The Goddard School Case Study


How the right processes, technology, and people transformed The Goddard School in Mooresville NC.

Entrepreneurs usually start a business because they are passionate about what they do, and how they can transform the lives of their clients and customers. Barbara and Gordon were no exception when they joined The Goddard School national early childhood network of schools and opened their first franchise location in Mooresville NC. While both Barbara and Gordon became instant entrepreneurs at heart, they soon realized the challenges associated with running a new business.

The Challenges:

In the first six months after starting the Mooresville NC franchise location, Barbara and Gordon struggled with employee turnover, higher than expected marketing costs, and the overall magnitude of running a new business. While the Goddard School Corporate franchise does offer a wealth of resources, policies, procedures, and tools for franchisees, being an entrepreneur can be an overwhelming experience. Unexpected costs very quickly impacted Barbara and Gordon’s business which resulted in significant debt and cash flow challenges. Despite hiring an accountant to handle their books, Barbara and Gordon did not have a good understanding of their business cash flow needs and performance, the accountant updated their accounting records sporadically throughout the month only providing a rear-view picture of their business finances. Read More about their story…

A New Hope:

When we first met Barbara and Gordon we were very impressed by their passion and love for children, education, and family, both firmly believed their business could transform the lives of the families they served. Unfortunately, the typical reactive accounting processes we so often see with small businesses across the United States only provided Barbara and Gordon with outdated historical information. Our first order of things when we engaged with Barbara and Gordon was to change this, within 48 hours we converted their accounting records from QuickBooks to Xero and implemented our real time accounting model meaning that accounting records would be updated each day. Doing so provides not only the traditional historical information regarding past business performance but provides powerful insights on what is happening to the business today. We coached Barbara and Gordon how to generate important financial reports from Xero’s modern, elegant, and user-friendly interface. Barbara learned quickly how to use the Xero Dashboard to extract vital financial data to make decisions based on real-time information.

The Xero Ecosystem and Float:

The next order of things was to provide Barbara and Gordon with cash flow projections, it was vital for both to understand how upcoming bills, payroll, and debt repayment costs would affect their future cash flow. Xero with its open API offers an unmatched ecosystem of additional add-ons that seamlessly integrate with Xero, in this case, we decided to use Float which is a cloud cash management and forecasting tool designed by a Scotland company. Float helps business owners better manage their business by seamlessly integrating with Xero and providing a projection of future cash needs. Float does an unmatched job at creating cash flow scenarios to model short and long term cash flow, track performance of the business, set budgets, and drill into transactions to get a granular view of inflows and outflows of cash. Barbara and Gordon quickly learned how both Xero and Float could provide the real-time view and future cash flow information they needed to make key decisions in their business management.

The Tax Planning:

Once Barbara and Gordon had finally access to real-time accounting information and a good understanding of their cash flow, we moved to the next step in their evolution process: tax planning. Despite hiring a CPA for their tax preparation needs, Barbara and Gordon did not receive guidance on how to maximize their tax situation nor did they have tax projections to help them prepare for any future tax liability. We worked with Barbara and Gordon to develop tax mitigation strategies for their business as well as providing them with real-time tax projections based on real-time accounting data. There is nothing more frightening than when we meet with new clients that were never aware of a large tax liability because of their business performance. While tax preparation focuses only on accurately preparing tax returns, tax planning is about looking at the future by developing tax mitigation strategies and creating tax projections to estimate your future tax liability.

Lessons learned:

Using real-time accounting, cash flow projections, and tax planning, Barbara and Gordon now have the tools needed to better manage their business, in fact in only two short years Barbara and Gordon have transformed their business and are now able to pay themselves a good wage and plan on running a debt-free business within the next two years. The right combination of processes, technology, and people has allowed The Goddard School in Mooresville to become a successful and thriving business, one that will fulfill Gordon and Barbara’s dream of working with children and their families.