Fortiviti is a unique outsourced accounting solution, so naturally, we get a lot of questions on how we operate! Here are some of the top questions we get
Q: Who will I be working with?
A: Fortiviti is unique in that you will be assigned a single point of contact that also performs much of the work on your account. While we have support with our staff accountants and accounting assistants, your Controller or CFO is directly involved and overseeing the work being performed, so they’re familiar with the daily happenings with your business. We never outsource work to another firm (or another country). You’ve got access to your Controller or CFO’s direct line and email address – we want you to have solid working relationship with your Controller.
If you’re a payroll or HR client, we’ve got a team specifically for those duties, as well.
Q: How long has Fortiviti been in business?
A: As of July 2023, Fortiviti will be 15 years old! Our founder and CEO, Shauna Huntington, started the business in July of 2008, with just herself, and has grown to just under 30 team members in those 15 years.
Q: Do you do taxes?
A: Fortiviti does not prepare tax returns. We have found that we do best when we focus on being really good at one thing – outsourced accounting services. During those busy tax months (typically January through May), bookkeeping can take a backseat of some tax preparers, and we think timely financials are very important. We work incredibly well with our clients’ tax CPAs, though. We complete the CPA’s request list and put together tax packets on our clients’ behalf. When your tax CPA has questions or requests changes to the financial statements, they’ll be working with your Controller. You, as the business owner, should be involved in tax planning with your CPA, but Fortiviti will quarterback the process.
Q: What does onboarding look like?
A: We have an onboarding team that will guide you through the process of working with Fortiviti. A typical onboarding process takes 6 weeks before we’re fully up and running, though we’re taking over pieces of work throughout that period. During onboarding, we’re gaining access to your systems used in operations, developing our Fortiviti Processes, and learning your current operational processes. We’ll slowly take over tasks as we learn them and document them. By the end of the 6 weeks, if we’ve been able to access everything we requested, we’ll be fully up and running. The biggest hurdle to a timely onboarding is usually a lack of access, such as credit card access so that we can begin reconciling those accounts, or not being given various important requests, such as loan documents or fixed asset schedules, so that we can properly post the closing journal entries. Though we know it can’t always happen this way, it is ideal if we can overlap a current accountant or provider as we take over the work, so that we can be sure there is no downtime or items falling through the cracks. However, we will work within your unique situation to take care of you the best we can.
Q: How often will my monthly fee change?
A: Following onboarding, we will revisit our fee in 3 – 6 months to see if there are any efficiencies we’ve been able to make that would allow for us to make adjustments to the fee. In addition, if your business goes through a significant growth or downsizing, we may review the fee to ensure it is adequate for the amount of work being performed. Otherwise, Fortiviti reviews fees annually, and generally will only make small adjustments due to inflation. If an increase to our fee is needed based on actual work performed, Fortiviti works with our clients on ways to improve processes before attempting to raise our fee. We love working with growing businesses – we want to be a part of that growth – but sometimes with added growth also means added work on the accounting side.
Q: Can I select what Controller I work with?
A: We work hard to pair you up with a Controller that has both a personality fit and a knowledge fit to give you the best service possible, but due to the nature of outsourced accounting, we have to monitor our Controller’s capacity in order to give them enough time to properly service their clients. Also, circumstances can happen when another Controller must step in (such as a health issue, maternity leave, turnover, etc.) – but that’s one of the benefits of outsourcing! If Fortiviti experiences a situation where a Controller must be replaced, you can rest assured that we’ve got other talent available to provide you a relatively seamless transition to another Controller that will continue to service you. We pride ourselves on our “followed-by-all” processes – we call it The Fortiviti Way. All of our Controllers follow The Fortiviti Way, so that you’re getting tried-and-true processes that are well documented and can be picked up easily by another one of our Controllers in a time of need. We are not going to promise there won’t be bumps in the road during transition, but we will do our best to make it as painless as possible!
Q: What other services do you offer?
A: Fortiviti’s bread and butter is accounting, bookkeeping, compliance, payroll, HR, and administrative support. We can take over your full accounting operations – from paying your accounts payable and invoicing your customers, all the way down to closing the month and posting the closing journal entries. A lot of clients say that we act like their CFO with the level of advising and consulting that we do. With every client, we spearhead the annual budget-setting process. But we also do a lot more – we ensure your annual reports are filed, we assist with the annual insurance renewal process, we file your 1099’s, the list goes on.
With our payroll and HR Services, we can process your payroll according to your pay schedule (monthly, biweekly, or even weekly) and ensure that your W-2’s are issued and payroll taxes are properly filed. We ensure that employees are properly enrolled in the employee benefits your company offers, and we even assist in the insurance renewal process. Our HR team can handle employee handbooks, employee issue resolution, among other things.
We can completely customize our services to your needs, and it will all be listed out in our Proposal, and ultimately, our Statement of Work.
While these are the most common questions we get, we know there are many more questions that come up when you’re deciding on what outsourced accounting firm. Please reach out to email@example.com and we’re happy to answer any questions you have!
Written by: Mandy Smith, CPA - VP of Business Development