Wow, we’ve made it to the end of the most challenging year in our lifetime — one full of loneliness, divisiveness, uncertainty, fear, and frustration. Everyone has felt the impacts of COVID personally, professionally, or both. There were many times during this year that just didn’t feel real — almost like being in a movie. But here we are — December 2020.
So, first things first, if you’re reading this, I want you to congratulate yourself on doing the best you could and making it through some incredibly difficult months.
Second, I hope that you’ll take some time to reflect and acknowledge the good — even in the bad. It was tough to lead a business through this year, but we are thankful for these wins that kept us going.
Here are our 2020 highlights:
Our Co-Founder Matthew May Named President of Atlanta Technology Angels
Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA) is a volunteer-based investment group that supports startups and early-stage businesses in Atlanta and throughout the southeast. Members provide mentorship, industry expertise, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs in a variety of high-growth technology industries. Our CoFounder Matthew May was named president of ATA this year. The ATA continued funding companies through the craziness and is on track for a “normal” year.
Created a COVID-19 Relief Resources Center to Help Small Businesses
March, April, and May of this year were especially scary. At the time, we knew very little about COVID-19 (better known then as Coronavirus) — except that it was completely ravaging other areas of the world. The U.S. went into a complete lockdown, and, for many companies, business came to a screaming halt.
The PPP loans were a blessing, but the technical details surrounding them were ever-changing and quite difficult to understand. Businesses everywhere — especially small businesses — were confused, frustrated, stressed, worried, and overwhelmed. We have always been passionate about helping small businesses succeed and grow, and we decided we needed to do whatever we could to help these entrepreneurs and business owners through this tough time:
- We created a Free PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator & Guide – We wanted to create a resource to simplify PPP and help business owners understand how to calculate PPP loan forgiveness. Since its launch, this resource has been downloaded by over 4,000 small businesses!!!
- We also launched a PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculations Service for those who just wanted to let us run with it.
- We launched a Small Business Survival Guide – This guide offered our best advice on how businesses could get money and save money and explore all possible options before having to lay people off. And throughout the spring and summer we were constantly updating this post with the latest information on the CARES Act, EIDL, PPP, and the new tax deadlines.
- We offered free CFO Office Hours – In past years, these office hours were a perk for our clients, but this year, we just wanted to help in any way we could, so we opened these up for free for anyone — with no commitment to become a customer. Dozens of businesses leveraged these as an opportunity to speak with a CFO, have their questions answered, discuss PPP, and figure out best next steps for their business. We are so grateful for our CFOs who put in extra hours to make this happen.
- We helped businesses find additional funding sources. Our partner Gusto compiled a list of all possible funding sources that business could apply for, and we helped share and promote this.
- We offered up to $1,000 off of our services — our biggest discount ever!
Added Six Former ScaleFactor Members to Our Team
One of the things that rocked the accounting industry the most this year was the news that ScaleFactor was closing. We were disappointed to hear this announcement for many reasons:
- We hate to see any business have to turn off the lights — especially in a year as difficult as this one.
- We always shared a similar mission to ScaleFactor — just a different approach to business.
- We knew this would mean many talented, hardworking people in our field would suddenly be out of a job.
But fortunately we were in a position to hire, and so we helped six of these incredible people find a new home here with us at Acuity.
Made the “2020 List of Best Firms to Work For”
We pride ourselves on creating a supportive work environment with flexible hours, fully remote work capabilities, and a culture that encourages hard work and personal growth, so this accolade was especially meaningful to us.
Side note — if you’re interested in joining our team, we’re hiring!
Hosted the 2nd Annual AcuityCon — This One Virtually
Last year we held our inaugural AcuityCon — an annual event that brings together all of our employees and partners for two jam-packed days of connecting and learning. AcuityCon 2019 was more awesome than we could have imagined, and we were so excited to do it all again this year. But, you know, COVID.
So we decided to hold AcuityCon 2020 virtually, and it really turned out wonderful. Nothing can replace being able to hang out with our team and partners in person, but this was a close second!
- We welcomed 35 new attendees.
- We had 6 different countries represented.
- We announced the latest MITCH Award recipient (an award that celebrates and acknowledges employees who exhibit our core values).
- We held thought-provoking discussions with leading industry experts.
- We explored the latest technologies with 20 different tech stack partners.
- We discussed the future of the accounting profession.
- We witnessed literal magic with the Digital Deception magic show.
- And we found a new way of connecting.
Launched Accounts Receivable Management as a Standalone Service
We’ve always offered Accounts Receivable Management as an add-on to our core services, but because of the increased demand for this, we are now offering it as a standalone service.
It’s no secret that COVID has made budgets tighter for the foreseeable future, and a steady cash flow is now more imperative than ever. So it’s important that you get paid, but it’s also important to maintain healthy relationships with your customers. With our Accounts Receivable Management services, we take the pressure off of you, help you get paid faster, and have those awkward conversations on your behalf — in a way that’s efficient, empathetic, and straightforward.
Acquired Our First Company: Counting House Associates
We were lucky to end 2020 with not only our biggest highlight of the year but also one of the biggest milestones in our company history: We announced our first ever acquisition!
Our acquisition of New Hampshire-based Counting House Associates means that we now have 100+ team members serving 500+ clients across the nation! And how’s this for a full-circle moment – they actually found us through the PPP calculator that we launched in the beginning of the year.
P.S. If your firm is potentially interested in joining forces with us, check out our “Merge in Your Firm” page for more details.
We Engaged in Some Pretty Cool Quarantine Hobbies
From raising chickens to home brewing, our team found fun ways to stay entertained and engaged while at home.
Time to Close the Book on This Year
Well 2020, you were…something. The successes we were fortunate enough to experience were all because of our awesome team, partners, and customers. We are so grateful for each and every one of you — every year, but especially this year. And to all of the small businesses out there, we are rooting for you, and we are here to help in whatever way we can. Reach out if there’s anything we can do. 2021, here we come!