Freelance writer Cherine Hlady interviews local CPA and owner of cloud bookkeeping firm TenjaGo, Jason Hastie, on how he works as a trusted advisor to help his clients become growth-focused businesses.
“Accounting doesn’t have to be the cloud that hangs over the entrepreneur’s head.”
So says Jason Hastie, who, as owner of the Calgary-based bookkeeping firm TenjaGo, aims to take the pain out of bookkeeping “using a 21st century approach of cloud-based software to simplify the bookkeeping process.” A process that ultimately frees the small business owner up to focus on the blue sky thinking necessary to run a more successful enterprise.
Our work can help them be more strategic. For example, identifying then focusing on key performance indicators… that can help them run their operations more effectively.
Jason Hastie, CPA, Owner, TenjaGo
“Through regular connections with our clients we can get a better handle on small issues before they become big problems,” he says. Hastie recalls one client who wasn’t properly collecting on receivables. Through consistent monthly tracking, TenjaGo was able to help the client tighten up on collections, freeing up almost $5 million in cash to help finance a new building the client sought to purchase.
The key to demystifying the accounting “chore” are regular check-ins. The Icelandic word, Tenja, literally means “to connect” and Hastie and his team aim to meet or connect with the firm’s 60+ bookkeeping clients at least once a month.
Small businesses, says Hastie, have limited resources: “Our work can help them be more strategic. For example, identifying then focusing on key performance indicators (KPIs) like cash flow and profit and loss that can help them run their operations more effectively.”
In fact, TenjaGo began when he and his business partner, a fellow CPA, realized the impact old school bookkeeping was having on entrepreneurs: “The reality is, spreadsheets and pen-and-paper systems just aren’t cutting it. Rather than continuing to watch businesses fail because of poor bookkeeping practices, we decided to do something about it.”
Using QuickBooks Online‘s (QBO) cloud-based technology, their clients always have up-to-date financial data (receipts, monthly statements), accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device – turning them into important information to help build their business. By having an up-to-date understanding of financials, clients can be more confident in making profitable business decisions – saving time, money and unnecessary stress. This strategy helped one client save almost $1,200 in interest and insurance costs by helping them make more regular payments.
Hastie particularly loves QBO thanks to all the apps connected to it, like chata.ai and its conversational interface that allows users to interact with their data using their own words. Hastie likes to stay on top of new technologies, making recommendations where appropriate. “Not all apps are for everyone, so you really have to know your client and what would work for them.”
In the end, it’s all about providing peace of mind says Hastie: “We like to think of ourselves as the trusty financial sidekick. We help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and business owners focus on what they do best – growing their business. We worry about the details.”
Picture 1: Jason Hastie with the chata.ai team at Quickbooks Get Connected in Calgary
Picture 2: photo courtesy of Jason Hastie