Aug 25, 2020 - Partners

This boutique accounting firm is transforming the way Charlotte businesses operate — here’s how


This content was created in partnership with Fisher, P.A. 

fisher pa

fisher pa

No matter the industry, owning and running a business is tough. Add a global pandemic into the mix and it’s even tougher.

Between navigating shaky financials and statewide safety mandates, the past few months have been filled with lots of uncertainty for local businesses. For some, it’s led to gut-wrenching decisions to lay off workers or even shut down. Others have had to get creative and completely transform the way they do business.

Kristen Shiring, CPA, a Business Advisor and Senior Tax Advisor at Fisher, P.A., has seen Covid-19’s toll on Charlotte businesses firsthand. And she, along with the other certified public accountants at Fisher, P.A., has been working tirelessly to help their clients weather the storm.

“This time has really been a financial hardship,” says Shiring. “Trying to understand all the new laws that have impacts and benefits for businesses have just been so much for business owners to navigate.”

Luckily, Fisher, P.A.’s clients know they don’t have to navigate alone. Shiring and her colleagues have been busy helping business owners file for small business loans and tax credits, and helping them wade through the constant flood of new information.

The public accounting firm, led by Emily A. Fisher, CPA, has been working with a wide range of local business in the Charlotte market as well as national and international markets.

fisher pa
Photo by Laura Sumrak

“The big thing is that we call it a partnership. We’re really here to listen and support our clients,” says Shiring. “Every business is so different in what they may need, so we really customize things to better support them.”

Their business services range from monthly accounting packages to tax compliance and business advising. Businesses can even outsource controller services or hire Fisher, P.A. to act as their chief financial officer, often one of the most expensive hires for companies.

You can learn more about their business services here.

Outsourcing accounting services might not seem like much of a game-changer but Gavin Toth, co-owner of Divine Barrel Brewing, will tell you otherwise.

“It’s definitely a case of efficiencies. They’ve made it so we don’t have to worry about any of the financials,” says Toth. “It frees us up to handle the day-to-day better.”

Toth opened Divine Barrel Brewing with co-owners Ben Dolphens and Scott Davis back in 2018. They hired Fisher, P.A. right after they incorporated to handle all of their accounting and financial reporting.

Toth and his co-owners receive monthly financial reports from Fisher, P.A., which he says helps them stay in the loop with financials. “The reports are super easy to read and they help us see where we can stop spending.”

divine barrel brewing
Photo courtesy of Divine Barrel Brewing

Beyond keeping their accounting records in check, Fisher, P.A. is always looking for ways to add value for clients, from better software solutions to tax credits.

They recently helped the Divine Barrel Brewing team apply for the federal Research & Development Tax Credit. “A lot of our recipes are brand new, and every single batch we make is new,” says Toth. “They evaluated all of our batches and we were able to get the R&D tax credit.” Shiring explained that tax credits can be a big help to businesses but owners don’t always know what they qualify for or how to apply for them.

“That’s just one of the problems with business owners trying to take on accounting for their business themselves,” says Shiring. “We see it a lot. Maybe they don’t know they can outsource or don’t think they need it.” But many quickly find out it’s not so simple.

“Business owners are experts in their area, so let us do what we’re experts in and you can focus on your business,” says Shiring.

One of the most notable benefits business owners get by working with Fisher, P.A. is tax planning throughout the year. “We see everything in real-time so we can adjust tax plans,” says Shiring. “A lot of businesses lost revenue due to the pandemic, so we had to decrease the amount of taxes businesses were paying in. And then with the PPP loans, you can’t deduct the expenses. We’re navigating and accounting for all of that.”

Shiring explains, “This gives our business partners peace of mind, knowing they are compliant throughout the year and saves them money, making sure they’re not paying in more than they truly owe. We’re all about making sure the business is in the best position possible.”

Making the decision to outsource accounting isn’t always an easy one for business owners. “I know outsourcing can be expensive but it gives you more opportunity to grow,” says Toth.

“They treat us like family. They buy our beer all the time and clearly want to support us. We love that about them.”

divine barrel owners
Divine Barrel Brewing owners, Gavin Toth, Ben Dolphens, and Scott Davis. Photo courtesy of Divine Barrel Brewing.

Learn more about Fisher, P.A.’s business accounting and advising services here.

If you’re a business owner interested in outsourcing, call to set up a consultation.

Header image by Laura Sumrak.

This content was created in partnership with Fisher, P.A. 


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