The Sorcerer's Accountant
The financial plan of the business requires growth financed by positive cash flows from operations. Additional outside investment or owner investment is not necessary. The new business line is not capital-intensive, but will increase fixed costs of the business which must be covered almost immediately by additional revenues from bookkeeping sales. This is feasible because it is expected that at least five current clients will use the service without hesitation as they are ready to start using a bookkeeper or outsource their current bookkeeping.
The business will grow the number of part-time bookkeepers with the business over these next three years. In the first year, two bookkeepers will work at less than 20 hours per week each for several months before reaching capacity, and a third bookkeeper will join us mid-year. A fourth part-time bookkeeper will be added in year two, and four more will be added in year three.
Our monthly revenue break-even is based on the fixed costs of running the current business along with the old lines of business. This is a significant increase from the 2009 break-even point. The increased marketing activity, capacity, payroll, benefits, and computer expenses for the new bookkeeper, insurance for the new line of business, and cost of sales to hire bookkeepers drives this break-even point higher.
Projected Profit and Loss
The Sorcerer’s Accountant actually expects its gross margin to fall as it takes on bookkeepers to fulfill the new bookkeeping service. This will move from the firm’s gross margin from being in line with a non-employer firm to a contractor firm that provides labor to businesses. The growth in revenues will offset this drop in gross margin and produce steady growth in net profit. Marketing will include the activities listed for 2010 in the milestones table as well as additional runs of print ads in local publications beyond the first few months. This expense will drop somewhat in future years as marketing returns to the business’s focus on referrals and word-of-mouth from clients.
Rent and utilities will not grow significantly, as only Greenwood and the bookkeeping manager will work out of the office space. Insurance will grow to cover the added liability of additional employees working in client spaces. Payroll taxes are set at 15% of payroll and the bookkeeping labor items. Employee benefits are 10% of payroll and are provided only for the management. January will be a month of additional setup training to bring the new bookkeepers and manager online and install additional software and computers. Software and computer expenses to provide accounting software for the laptops of student bookkeepers and to continue to upgrade the systems of the business will grow. In the first year, this includes a computer and software set-up for the bookkeeping manager.
Projected Cash Flow
The expansion of the business can be undertaken with the current cash reserves, even accounting for a cash loss over $10000 in February, 2010 as the marketing and set-up expenses for the new business line must be paid. The business will return to positive cash-flow in the second quarter. The fact that the part-time bookkeepers will only be deployed on paying jobs lowers the risk of this new business line to the cost of the bookkeeping manager and marketing. Significant cash reserves can be built up in future years for an acquisition or additional service expansion or the owner can take dividends as shown.
Projected Balance Sheet
The net worth of the business will improve if the new business line succeeds as expected. Additional external financing will not be needed and the debt of the business will remain low.
The Sorcerer’s Accountant is compared here to the “Office Administrative Services” industry of under $500,000 in revenues. Comparison to the other closest industry, “Tax Preparation Services,” is less useful because of the differences created by the new revenue line.
Sorcerer’s Accountant does not hold substantial current or long-term assets, besides some office equipment and a rental security deposit. The assets of the business are primarily the human and knowledge assets of Max Greenwood, and the resources presented on the Sorcerer’s Accountant website which are not recognized here. This explains the differences in asset ratios.
Gross margins will be higher than industry averages, as employees will be contracted directly to clients only for the bookkeeping services and not for the accounting services of the business. However, S G & A will be higher than the industry averages because of the need for an extra level of management to oversee the employees.