Jennifer Devine, the founder of Devine Consulting, LLC and head of the Alta Vista Technology Houston branch, has over a decade of experience working with companies in the world of financial accounting, process controls, and recommending best practices. We sat down with Jennifer to talk through what she sees changing in the industry in Houston, the challenges facing mid-sized businesses, and the future of accounting software in Houston.
ALTA VISTA TECHNOLOGY: Good Morning Jennifer. Thanks for sitting down with us today to do this interview.
JENNIFER DEVINE: No problem. Thank you for having me!
AVT: So what made you start your own business?
JENNIFER DEVINE: I’ve always had a passion for helping our customers. I know that’s something people say all the time, but for me, that’s not a throwaway line. When I work with small and midsized businesses I see all the ways we can make things smarter, faster, and, well, better. That’s what drives me, and helping companies reach their potential lead me down that path.
AVT: How are you helping your customers?
JENNIFER DEVINE: Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. For one-person companies, we might start them with QuickBooks for their accounting needs and work on freeing up management to focus on working on their business, not in it. But the mistake I see too often is when companies stay in QuickBooks long after they’ve outgrown it. So, for those companies looking to take the next step, we look hard at cloud accounting – Sage Intacct in particular. Those are just a couple steps we have taken to really get on the ground and build our customers up.
AVT: What challenges do you see in the future for businesses in Houston in particular?
JENNIFER DEVINE: Houston is growing so fast. Sometimes when you grow that quickly you can skip steps if you aren’t careful. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area in 2017 I think that exposed a lot of vulnerabilities. Companies we work with suddenly found their files and servers underwater. It was a hard lesson to learn, but it’s a reminder that today, cloud accounting is the best way forward. Our customers using cloud-based software were able to persevere through some scary times.
AVT: Speaking of the cloud, what are some of the benefits that customers moving to the cloud have seen?
JENNIFER DEVINE: I think disaster recovery has been one of the biggest benefits. Most people think of disasters as being natural like Hurricane Harvey or the wildfires in California. What some people don’t realize however is that their in-house servers could crash. Without solid data backup, your business could be in the hole. That backup and restoration is also very expensive and time-consuming. With cloud accounting, everything stays safe and secure without the worry of disaster. This saves a lot of money in hardware but also saves a ton in IT support and emergency calls.
AVT: Are there any changes your QuickBooks users really love after moving to the cloud?
JENNIFER DEVINE: One of the changes that we see the biggest reaction with is the reporting. With systems like Sage Intacct, the dashboards and financial reporting are so dynamic and robust that they provide customers with a lot more information and insight into trends. This lets companies better strategize for their future based on what is happening now.
AVT: Any final thoughts?
JENNIFER DEVINE: I think it’s important for everyone to evaluate your current system often. See what is working and what is not, and I think a lot of people will be surprised. Don’t be afraid to make a change because the payoff far outweighs the problems you face today. It is all about future proofing your company and being able to focus on the future without having the present steal all of your time.
AVT: Strong words. Thank you, Jennifer, for taking the time to chat with us.
JENNIFER DEVINE: My pleasure!
Check out Devine Consulting, located just outside of Houston in Sugarland Texas! Thinking about making an ERP switch or in the early stages? Drop us a line at 855.913.3228 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you within 24 hours!