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Accounting Apps Podcast| formerly Cloud Stories | Accounting Technology

“Cloud Stories is the world’s coolest accounting podcast” A guy on the Internet told me this once, and I choose to believe him!

The Cloud Stories podcast explores how business solutions integrate with online accounting software (Xero, MYOB and or QBO), and can, in turn, automate processes and improve productivity and profitability. By sharing Cloud Stories from the community listeners gain insights into how small businesses and advisory services can thrive in a brave new world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robots.

Over the years, Heather Smith has interviewed Accountants • Bookkeepers • Business Consultants • Cloud Advisors • Cloud Integrators • Developers • Small Business Owners • and Solution Providers • who have generously shared their own Cloud Story on the popular podcast.

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Nov 30, 2015

Peter Vessenes has served as a high-level corporate advisor since 1983. Projects that began with assisting presidents of Fortune 100 companies broadened to include mid-sized corporations, closely-held companies, start-ups and capital formation. Peter is a popular platform speaker and a co-author of two books. Now he actually said he authored these books he wasn't a co-author so maybe that's a typo there. Building Your Multi-Million-Dollar Practice and The Golden Rules of Economics: The Real Way Out Of America’s Financial Crisis. So Peter goes on to talk further about the points that he raises in Building Your Multi-Million Dollar Practice and if you think you can get your hot hands on a copy of the book I'd actually highly recommend you do as it sounds like there's lots of useful information in it. Peter's works have been published in Investment News, Wall Street On-Line, The Journal of Financial Planning, Producers Web, Horsesmouth, The Register, Financial Planning Magazine, Adviser Max, American Management Magazine, American Venture Magazine, Broker Dealer Magazine, and more. So lots of American financial magazines. Peter is the founder and CEO of ProfitSee, a financial software service for financial professionals, CPAs, and ProAdvisors. So let me explain ProfitSee. Business owners need access to high-level financial insights to strengthen their companies. CPAs, bookkeepers, accountants, and business advisors that understand how to do this become the game changers for their business clients. ProfitSee’s software, support, tools, and training strengthen the accountant-business owner relationship. Everyone benefits by being more profitable. With a commitment to rebuilding the global economy, ProfitSee’s cloud based software solution seamlessly integrates with accounting software data to provide powerful, instant insights. The forecasting, reporting, white labelling, and analytical tools improve efficiency, financial stability, profitability, and valuation in each business. ProfitSee is more than just a reporting tool.

I started by asking Peter what did you like to do as a 12-year-old?

Peter: As a 12-year-old? My goodness. I was an exceptionally good baseball player. I was the catcher in my city all-star team. I was also deeply hooked into {0:08:08.0} and algebra. I was one of those whiz kids that knew if Train A was moving at 40 miles an hour to the North East and Train B was leaving an hour and 40 minutes…anyway so I really, really liked applied math and logic and sat there even at 12. I started to take an interest in music and I began to be professionally trained as a vocalist-

Heather: -we need to get you up singing at Xerocon then it sounds like-

Peter: -oh my gosh that's for the young people. I don't know if they'd let us silver haired biddies go up there.

Heather: I'm sure there's a few silver haired people on stage.

Peter: I still have the pipes. So you know I really loved math, I loved reading, I was a good athlete, I started to play golf at 12 but no, it was kind of a combination of math, science and performance.

Heather: Sounds like you're a really positive all-rounder and had a few opportunities there. That's excellent.

Peter: Well, you know, everybody is who they are. I was flitting from one group to another as I went through my primary and secondary education.

Heather: Brilliant. I know that when I lived in Canada one of the things that my husband really liked was the batting cages because we kind of have baseball here in Australia, so I shouldn’t say that, but we don't really have those and the ball automatically shoots at you and you just kind of go in there. So that's quite fun to see you go in and you get all dressed up and then kind of have to hit the ball. So that was actually quite a fun thing. They should open something like that here in Australia.

So can you tell our listeners, Peter, about your company and what it does?

Peter: Well I can give it a try. I actually…we're an overnight sensation 40 years in the making.

Heather: Oh okay.

Peter: That's the best way to explain this. When I came out of graduate school I actually worked as a think tank facilitator for the US Government on healthcare reform in rural America and my college sweetheart, who was my bride by then and still is, she was an attorney who specialised in constitutional law and when we started to have a family we decided we didn’t really want to be like time bureaucrats. So we went back into the private sector and by 1979 I was really deeply involved in using micro-computer systems because I had a background in programming in both fortran and basic and by 1982 I found I was being engaged by a number of companies, both in Silicon Valley and among the Fortune 100 that were very high profile tech companies. And these are names that everyone would recognise. So eventually we wound up moving to Minneapolis in 1987 because I was asked to fix a failed acquisition merger for a major Fortune 70 company that was doing about half a billion dollars a year in revenue but was losing about $47 million-

Heather: -that's a huge amount of money back in 1987-

Peter: -that is yes and so in 26 months with what I was doing and some of the people that were contributing to what I was trying to help with, but pretty much it was my strategies that turned it around. In 26 months we turned it to +$57 million which is pretty astonishing and the parent was so happy, and I was on leverage compensation, but the parent was so happy they sold the division and guess who was not asked to go along. So no good deed goes unpunished. So I got fed up by the time I was 30 working for government and by the time I was 40 I got fed up helping multinationals. So in 1990-1991 somewhere in there I shifted over into helping SME's and I really, really liked it and I had developed a way of doing gap analysis in businesses which basically looks at…I believe there are eight key disciplines that inflict themselves on any company as soon as your significant other says I'm not helping you on weekends anymore. So essentially what the eight are is how do you define and how do you fulfil the client experience, and that's everything from sales processes to how do you approach your market, variety of things. The second is, how do you create tap-of-mind awareness into your target audiences. So those are the disciplines of strategic marketing, competitive analysis, competitive advantage, branding, taglines, advertising, public relations, event management, competitive advantage, elevator statements – all those things. The third discipline is workflows and efficiencies and I was actually trained in Deming's totally quality management from the 80s and I had adapted it to working in service space businesses as well. So I knew a lot about efficiencies and what were bottle necks and what was Chinese lanterns and I had to start with people in the trenches so that was an interesting element in how I match these things. The fourth discipline was compliance and regulatory law because that's becoming a bigger issue for most business. I didn't know a lot about it but my wife became the nationally known in the United States in compliance and regulatory law, because she wrote two definitive books about it, and Bloomberg Press called her the goshdess of compliance and regulatory-

Heather: -oh goodness that's something to be a goddess of-