From single mum to CEO of 60+ employees
After unexpected circumstances left Brittany Brown as a solo mum (with no education to fall back on), she decided to go back to school and get her accounting degree. She was about to graduate and was being actively recruited by some of the ‘Big Four’ public accounting firms in North America, but she could tell they weren’t the right fit. She took a job with a small, local accounting firm instead, but around the same time, client accounting services were growing – and the idea sparked the start of Brittany’s own firm, LedgerGurus.
“Because of my background, I have a lot of passion for providing meaningful accounting work for capable people who want to build a more balanced life. That just happened to dovetail nicely with the way the industry was moving, where people could do the accounting functions for other people from home using these online tools.”
Pivoting focus to online sellers
Today, LedgerGurus has 60+ employees, and works with ecommerce businesses selling all over the US and abroad – with the majority trading anywhere between 1-10+ million dollars per year in revenue. But up until three years ago, the firm was what Brittany describes as generalist.
“Then I attended a conference where they talked about niching, and how it simplified a lot of the pain points that we as a firm had been experiencing.”
After that, LedgerGurus took on its first ecommerce clients, and that’s when Brittany saw the real potential in becoming an ecommerce accounting specialist.
“They required a lot of time and effort to master, and it just didn’t make sense if they were only 10% of your total client base."
“At the time, there was a real need for eCommerce businesses to have someone they could outsource all their accounting work to, and not have to manage or absorb the cost of internal staff. So, that’s what we did.”
Before: clunky integration causing too many problems
Brittany admits not everything was smooth sailing, especially when one of the digital tools you’re using “creates a big mess”. The firm had been using an app, that just like A2X, creates a data sync between a client’s sales channels and accounting system.
“In theory, it was a cool concept, but in actual practice – it was an epic disaster! There were already so many problems with the data, causing all sorts of sync issues. And then when it did manage to connect, the data wasn’t summarised in any way, so it made reconciliation a nightmare,” Brittany explains.
The firm had integrated the tool (a well-known A2X competitor) with a handful of clients, but found they were spending hours and hours trying to fix the data. It wasn’t long before one client – with 1000s of orders every single month and a turnover of four million – became the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“They were spending a significant amount of their time, just trying to get the data right. There was a lot of back and forth between us, and they still weren’t getting the information that they needed. They still had no confidence in the numbers.”
After: streamlined sales data, better business insights
Shortly after that, the LedgerGurus team jumped on board the A2X train – and the change was almost instantaneous.
“The amount of time that we have to spend on reconciling that data has dropped significantly – that’s no longer a pain point.”
Brittany explains that A2X “gives you good visibility of what’s happening on your channels, and where your money is going” by helping business owners make sense of the “one number that hits your bank account, particularly Amazon.” But the benefits don’t stop there.
“The other thing I appreciate about A2X is the way it solves any timing issues at month-end so that you can report in real-time. But honestly, the best part is how streamlined the process becomes. You can tell that the founders of A2X were eCommerce business owners because they so clearly understood the problem – and found a way to solve it.”
Using digital tools to diversify business
Having learned first-hand what can happen when you hit a dud, LedgerGurus includes A2X as part of a raft of tools that it uses to confidently support clients.
There’s Gusto (for payroll), bill.com (for bill paying), Sovos Taxify (for sales tax compliance) and Asana (for task management). Internally, the Microsoft 365 suite is backed by Harvest (for time tracking), Teams and Stream (for internal training videos). That’s rounded out by Pipedrive (CRM) and Infusionsoft (for email marketing campaigns).
Using a mix of these digital tools, the team also supports smaller ecommerce businesses by offering tutorials that show online sellers how to use tools like A2X to do their bookkeeping and accounting.
“I can teach people how to be successful with their accounting using those tools, even if they have no experience, because A2X really does simplify it to that degree. “It allows you to get the insight an experienced accountant would give you without having to actually master accounting – and that’s a pretty huge thing.”