LedgerGurus: Virtual, Outsourced Accounting
“Accounting is moving away from brick and mortar, and we want to be ahead of the curve on that and build something sustainable.”
There comes a time in every business owner’s career when they realize that simple bookkeeping is no longer cutting it and they need the skills of an accountant. They need someone who can see the big financial picture, engineer a flow, deal with a crisis in foresight, and help a company expand. But accountants are expensive and hiring one full-time can bust a small business’s budget. Plus, few small businesses have enough work to occupy an accountant full time, and end up overpaying accountants for simple bookkeeping tasks.
So in the past the choice has been to go broke keeping an accountant on payroll, or wing it and try to do your own accounting. Neither were great options. And Brittany Brown, founder and CEO of LedgerGurus, saw an opportunity to provide a better solution.
11 years ago, Brittany went through a sudden, unexpected divorce, and found herself needing to provide for her three young children with only an associate’s degree. The only work she could find failed to cover the costs of childcare. So she went back to school in pursuit of a higher degree. She originally planned to study marketing, but when she excelled in her first accounting class, her professor encouraged her to build a career on what was very clearly a talent. Brittany transferred from UVU to BYU, and completed both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree while raising her three kids and marrying her husband Stephen.
Brittany went on to work as an accountant for KPMG and Squire, and as CFO for a local construction company. While at these companies, Brittany discovered the huge impact accounting could have on a small business as a touch point and how accounting could help them understand what the numbers are telling them about their business. She also discovered how important it was to her to be able to have a career and raise her children without compromising the quality of either. “I really came to value the ability to have a meaningful career without trading one or the other,” Brittany says.
Then, in 2014, Brittany attended a conference, and after talking with small business owners, as she explains it, “all the pieces came together for me.” She knew she wanted to start LedgerGurus to offer small businesses the accounting services they need as an outsourced firm.
Stephen, who at the time was working at Landesk, offered to help with the technology, a necessary component in an industry that is increasingly moving away from brick and mortar toward the cloud. Together they launched LedgerGurus.
“Our competitive edge is that we better understand the ecosystem,” Brittany explains. “In this day and age the accounting ecosystem has become a progressive platform with many apps.” The key, she explains, is understanding how to properly integrate those apps to increase efficiency and perform the tasks of a full-time accountant in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost.
All LedgerGurus employees work from home and are offered the opportunity to excel in their careers. “I knew that I wanted to be a place where accountants could go and have an actual career path,” Brittany explains.
“We see a lot of opportunity and not a lot of people trying to do what we do,” Stephen says, explaining that small businesses are underserved. Of course some companies eventually reach a point where they require a full time accountant, but as Stephen explains it, “We’ve succeeded when we help getting customers to that point.”
“We want to become a household name with businesses,” Brittany says. “Accounting is moving away from brick and mortar, and we want to be ahead of the curve on that and build something sustainable.”