“Certified Public Account Jay Garrison is a highly conceptual thinker and excels in finding solutions for business owners,” said Loan Officer Mark Thielke. “The renovation of his building from a former Savings and Loan (and funeral home!) into a state-of-the-art business facility was an interesting journey.”
So just how did Jay find his dream building? Jay says, “Probably 7 or 8 years ago, I was having new tires put on my SUV at the NTB store on north Loop 820 and had my dog with me, so we went for a walk. We headed towards the vacant building next door and, as I walked around the building, I said to myself, ‘that sure would be a nice office building for my CPA practice.’ At the time, I was living in North Arlington and, because of the distance, I thought nothing more about it. In late 2007, I bought a new home on Fossil Creek Golf course, just 3 miles down Loop 820 from the building. Last summer, I drove by and saw the For Sale sign and called about it. The next thing I knew, I owned a building and was making plans to renovate and move.”
Jay Garrison, a smiling, friendly and well-credentialed C.P.A., had some big ideas about changes in the way accountants support their clients. Those ideas are reflected in the sign in front of his new building: “In the Cloud or In the Office.”
What does “In the Cloud or In the Office” mean? Jay explains, “More and more computer programs/applications used by small businesses no longer need to be installed on the local computer network, but can be accessed by logging onto the Internet, or ‘the Cloud.'” Both the application and the data are hosted on the Cloud, and users no longer have to worry about updating and maintenance of the software, licensing the software, network conflicts, setting up or installing software to a network or workstation, etc.
Working in the Cloud/on the Internet also gives the user the ability to access the application and data 24/7, from any smart device or computer with an Internet connection. “So I can access their accounting data and software applications, pull in their bank account information, credit card accounts, reconcile their statements, adjust their books and records and maintain their accounting – anytime, day or night,” Jay said.
In addition, a document management system can be implemented, whereby the small business goes “paperless.” Invoices, bills, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and bank statements all integrate into their accounting records. Clicking on any accounting transaction brings up a PDF or Microsoft document supporting the transaction/entry. “It is my intent to assist clients and small businesses with the use of what is becoming known as ‘digital accounting services,'” said Jay. “This will make their accounting processes more efficient and more transparent.”
“‘In The Office,’ no longer necessarily means I’m in either my office or that of my clients. With the advent of software such as ‘LogMeIn,’ ‘123 Rescue,’ or ‘GoToMeeting,’ I can remotely access the records of those clients that still run their own computer network or maintain their applications on their workstation. For me, it’s almost as efficient as working in the Cloud.”
“Purchasing the building was the catalyst for my ideas about how to best serve my clients. With so many advances in technology, I knew I could streamline the accounting function for them, while providing more service and support than ever before,” Jay said.
“So, along with the other renovations we made to the building, we brought in state-of-the-art information technology to be sure we could support our clients in the very best, most efficient way possible.”
“I was delighted to be able to purchase the building, and it was a great experience to bring together an outstanding architect, contractor and banker who encouraged regular meetings to ensure we were all on the same page,” said Jay. “And because we did it that way, with everyone contributing ideas, I think we arrived at the best possible solution. I’m very happy with the outcome.”