Here at Gusto, we love sharing stories of our partners who are having great success serving their clients with our people platform. If your firm has a unique perspective on how it uses Gusto, we’d love to hear it! Email [email protected] or contact your Gusto Partner Advisor directly.
Tell us your name and your role at GunnChamberlain.
I’m Shelly Lingor, Partner at GunnChamberlain, P.L and the Director of GCT Technology & Accounting, our division that offers virtual accounting services. We pride ourselves on using technology and community relationships to help clients accomplish their goals and grow their businesses. By bringing their books online and collaborating with an accountant in real time, clients are able to gain critical business insights, make smart decisions on the fly, and find sustainable ways to grow their businesses—all without losing the human touch that has been the hallmark of GunnChamberlain’s client service.
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How long has GunnChamberlain been in business? How has the industry changed since then?
41 years, and in that time, computers and AI (automation) have had an enormous impact on the accounting profession and how we meet our clients’ needs. This is what led to us creating GCT. By helping our clients use the latest cloud accounting technologies, we’re able to keep up with what’s happening in the industry and ultimately benefit their businesses.
How have your client needs changed over the past four decades?
Our approach to meeting our clients’ needs looks a bit different than it used to. Before, we’d do the work, produce financials, and that was enough. But now, clients are looking for something more personal—they need a trusted advisor.
What’s the mission of your firm?
Everything we do is about people. We take a proactive approach to understanding and managing our client relationships by identifying their specific needs and advising them in an effective, easy-to-understand manner. We seek to exceed our clients’ expectations at every opportunity, both in terms of our service to them and the benefits they derive from partnering with our firm. We’re passionate about helping people and businesses grow.
What services does your firm offer? Do you think these services will change significantly in the future?
Our firm provides tax planning and preparation, new business consulting, outsourced accounting and CFO services, estate and trust consulting, accounting software integration, and preparation and analysis of financial statements. While the services we offer will remain the same, the processes will most likely change. Automation will continue to become more prevalent. The time we spend on data entry and manual processes will continue to decrease. Additionally, we’ll continue to fill the role of a key advisor for our clients, looking at the overall picture of financial growth.
How would you describe Gusto?
Gusto is a leading-edge, cloud-based HR platform that offers payroll and benefits services to businesses.
Why do you recommend Gusto to your clients?
Gusto is a great product that meets our clients’ needs. It’s online, easy to use, secure, a trusted platform. and integrates with other accounting platforms (Xero most importantly). It also shifts the liabilities involved with payroll services away from our firm.
What does the typical “stack” look like that you recommend to customers?
We recommend the same four platforms to all of our small business clients: Xero (accounting software), Gusto (payroll and HR management), Hubdoc (financial document management), and Bill.com (bill pay and invoicing).
How were you managing payroll for your clients before Gusto? What was that like?
We were doing everything manually. We used Quickbooks desktop version and printed out each report. It was inefficient, time consuming, and not secure. It was not a profitable service and wasn’t worth the headache.
Do you recommend Gusto’s HR solutions (Complete and Concierge plans) to your clients? How about benefits (health insurance, workers’ comp, 401(k), etc)?
Yes to both, if clients need it. Most of our start-up clients don’t need these additional services at first, but they go with Gusto because it’s a solution that grows with their businesses. Gusto makes it easy because everything is integrated. Gusto’s HR Solutions and benefits services complement the payroll product well.
How does Gusto help you become a better advisor to your clients?
Knowing payroll is taken care of is a major relief. Gusto is a full-service payroll platform, so we know all filings and tax payments are covered. This gives us the freedom to focus on our clients and their future growth.
What impact has Gusto had on your clients’ business?
The payroll system our clients are now using is much more efficient—no more manual time sheets. Instead, hours are collected using integrated apps and automatically entered into Gusto. All they have to do is go in and approve their employees’ hours, and that’s exactly what our clients are looking for.
When working with new clients, what’s the #1 thing you wish they had all done sooner/before coming to you?
When you’re launching a business, it’s ideal to set up your business accounting on a cloud-based platform immediately! It’s our belief that spreadsheets and DIY bookkeeping will not only limit a new business’ growth potential, but also create risks that could cause significant problems. We encourage our clients to enter their financials into a software, like Xero, as soon as possible. That said, it’s never too late to make that transition.
How has Gusto affected the way you work?
Our employees now have the ability to work remotely because they have online access to client information in real time. Providing flexibility to our employees makes their job much easier and more enjoyable. It’s one of the many reasons we were selected by Accounting Today as the second best small accounting firm to work for.
What is your favorite thing about Gusto?
Penny the Pig! She makes me happy. I’m so happy she’s back.