Cornerstone Benefits


Written by: Ellen Schroeter

Frank Mayer's story of starting his company is similar to those of other small-business owners. However, getting his financials in a good place was much easier thanks to Out Of The Box Technology.

Mayer and his partner started Cornerstone Benefits, LLC with $300,000 in annual revenue. In a few years, the health and financial benefits company grew to $3 million in revenue.

That's the good news. The bad news was that while the company had millions in revenue, Frank did not have a handle on the financial basics of his company.

"We didn't know month to month if we made money," said Mayer. "That was foolish."

Cornerstone Benefits had grown so fast, it had outgrown its original accounting method – an Excel spreadsheet.

"When the business started off, the accounting method seemed okay. But as the business grew and things got more complicated, there was too much going on and too much to keep track of," said Adrienne Lieder, QuickBooks Consultant with Out Of The Box Technology.

Frank had another aggravation. He couldn't understand any financial reports developed for his company under the old accounting system.

"I was so frustrated by not having meaningful information. Everything was buried in dozens of password-protected spreadsheets," said Mayer. "And when a new client was added another spreadsheet was created which further complicated the process."

Out Of The Box Technology to the rescue. Lisa McCarthy, one of the Cofounders of Out Of The Box Technology, was the first to try to make heads or tails out of Cornerstone's accounting system. Adrienne came along as support and with her CPA expertise, she worked with Frank for seven months to update his financials into QuickBooks.

Frank has been able to rest easier ever since his first consultation with Out Of The Box Technology.

"Lisa and Adrienne literally saved my business. That's not an overstatement," said Mayer. "I wouldn't be in business today if Adrienne and Lisa did not come in and set up an understandable accounting method using QuickBooks."

Mayer uses one example to illustrate how QuickBooks and Out Of The Box Technology helped him understand his company's financials.

"My bookkeeper said we were going to have a negative cash flow one month. I thought she was wrong and she was. We had a profit of $50,000 that month," said Mayer.

"QuickBooks is designed to be user friendly. For a sales person like myself it is easy enough so I can understand where we are from a business standpoint. I get meaningful information," said Frank. "It's point and click and so much easier to use."

While Adrienne didn't think she'd be working with Frank for so many years, she's glad she has. She, too, has learned even more about he capabilities of QuickBooks.

Adrienne has some advice for small business owners such as Frank.

"If you aren't getting the financial information you need from your accounting system don't accept that. Find someone who knows the software to get the information that you want," said Adrienne.

Frank did and look how happy he is now.