How MAT Provided Support During COVID
We’re proud to say that we team up with our customers. We’re not a Time and Materials partner with our finger on the time clock; one fixed fee, and we’re there with support. COVID is a case in point. Learn how MAT provided support during COVID.
First, MAT’s belief and investment in the best cloud-based systems, Intacct, Salesforce, Bill.com, Dropbox, GoToMeeting, and Expensify, meant that we could seamlessly support MAT’s customers remotely. That’s not just because the nuts and bolts are off-site; MAT’s employees can work as easily in remote environments as a centralized office. MAT has employees in multiple states, with no need for central office support.
Second, it’s odd to say, but beyond the economic disaster and personal tragedy of COVID, MAT has smoothly handled the massive amount of extra work our customers need, for which we have not charged a penny more. Here are just some of the additional tasks:
MAT’s CFO was there for our customers to rely on when considering support for their businesses, be it PPP, EIDL, or additional grants. I think we all understand that the Government’s response to COVID-19 focused on providing aid quickly, not on getting the details right. Congress passed bills and gave the Treasury just ten days to write the instructions. Unsurprisingly, the guidance was clear as mud. Further, much of the interpretation was kicked downhill to the banks and lenders. For example, MAT had a customer who reviewed the Treasury Guidelines for PPP loans, which directed the applicant to ask their bank. When they asked their bank, they were directed to review the Treasury Guidelines. Not very helpful! All this came at a time when small business owners were stressed as they struggled to keep their businesses afloat. MAT was a voice of calm in the storm.
“Hi, Bruce – I just wanted you to know that we successfully submitted our second PPP loan request, jumped through all the hoops, and were approved quickly – within a couple of weeks. We also submitted for loan forgiveness for our first PPP loan, and we’re in the cue at SBA for their decision. Our financial lender said it usually takes 60 days to go through their system to move on to SBA. We got through in less than a week. I was still nervous as heck as I worked on both items, but I had the notes from our conversation and great help from MAT with a couple of specific reports for us. So, THANK YOU for talking with me about the documentation requirements for us as an LLC with no employees and for helping me see a path forward. Your level-headedness was exactly what I needed. “
Katherine (Kate) Robinette, CPSM Go Strategies LLC
Planning Cash Flow During a Crisis
MAT understands the details of our clients’ outflows, the strategic impact of the government’s programs, and how to marry them together. One of MAT’s first responses to COVID-19 was to work with our customers to get a handle on what the future looked like and what to do about it. Whether the customer needed sophisticated modeling, detailed analytics, or the ability to see the “forest for the trees,” we were there. In many cases, we simply kept calm and accurately assessed the financials.
MAT knew that many of our customers were unsure how the different stimulus packages applied to them. Where necessary, we reached out to them.
One funder has pledged a large donation, and I know that person’s confidence in our viability is based on the revised forecast Bruce presented at the Board meeting that incorporated the second PPP loan MAT helped us with, so thank you for that presentation and for all your help along the way.
How’s that? There are so many testimonials, which probably sounds like all the others. There are only so many ways to say thank you, especially in written form, but I want you to know that my feelings are sincere — I could not do this without you.”
– Leisha Wharfield, Executive Director, Decision Science Research Institute b.d.a Decision Research
Many of MAT’s clients needed multiple reports using proscribed reporting periods to either demonstrate economic hardship, justify loan application amounts, or apply for loan forgiveness. Despite everyone being under a lot of time pressure, our capabilities using sophisticated systems meant we could meet every request. There was no scrambling for printed reports, digging through file cabinets, or wasting time as systems failed. These were industrial-strength systems like Intacct, not QuickBooks and paper files. Whether it was Federal programs like PPP, requests from regional banks like Columbia Bank in the Pacific Northwest, or local grant programs in Oregon, MAT was there for our customers.
Accurate and Consistent Records
MAT’s monthly workbooks ensure that tracking into the numbers to justify loan or loan forgiveness applications. This means that when challenges occur – and they will – there’s no scramble for the numbers. MAT has everything at our fingertips.
Lenders and the government know that some less-than-scrupulous companies will “fudge” the numbers. We promise that some heads will roll as the government audits applications. A third-party provider, like MAT, meant our customers had an easier time than in-house bookkeepers. While this works in our client’s favor during COVID, a broader point applies to a much wider set of issues. Partners can rest assured that MAT is an “honest broker.” In other words, bankers or potential investors know MAT is independent, which means the chance of fraud is far less.
MAT securely stores all our customers’ records online using the highest backup standards to ensure that when our customers need a copy of their lease to justify loan forgiveness or backup to prove payment of forgivable expenses, there is easy and reliable access.
If you’ve been listening to the news, you’ve undoubtedly heard experts like Fauci state that a sad fact of the modern world is that even when COVID is defeated, there will be other pandemics. The interconnectedness of our global economy guarantees it. The beauty of relying on a system like MAT is that it doesn’t rely on a single person. Last year, a couple of our employees contracted COVID, but their customers could sleep easily knowing that we employ sophisticated task management systems complete with detailed instructions to re-assign tasks. Companies with individual bookkeepers were not so lucky. Of course, while COVID was a tragedy that highlighted the flaws of relying on a single person, it applies just as much to many more mundane transitions.
COVID Business Strategies Summary
These are just some specific ways MAT helped our customers during COVID, but we hope you get the picture. It also highlights the benefits of a robust process in any time of change, crisis, or challenge. That could be the need for financing, the sale of your business, succession planning, the addition of a partner, or an IRS audit. Having your financials in order with MAT eases the burden. Unfortunately, waiting for an event often means it’s either too late or it’s a fire drill. COVID was a tragedy, but at least MAT’s customers were prepared.