The nature of outsourced accounting with onsite client services indeed requires a partner-oriented approach; in truth, this approach is especially important to clients in either business unit of the professional services firm.
Over the past five years, Vault has been working with their clients on accounting matters that require a high level of trust and accuracy. The firm has also helped their partners bring to life market share data programs that are subject to antitrust regulation. Suffice it to say Vault has been building trust and instilling confidence amongst their partners for the last five years by employing their collective mastery to facilitate healthy and flourishing client relations.
NACAS CEO Kelsey Finn believes Vault’s successful engagement with NACAS is due to the human-centered approach their partnership their partnership is based on. She contributes, “When you’re dealing with accountants and researchers it can be very stuffy, but I think their ability to socially interact, have emotional intelligence, and the ability to relate is the advantage of working with them.” Surely, most can agree that to have astute business acumen, emotional intelligence is high on the list of necessary qualities, and with reason, because there is a level of vulnerability that clients may have during any point of an engagement.
Prior to her decision to partner with Vault on a large-scale survey research benchmarking program, Finn did not feel obliged to sign off before getting a well-rounded and detailed understanding of what the firm could help her do. Finn goes on, “it feels to me that they’re more intentional about building relationships first, or that relationships have just as much priority whether or not you become a client.”
Coupled with the firm’s partner-oriented approach is their unmatched expertise, which has been putting clients like John Lyboldt, President of Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), at ease for the past five years. The TCA’s engagement with Vault started as transactional accounting work. Due to the expertise and commitment that Vault Director and CPA Catherine Robbins has demonstrated, TCA now entrusts her with executive-level financial management. “We have a lot of respect for our point of contact, who we have elevated to CFO.” Since TCA has been working with the firm, Lyboldt affirms, “our relationship has also allowed us to do better [financial] benchmarking, and I am able to get better analysis and reporting in an expedited fashion.”
Moreover, the firm exemplifies the partner-oriented approach by transferring their subject matter expertise to clients to empower them to make solid business decisions. Adena Martin, Director of Operations at the International Women’s Media Foundation, has been working with Vault for some three years and counting. The firm works with her to do AP/AR work on a monthly basis and performs spending trend analysis along with forecasting. During the three years she has been working with Vault, the foundation director has been adding to her working knowledge of financial management with the mentorship of her Vault consultants. She shares, “their training and guidance has enabled us to be more confident in pulling reports and building the budget.”
Coming to terms that one’s organization may need assistance is a vulnerable situation that many executives have encountered. “When I took over, there were quite a few inefficiencies,” reveals Lyboldt. However, with a strategic partner like Vault, the association executive benefits from industry best practices and empathetic consultants, who work hard to make his mission their mission. “They have built a trusted advisor relationship with us,” Lyboldt concludes.