Brant Barnett


Brant Barnett, Barnett Builders: Huge time savings from working with BAGE CPA

Barnett Builders is a construction company located in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Considered by many to be one of the premier construction companies in Nova Scotia, Barnett Builders exceeds client expectations and in doing so maintains an excellent reputation in the industry. In 2005, Barnett Builders Ltd was a new company in Nova Scotia’s construction industry, and at that time their accounting needs were basic. Traditional accounting methods worked for them and for years they worked with the same accountant, until his retirement.

Brant Barnett, owner and president of Barnett Builders, is a forward thinker and looks for opportunities to cut costs and provide value to his clients. He realized a cloud-based accounting solution would streamline his operations, reduce costs, speed up cash flow and allow access to his business anytime from anywhere. Initially, he considered hiring someone in-house to do his accounting and guide him on the path of efficiency and effectiveness. After looking unsuccessfully for the right person to fill that role, he began looking at accounting firms. Through word-of-mouth, he learned about BAGE CPA. 

“BAGE was the first firm we spoke to,” Brant says. “They struck me as being very professional and they had someone in customer relations who catered to my questions and helped me make the transition. It was a smooth transition.” 

After initially switching Barnett Builders to a cloud-based accounting system, BAGE took over monthly bookkeeping, tax filings, payroll, receivables, payables, and other activities. They became Barnett Builders’ accounting department ‘plug in,’ seamlessly integrating bookkeepers and accountants into Barnett Builders’ daily business processes. 

“BAGE created a complete system that was user friendly and they trained our employees in using the system. Cloud-based accounting was important to me so I could have information at my fingertips. It’s also cut months out of my invoicing. I get paid two months quicker than before and I’m able to invoice two months quicker than I would have before.”

The way Barnett Builders did bookkeeping before BAGE was more of a traditional model with a lot of data input required. Typically, the accountant would do the bookkeeping and it would take a few months to finalize and get back to Brant for reporting. In the new system, books are up to date in almost real time. 

This system has saved Brant a great deal of time, money, and effort that would have been required of him. The cloud-based system implemented by BAGE is comprehensive, streamlined and efficient. It organizes Barnett Builders’ invoices and payables, payroll, and generates invoices for Brant, where he would have had to do so manually. 

So… What did BAGE do?

The team at BAGE has a proprietary process design that streamlines accounting and operational processes, thereby reducing time, cost, and redundancy. 

Gerard Jones, CPA CGA, is the CEO at BAGE. With a background in implementing software solutions in large organizations, Gerard has leveraged his multinational corporate experience to assist small organizations in driving costs out of the system. With Barnett Builders, he saw an opportunity to improve processes.

“Initially, when I met with Brant, I was impressed with his professionalism and desire for excellence,” Gerard says. “One of my most important roles at BAGE is to make sure our clients ‘fit’ with our vision and values. Brant was an easy decision. He is very bright–he could do the bookkeeping himself–but he was smart enough to realize he was better off spending his time elsewhere.”

Among the key business processes they streamlined for Barnett Builders, BAGE set up a purchase-to-pay process that enables capturing invoices electronically, extracting key data automatically, and publishing it to accounting software. 

The proprietary system for Barnett Builders took about 2 months to fully set up, integrate, configure, and test. Although live transactions were flowing within a few weeks, BAGE spent a few months streamlining and improving the efficiency of the system to ensure it worked optimally for Brant and his team. 

Key to the process is capturing data at its initial point and having it flow through the system, reducing excess data entry and duplication of effort. BAGE’s team designed a process that does exactly that, regardless of whether the information comes from an employee logging time on the job or an invoice received through email. 

The benefits of using BAGE’s proprietary system

Like all clients, Barnett Builders has unique requirements. The BAGE team identified what would work best and customized the system and processes to deliver the most efficient experience using best-in-breed technology at a fraction of the cost it would traditionally take to mirror the results.

In the period since implementing the new system with BAGE, Barnett Builders has grown revenues Year Over Year by almost 300%. Typically an implementation of such a system can save anywhere from 25% to 75% of the costs of a traditional system. Barnett Builders was no different. The time savings have also been massive.

“It’s saved me, personally, probably a week a month,” Brant says. “It’s been huge. Where I would have fumbled through invoicing before, doing scanning and going through hundreds of invoices a month to get my invoice ready, now it’s almost instantly generated when I request it.” 

Additionally, Brant says working with BAGE has cut down on time and effort spent on human resources-related issues. For example, staff at Barnett Builders can reach out and access vital information through the system, rather than asking him or other managers for that information. 

“Their team has been great. I have one point of contact, Kate, and she utilizes her team to get me the information we need. Everything is dealt with. They issue a ticket when I need information or have a task I need completed and it’s always done within 48 hours. There was a lot of uncertainty about what I was going to do before we worked with them and this has been a positive experience.”

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