to cloud technology to automate client engagement, billing and payment.

Accounting firms across the globe have seen a surge in revenue since 2020. But inflationary pressures have now taken hold and the economic outlook is uncertain.

Dan Gertrudes started GrowthLab Financial in 2014. Eight years on, Dan has experienced a radical transformation of the accounting industry.

“Firms are now facing rising business costs and skills shortages,” he says. “It has become virtually impossible to find the right people at the right price, where you can justify your gross margin targets without raising your prices.”

He decided the firm needed to focus on engaging clients while navigating pricing, labor, and expense challenges. But this required time and resources. GrowthLab Financial needed the agility to respond to economic challenges and remain competitive

Simplify your engagement and re-engagement processes

To combat rising costs, Dan’s key focus was on improving overall processes and workflows to safeguard the firm.

This meant having constant efficiency across the firm, removing bottlenecks in business workflow to improve time, resource, and cost utilization – this is where Ignition came in.

Ignition is a technology solution for accountants and bookkeepers that makes it simple to engage clients, get paid and run your business on autopilot.

Dan says Ignition helped his firm become agile by developing an ability to implement workflows that save time, increase client focus and lead to greater client satisfaction.

'To combat rising costs, Dan’s key focus was on improving overall processes and workflows to safeguard GrowthLab Financial.'

Cost pressures have put big challenges on how firms approach their clients, but Ignition has helped simplify the process of engaging and re-engaging a client. Ignition has also helped the firm simplify various processes in not just managing but minimizing working capital, as well as streamlining its client billing management.

“We’re now in control of upcoming invoices and payments,” Dan says. “We’ve also been able to stay at the forefront of credit risk. If a customer can’t pay, or something unexpected happens, we can make a swift decision within the first week on how to engage the customer.

“This provides backbone support to increase certainty, especially during increased volatility impacting cash flow,” he says.

Use workflows to do the heavy lifting

These new processes have eliminated administrative pain points and allowed Dan to position his firm to meet the challenge of rising business costs head-on.

Six months ago, Dan started a new division in the company solely focused on process improvement. Leveraging the importance of workflow automation, he has placed stronger emphasis on freeing up time and building stronger efficiencies firm-wide for customers. This process allowed the accounting and bookkeeping team to reduce the number of hours and effort to produce work.

Like the first months of the pandemic, Dan is prepared for customers to eventually return to the firm and ask for pricing concessions or reduce the scope of work.

“Through better workflow processes, we are now in a position where we have reduced the amount of time required to produce a piece of work. I can confidently turn to my customer and happily say I can reduce the price, but still maintain my gross margins on the downside,” Dan says.

The improvement in processes has also helped the firm meet the challenges of the ‘great resignation’ and better fill the gaps of rising labor costs and talent shortages. Dan has also implemented a unique shareholder base model that is different from the traditional CPA partnership progression model and is targeted to millennial employees to better retain talent in the long term.

It has also given Dan more time to proactively manage firm expenses and customer profitability to understand whether or not there are pricing or human capital issues in the firm.

Streamlining his business with Ignition has helped GrowthLab maintain its steady growth rate in 2022. Dan is now convinced that preparation is crucial for accountants and bookkeepers looking to combat cost pressures.

His key takeaway: “Understand what it takes to acquire, engage, and onboard customers, [as well as] what it means to service them,” he says. “Don't underestimate the power of workflow automation.”

Over to you

With costs of business rising, now is the time to take steps to shore up your accounting or bookkeeping practice for the future. Learn how Ignition can help deliver efficiencies in your firm. From empowering streamlined workflows to automating time consuming processes such as engagement letters and payments, we free you up to focus on what really matters – your clients. Want to find out more? Watch our online demo.
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Meet the author

Angela Gosnell
Angela Gosnell

Global Content Marketing Lead 

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Published 21 Sep 2022 Last updated 19 Mar 2024