Top 100 ProAdvisors: Meet Ability Business’ Lisa Burnett

Client centered. When Lisa Burnett looks at what Ability Business is all about, it all starts there. Lisa and the Ability team love to develop relationships with clients so that they can understand their financial needs and help them meet them, especially when it comes to taxes.

By providing innovative retail point of sale solutions for small- to mid-market businesses using QuickBooks as the foundation, Ability Business is a consulting and development firm that gives its clients innovative solutions for their particular needs and opportunities.

The firm’s team of consultants, strategists, problem solvers, support gurus and developers offer an array of services, including consulting, training, expert support and development. As trusted advisors, each Ability Team Member delivers a wealth of experience and knowledge to serve your software, hardware and custom business needs.

We sat down with Lisa, GM of the North Canton, Ohio practice, to get her thoughts on the road ahead.

Give us a snapshot of your business, including how long you have been in business, etc.

Ability Business is an innovative consulting and development firm based in North Canton, Ohio, that works with clients both regionally and nationally. Using QuickBooks as the foundation, we problem-solve and provide tools that power small- and mid-size businesses, and help them reach their goals.

While we pride ourselves on being award-winning QuickBooks Solution Providers, we do so much more for our clients. Our team of creative and caring consultants, strategists, problem-solvers, support gurus and developers are always ready to deploy their expertise to support, train, develop and advise—no matter how specialized or complex a business’ needs may be. We truly want to operate as extensions of the businesses we work with.

In order to meet the varied needs of the verticals in which we operate, since 2002, we’ve been at the forefront of developing third-party QuickBooks apps that add specific functionality to QuickBooks Point of Sale, such as Age Verification, EBT Calculator, Signature Capture, Purchasing Limits, and more. QuickBooks Point of Sale is an incredibly powerful and complete system, and our Ability apps simply add features and functionalities that help increase productivity and boost efficiency.

Our willingness and ability to innovate to augment QuickBooks Point of Sale with additional functionality has not only won Ability Business awards—such as “Intuit Value Add” award and “Intuit Reseller Customizer of the Year”—but it also allows us to meet the various needs of our client base. Plus, innovation is fun.

How does the award fit into your overall business mission statement?

Our mission statement is simply “to provide small and mid-size companies a business solution with QuickBooks as their foundation along with an Ability App and our services that will empower them to run their business, streamline workflows and provide reporting in order to make better business decisions.”

Of course, any accolade for us dovetails nicely with that overarching goal. This award also speaks directly to our core values, specifically to go “above and beyond,” be “innovative” and to “lead and learn”—but especially our value of being “yes-minded,” which to us means that “anything is possible, dream big.”

How will you leverage the honor in your continued success?

It goes without saying that we will definitely spread the word on our website, to our robust email list and will shout it out via our social media channels and will make the most of it in our other marketing endeavours. But more than that, what industry awards do is tell us that we’re on the right track, that we’re doing things that are beneficial for our clients and that also reflect well on the greater community of QuickBooks Service Providers. We believe that anything that gives Ability Business a boost will lift those in our ecosystem as well.

What are some of your strategies/initiatives for 2022? Business? Personnel?

Business-wise, we always want to research and learn to stay at the forefront of what QuickBooks has to offer, how QuickBooks Point of Sale can be better used for the verticals we serve, particularly retail, and work to educate not just our clients, but all QuickBooks users about what to do when a QuickBooks version sunsets, or best practices for features and benefits of QuickBooks, related programs or just business matters in general.

The Ability Business blog is robust and the range of topics we report on is ever-growing. We aim to be a thought-leader in our sphere, and that is a trend that we will continue this year and into the long-range future.

Personally speaking, it’s always my goal to eliminate pain points for our clients and to support my team and meet their needs as well—I enjoy being a problem-solver in all aspects of my life. I’m a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor in QuickBooks Point of Sale, Desktop, Enterprise, and Online and am authorized to train and write for Intuit and that’s a responsibility I love and is always a professional priority for me. My overarching priority is to help grow Ability Business, whether that means attracting new clients, empowering existing clients or helping to mentor our team.

What are some of the biggest issues/trends impacting the accounting space today?

Without a doubt, retail is changing at a rate that is faster than ever before, particularly e-commerce. As everyone knows by now, the pandemic has changed how people shop, with some of those changes being temporary, some permanent and some continuing to evolve.

It can be exhausting for folks in retail verticals, and we’re here to help alleviate some of that fatigue. As QuickBooks Service Providers with two decades of experience, we are able to help folks choose the right QuickBooks tools and Ability’s third-party QuickBooks add-ons that are customized to their business needs and will save them time, money and, most importantly, stress . The world changes and Ability Business adapts—it’s what we’ve always done and will continue to do.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now?

The biggest item on our to-do list is also the most exciting for us: the launch of our unique Ability Financial Exchange tool on the QBO Marketplace. Ability Financial Exchange is our proprietary QuickBooks sync tool that syncs QuickBooks Point of Sale with either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Enterprise.

While QuickBooks Point of Sale is an incredibly powerful and full-featured program, one of its drawbacks is that it has to be manually synced with QuickBooks Online, which costs time and creates the potential for costly errors. Ability Financial Exchange seamlessly syncs information in real time, meaning you can run reports with real-time, up-to-date information anywhere and at any time.

Of all the solutions we have innovated and implemented, Ability Financial Exchange is the one with the potential to create the biggest positive impact for the greatest amount of businesses. It’s proven to be successful among Ability’s client base and having it on the QBO Marketplace will make it accessible to all who can benefit from it. We hope to launch it on the QBO Marketplace by the end of 2022 or early in 2023.

What are your expectations moving forward?

We expect that the pandemic-fueled explosion of e-commerce is here to stay, and as such, retail businesses will need versatile and flexible solutions to meet the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace. Indeed, this is where a lot of our focus as QuickBooks Service Providers and overall problem-solvers will be in 2023 and beyond. We want to be prepared to help businesses navigate the ever-evolving retail landscape.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer your clients today?

Do your research and homework when investing in business tools or solutions. And certainly, don’t think you have to be an expert in every area or do all the work yourselves. That’s why consultants like us exist. We can take the deep dives into the complexities and questions that keep you awake at night. We really are here to make your life easier and your business more profitable.

What was the best advice you ever received?

Never stop learning, never stop innovating. Dreaming big is wonderful, but learning is how you make big dreams come true.

Is there a story/anecdote you can share that really sums up the work you do for your clients?

Our clients’ testimonials speak for themselves, let me share a couple:

“Wow. It has enabled us to better focus on our E-Commerce Growth, trusting the system(s) and has proven to be a huge success! Again, there are so many moving parts that still require attention, but Ability’s product [Ability Financial Exchange] & support has allowed us to funnel everything we do into ONE QuickBooks platform [QuickBooks Online Advanced].

Our NEW system is much smoother, all cloud based and is more efficient. It has truly allowed us to be more customer-focused & growth minded in a time where being nimble & digital has never been more important.” — Joe Neil Henderson, Owner, iOffice Delivers (Decatur, Texas)

“Today, everything works as it is supposed to work. Close out at the end of the day results in information automatically syncing to QB (QuickBooks Desktop). Bank deposits are effortless and take no time. Financial reports and statements provide important information to the staff and the Board of Directors.

So many different aspects of the Art Guild’s business is now routine and accounted for properly such as, for example: calculation and payment of sales taxes, inventory, layaway transactions, donor gifts, accounting for grant activity, revenue and expenses associated with specific programs and events, etc. etc.” — James B. Railing, Board Member, Past Interim Director, Brown County Art Guild (Nashville, Indiana)

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