Joanne Ort works with Gusto

Building a multi-state practice

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Joanne Ort always knew she was going to start her own accounting practice one day. So ten years ago, she left her big firm job to open her own firm, and has since scaled to 125 clients across different states. The secret to her growth?

“I am able to break accounting down into language that’s understandable. My clients tell me, ‘I feel so much better, you don’t make me feel stupid.’ I want them to do what they do best, and let me take care of the rest.”

“Taking care of the rest” to Joanne means being a trusted business advisor to her clients. She offers her clients a monthly package of services to ensure they have the business support they need. A core service offering is payroll, a job she says is critical to get done right.

From 10 hours to 0: Payroll without borders

Payroll can become complex because Joanne has clients operating across multiple states, each with their own local requirements impacting payroll taxes. For example, NXT Generation Pets is a client with employees across 4 states. With her prior payroll solution, QuickBooks Payroll, Joanne spent 10 hours per month processing NXT Generation’s payroll and more hours at quarter-end printing and mailing state filings.

Since switching to Gusto, she has reduced her monthly processing time from 10 hours to 0, since Gusto automatically takes care of filings and local payroll taxes. The best part?

I don’t have to know what the requirements are in every new state that they operate in. This means I don’t need to limit myself to just Seattle-based clients as I grow my practice.

From manual to automated: Payroll for 50 employees

One of the most rewarding aspects of Joanne’s job is being alongside her clients as they grow. Pinnacle Therapy, a Seattle-based physical therapy client, has expanded from one office with 5 employees, to 4 offices with 50 employees. Joanne previously used Paychex for Pinnacle but experienced frequent errors and lost valuable time manually uploading data into QuickBooks and mailing quarterly filings. She turned to Gusto because of the automated filings, necessary features like 2-day processing and multiple pay rates, and robust QuickBooks integration. Setting up Gusto to integrate with QuickBooks took just 2 minutes. “All it took was a push of a button and mapping some accounts.”

With Gusto taking care of all quarterly and year-end filings, Joanne now spends 75% less time on Pinnacle’s payroll. In addition, the process of moving Pinnacle from Paychex to Gusto was seamless due to Gusto’s Employee Self-Onboarding feature and full migration support. A transfer that would have taken Joanne 16 hours given Pinnacle’s size, took just 2 hours.

Joanne estimates she saves over 400 hours a year with Gusto. “I won’t be working 12 hour days in July. I won’t be working Saturdays in January.” Most importantly, she’s been able to focus more of her time on deepening her client relationships.

I can now provide more CFO-type services, which is really where my time is better spent.

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