Sundial VFO’s mission is to alleviate client stress through our detailed and exacting bookkeeping processes. Below is a sample of our client success stories demonstrating how we help clients relax and find peace of mind in knowing where their money is and what it’s doing. If you see a case study that speaks to you, click directly on the link to read more.
YouTuber/Influencer needs help getting organized and navigating financial decisions.
Do you have a trusted advisor fiduciary?
Ms. L is a wildly successful social-media influencer in her early twenties. She first found fame with her hugely successful YouTube channel. As an early adopter, her channel has been dubbed the fastest growing YouTube channel in the world. Now she is living in LA with multiple revenue streams from endorsement deals, social media platforms, music recordings, and partnerships.
Ms. L was introduced to Sundial VFO by her mother who felt her daughter needed an independent trusted advisor to help her make informed financial decisions. Ms. L’s mother is a prominent attorney who had previously hired Sundial’s parent company to develop a specially tailored accounting process and train her staff to efficiently pay the bills of her 150+ estate administration clients. She was impressed with the system we developed, which leveraged blank check stock or online bill pay, auto-classification of client activity and robust reporting.
Initially, Ms. L didn’t know what she needed or what to expect other than to get “her taxes done”. With very little client direction, Sundial VFO began the process of generating a set of financial statements, taking inventory of contracts and agreements, and observing cash trends. Over several months, a set of up-to-date books were created, financial reports were generated, and the taxes were completed. Over time, other back office projects completed included putting her staff on payroll, requoting insurance policies, and processing medical insurance reimbursements on out-of-network claims. Additional special projects include reviewing and negotiating business contracts, discussing pros and cons of investment options, and providing feedback on various business goals. After she purchased a home, we coordinated the application and approval process on a construction loan. Her now accurate books allowed Sundial VFO to achieve optimal rates via a bank bidding process.
After a year into the relationship, we flew to LA to finally meet in person and discuss Ms. L’s next entrepreneurial endeavour – the launch of her new cosmetics brand. In addition to her personal bookkeeping, Sundial VFO is engaged in multiple aspects of the business including deployment of e-commerce technology, onboarding fulfilment warehouse and taking care of trademark issues. In addition to solving reporting problems, we have saved her thousands of dollars through careful tracking of expenses and negotiation of contracts. Ms. L has come to appreciate us as a trusted advisor who looks out for her best interests.
Looking to make more informed financial decisions?
Successful surgeon needs to optimize financial situations.
Do you procrastinate and keep pushing financial chores to the bottom of your to-do list?
As a successful Boston based surgeon with a busy schedule, Dr. M kept financial chores at the bottom of the to-do list. With a lack of organization and proper segregation of his real estate investment expenses, it was difficult for him to get back on track and optimize his financial situation.
After much searching, Dr. M chose Sundial VFO to take over administration of his neglected Quicken file to rectify matters. We began the process of reconciling his balance sheet, properly categorizing the income statement and inventorying various legal documents and forms. Once a recordkeeping foundation was established, we were able to further optimize finances. We were instrumental in refinancing high-interest loans and switched his tax accountant to one more experienced with his situation. Sundial also reviewed adequate insurance coverage and set up auto-pay for required recurring expenses.
The reorganization efforts immediately resulted in significant tax, interest and insurance expense savings. Additionally, the systems and processes implemented provided greater control and understanding of finances. This empowered him to further expand his passive income real estate investing and implement strategies to include the direct ownership of several real estate properties, AirBnb’s, and most recently a carbon neutral green-farm and agro-business.
Businessman on the search for expert Quicken services.
Are you frustrated with traditional accountants and family offices?
Mr. P was our first Quicken client in 2007, a time when Sundial’s parent company was not advertising Quicken Consulting services. However, Mr. P was desperate to find a Quicken expert. Having had multiple unsuccessful consultants ineffectively advise him on Quicken, he reiterated many times his need for “Quicken not QuickBooks services”. Our founder’s reply: “I am a QuickBooks expert, however, Quicken is different and is a Personal Financial Software. I have kept a Quicken file since High School and Quicken is the closest thing I have to a hobby.” This response won the client.
Initially engaged to simply “set-up” Quicken, Mr. P immediately recognized the value of our services and Smith, our founder, went on to serve as his personal accountant for 4+ years. The set-up included Quicken and QuickBooks. Quicken was used to track a complex portfolio with dozens of accounts, multiple entities and alternative investments. QuickBooks provided the basis and tax reporting for various entities. We organized year-end tax records and presented them to the tax accountants and fielded their questions. The programs were hosted remotely for his review and access regardless of location. As accounts were consolidated and finances became simpler, Mr. P felt confident in assuming the bookkeeping.
Smith was able to customize and set-up the program to finally give this client the reporting and visibility into his spending and investments that he had been seeking. Mr. P’s early struggle in finding a Quicken resource and his interviewing over 20 accountants inspired our founder to advertise Quicken services. There was demand and that first engagement became the standard to which the VFO model of Sundial VFO is today.
Recent Retiree struggles with understanding how golden their golden years should be.
Do you wonder what an appropriate budget should be based on your assets and income?
Mr. & Mrs. V worked hard, saved right and wisely invested. They did everything right and they were well deserving of their comfortable and early retirement. However, the transition was not without concerns. They wanted to continue to support multiple philanthropic causes, provide for their grandchildren’s education and, of course, they loved to travel. Without the income they had relied upon their entire lives, was their portfolio sufficient to last the next 30 to 40 years in the manner in which they were accustomed to and hoped for?
The V’s found Stephen Smith and Sundial via a search for family bookkeepers that would work with their long-time accountant and financial advisors. One of Sundial’s unique differentiations is that we coordinate, not compete with CPAs, lawyers, financial advisors and other professionals. Sundial services filled the gap perfectly.
Self-employed Engineer/Psychologist couple needs help segregating business and pleasure.
Self-employed? Do you comingle bank accounts or need to track deductible expenses?
Mr. & Mrs. R are self-employed professionals with successful niche practices. With no employees, home based offices, and relatively few expenses their business books were straightforward. Nonetheless, despite multiple attempts to segregate business and personal transactions they were never able to properly do so. With bookkeeping chores dropping to the bottom of the to-do list the R’s never really understood how they were doing, and it was a nagging source of stress.
The R’s sought out Sundial to forensically figure out how much their businesses made for tax purposes. Then maintain the bookkeeping and track their income and expenses.
Sundial was able to forensically recreate prior year’s business income and expenses for tax purposes. In short order, we were able to work with them to optimize billing and collections as well as properly catch all deductible expenses aided with a third-party phone-based app to capture receipts. As the relationship grew and with better financial data, other aspects of their financial life were addressed. This included retirement contributions to SEP IRA plans, refinancing their mortgage, college saving plans and more frequent and productive conversations regarding their investments. Additional benefits include significant tax savings and greater peace of mind.
Keen to catch all deductible expenses?
Retiree plans for the future but needs help complying with regulations.
Tax savings strategies and vehicles are smart but are you prepared for the increased demand in compliant record keeping and documentation?
Serial Entrepreneur Mr. E built a sizable estate from taking risks and working hard. He has 5 children and 9 grandchildren (so far). And along the way he’s wisely leveraged his money and surrounded himself with smart professionals, including attorneys. Mr. E established several trusts for the benefit of his heirs and various philanthropies using a suite of sophisticated strategies, each with their own set of requirements and schedules. However, as the deal flow slowed, Mr. E moved towards retirement. When the business accounting office retired and reduced from attrition there was a need for part-time expertise to keep things organized.
Mr. E was referred to Sundial VFO by his accountant who had worked with our founder, Smith on another engagement. The Accounting partner appreciated Smith’s ability to provide high-quality year-end financials that were audit and tax prep ready. Mr. E. hired Sundial with the primary mission of “Keeping things organized”. Sundial did so with its usual flair. Automations were introduced, long-kept manual spreadsheets were converted to software programs, and binders of historical data were scanned and digitized.
The E family enjoy financial peace of mind knowing their records are well-maintained and audit-proof. The abandonment of manual spreadsheets and the introduction of software significantly improved the ability to produce Real-Time and Real-Accurate financial statements. Additional benefits include Sundial’s ability to coordinate and execute on E Family requests from their long-time legal, tax, and investment professionals who welcomed Sundial as their primary communication channel to their long-time client.
Complex balance sheets demand detailed bookkeeping.
Do you know where your money is?
Relying mostly on his private bankers, Mr. Z lacked the in-depth understanding of his financial position to make important strategic decisions. As a recurring member of the Forbes 400, his portfolio consists of interests in real estate and media and a wide range of alternative investments, including stock options held personally, via trust and foundation. Historically, his detailed investment list and ownership history relied heavily on the limited reporting capability of his private bankers. In an effort to better manage the reporting the family office used Quicken. However, little progress was made with the program for years. This changed when Mr. K joined the SFO as Managing Director. Mr. K realized he needed to improve internal reporting and portfolio understanding and made understanding Quicken a priority.
Based on our experience with Quicken, Mr. K chose Sundial to improve his utilization of Quicken and develop the reporting and processes necessary to provide an accurate financial picture for Mr. Z. While working together, each session included a forensic review of a specific area of Mr. Z’s varied portfolio. As new issues and needs were encountered in each session, Sundial advised on how to track the finances with maximum efficiency and accuracy.
Mr. K is now able to provide Mr Z with a much better and real-time understanding of his finances while developing more efficient operations. Specific deliverables include balance sheets for trusts, developing a naming convention for accounts, determining basis and FMV of investments, and developing property staff spending budgets. They also include inventorying stock options, reporting of charitable donations, reporting the cost benefit of capital expenditures and vastly improved “tax pack” preparation — all with a general streamlined workflow. The most important deliverable has been the occasional discovery of additional investments temporarily “misplaced” and added to the Balance Sheet. Sundial is a trusted advisor and colleague. We work closely with the Managing Director to constantly improve efficiency and accuracy.
CEO looking for simplified solutions to complex questions and tax prep.
Is your income proportionate to your expenses? Hate prepping for taxes at year-end?
As the CEO and owner of a successful medical device manufacturing company in Ohio, Mr. M was growing increasingly frustrated at the difficulty he was having trying to understand whether his household’s annual spend was increasing at a rate proportional to income. Additionally, each year the tax-time routines of calculating charitable donations, tuition, and assembling K-1’s become a more and more dreaded chore as things became more complicated.
Mr. M decided to search for a “Personal Accountant” to help him and by chance his first hit was Sundial VFO. After reaching out for a discussion, it was clear that our “Virtual Family Office” service was what Mr. M was seeking. He had been searching for a trusted advisor who would assume the tasks of the many tax-time chores by gathering, reconciling and delivering a complete “tax pack” to the accountants. We developed a report in the form of a complex balance sheet that tracks multiple alternative investments with income and expense categories at a transaction level of detail.
Mr. M found the reports a success. In the ensuing years, in addition to the family’s financial reporting, we have served as “internal auditor” for several alternative investments. We also now assist with cost/benefit analysis projects on major purchases and address important financial issues that are often put to the bottom of the “to-do list’’. These include insurance coverage reviews, spending analysis and portfolio allocation analysis. For the first several years the relationship was entirely virtual. It was not until Mr. M wanted to introduce a similar level of detail for his father’s financial portfolio. Preferring an on-site meeting in Ohio, we finally met in person when we were flown out to assist in organizing his parent’s finances.
Frustrated with spending too much time on personal bookkeeping, Big 4 partner decides to outsource it.
Do you spend too much time on your bookkeeping?
Mrs. R, an experienced CPA and successful Big 4 partner in the Philadelphia area, was spending too much time managing the complex spending categories that were set up for her in Quicken. Mrs. R sought help in tweaking the set-up of her Quicken file, which had become burdened with too many redundant spending categories and balances that were not reconciled, rendering reports useless.
After the initial consultation, Sundial was chosen to help streamline Mrs. R’s Quicken processes. Once set-up, Mrs.R. recognized her time and interests were better spent elsewhere and opted to become a long term Virtual Family Office client. We developed custom reports with quarterly spending detail, the tracking of estimated tax payments across several states, and the complex income structure that goes in hand with being an accounting firm partner.
Mrs. R now appreciates being able to accurately track her progress on her long-term goals, specifically tracking expenses and monitoring budget to actuals and spending trends. Mrs. R now has piece of mind from accurate reporting data and the flexibility of the software (when properly used) to provide customized data on key areas. It has made a big difference to her quality of life.
Looking to make more informed financial decisions?
For over 15 years the professionals at Sundial VFO and parent company Controllership Solutions LLC have a strong record of providing real-time financial reporting to answer the age-old questions:
“Do you know where your money is? Do you know what it’s doing?”
At Sundial, we empower your existing team to ensure you reach your financial goals. As your trusted fiduciary we:
- Track your investments to help you make more informed financial decisions.
- Equip your tax accountant with all the information they need to prepare and save on taxes.
- Maintain accurate records so you can stay compliant and protect your hard-earned nest egg.