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IAM1769 – Tax and Finance Professional Helps Clients Streamline Their Financial Processes

Podcast interview with Chris Hervochon

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of the I AM CEO podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Chris Hervochon, the owner of SOAR (Strategic Operational Accounting Resources), a CPA firm that provides outsourced accounting and tax preparation for businesses and individuals. Chris has over 10 years of experience in forensic accounting and corporate accounting and finance, and he shares his insights on how businesses can streamline their financial processes to save time and increase efficiency.

Throughout the interview, Chris emphasizes the importance of having a clear understanding of your financials and using technology to automate and simplify your financial processes. He also discusses the benefits of outsourcing accounting and tax preparation to professionals, as well as the challenges of entrepreneurship and the importance of seeking help when needed.

Chris shares his CEO hacks and nuggets, which include reading a lot and getting help for areas where you lack expertise. He defines being a CEO as driving a business forward and executing your vision.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into the importance of financial management for businesses and the benefits of outsourcing to professionals. Chris' experience and expertise in the field make this episode a must-listen for anyone interested in improving their financial processes.

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Chris Hervochon Teaser 00:00

Efficiency and automation are important because one, it creates a more consistent product, and two, it turns around the data faster. So, really we're at the point now where you shouldn't have to wait a month or two to get your financial results from the prior month. We should be able to turn that data around in a matter of days, not months.

Intro 00:17

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:41

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Or what I like to call the CB nation architects, those that are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focusing on knowing thy numbers. I could hear the phrases from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, and if you understand or don't understand exactly what numbers is, think finance, economics, accounting, capital, investment, funding, bootstrapping, anything that's around numbers. So, we have to understand how important it is to know your numbers and how important that is for you to forecast, make decisions, and to be able to truly strategize around your business and do that successfully.

Things are gonna be a little bit different obviously, this month. So look for CEO hacks and CEO nuggets and interviews that focus around this. But more than everything else, make sure that you know your numbers because they're extremely important to the life of your business.

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Chris Hervochon of SOAR Strategic Operational Accounting Resources. Chris is awesome to have you on the show.

Chris Hervochon 02:09

Hey, thanks so much for having me. Looking forward to it.

Gresham Harkless 02:11

Yeah, I'm looking forward to it as well. What I wanted to do before we got started is read a little bit more about Chris, so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

Chris is the owner of SOAR Strategic Operational Accounting Resources, which is a sole proprietor CPA firm started in 2018. SOAR provides outsourced accounting and tax preparation for businesses and individuals. Prior to forming SOAR, Chris spent prior 10 years between forensic accounting and corporate accounting and finance. Most recently as a finance director for a large healthcare organization.

Chris is highly evolved in the accounting profession, volunteering with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in South Carolina's Association of CPAs, and is also a 2018 graduate of the Certified Public Accounting Leadership Academy.

Chris, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Chris Hervochon 02:57

Yeah, let's do it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:58

Let's do it. So, the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

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Chris Hervochon 03:03

Sure. So I got an interesting start right out of college. I started as a golf pro, which was interesting. And part of being a golf pro, I was hanging out with a lot of people who thought about the golf swing a little bit differently, I got into how do I get better in the most efficient way possible? I was one of those guys that kind of made my own training aids to give myself feedback on my golf swing. The golf thing didn't work out, I brought that mindset with me when I came to accounting.

I spent a lot of my career building automation inside the companies in the firm that I worked for, making things as efficient as possible. At the same time, for the last seven years, I've had this business as a part-time practice while I was working a full-time job and it just got to the point where it either had to grow or go away. So I decided that I wanted to leverage those skills, the automation skills, creating efficiencies for businesses in my practice. That's what I wanted to do. So I'm bringing that skillset to other businesses.

Gresham Harkless 03:51

That's awesome. I'm a big sports nut as we talked about a little bit offline, so I love kind of like you talking about, golf and breaking down the swing and making it more efficient and how you're also bringing that to business because I feel like there's a kind of a synergy between businesses and sports.

Chris Hervochon 04:05

Absolutely. There absolutely is. Golf is one of those things where it's very much an individual game, and so you're out there as a golf pro on your own. Like it's up to you to make a living and to figure it out. So it's really important that if you're off your game, you need to be able to make adjustments as quickly as possible. You need to know what those adjustments are.

You need to be as efficient as possible with your time because there are only so many hours in the day to work through those things. Golf is a complex game, all that stuff transfers over to business, all of it. So it's just a different application of the same skillset and mindset.

Gresham Harkless 04:34

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Now I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and hear how you're helping to support the clients that you work with. Could you tell us a little bit more about what you do?

Chris Hervochon 04:41

Sure. So as you said, I'm a sole practitioner CPA firm. I provide outsourced accounting, which is everything from bookkeeping to virtual CFOs services to businesses, plus a dashboarding service for my clients.

So there's a business intelligence component to that, and then also all things taxes, tax planning, tax prep for businesses and individuals as well.

Gresham Harkless 05:00

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Do you have to be located in the South Carolina area for you to work with you?

Chris Hervochon 05:05

You do not. My clients actually triangulate from Rhode Island to Florida to California, so they're all over the place. So, I operate virtually and a lot of my clients are virtual as well. So, it works out pretty well.

Gresham Harkless 05:17

Okay, that makes sense. So they're able to send everything they need or just can interact within this day and age, I'm sure it's pretty easy to have a conversation even like we're doing right now.

Chris Hervochon 05:24

That's right. It's the beauty of technology.

Gresham Harkless 05:26

Exactly. Exactly. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. This is what you feel distinguishes you or sets you apart. So do you have an example of a secret sauce for you or your organization you can share with us?

Chris Hervochon 05:37

Sure. So I was actually at a conference back in June, the CPAs big engaged conference. I mean it's I don't know, something like seven or eight conferences rolled in. The one that has crazy ton of people there. But the CEO of the ICPA gave a stat that by the end of 2018, only 60% of CPAs plan on having any interaction with the cloud by the end of the year.

So we're getting up at the end of the year, and only 60% of CPAs expect to have any interaction with the cloud.

Gresham Harkless 05:59


Chris Hervochon 05:59

In reality, that should be a hundred percent right. If you think about the cloud and all of the technology that can be utilized in business, that's your accounting software, that's all of the applications that kind of surround that being accounts payable, accounts receivable, business intelligence software, your email document storage, all that stuff, right?

So my business has been cloud focused since 2012. As I said, I've been at this for a while and what I do with that is being cloud-based and having a cloud focus is you're able to leverage data so you can connect financial data to non-financial data. When you do that, you create leverage data, so better strategic insights into your business. The other thing that it allows for is more automation and more efficiency. Efficiency and automation are important because one, it creates a more consistent product, and two, it turns around the data faster.

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So you know , really, we're at the point now where you shouldn't have to wait a month or two to get your financial results from the prior month. We should be able to turn that data around in a matter of days, not months.

Gresham Harkless 06:56

Yeah, that makes sense. I imagine that it allows your clients to make decisions, the correct decisions, but also probably make them a lot more efficient and a lot quicker. So that helps to make decisions based off, maybe hiring or firing or what service may be to continue on with or to pivot or do whatever.

But a lot of those decisions can be based on financial data, not just on whims, I imagine.

Chris Hervochon 07:16

Exactly right. Stale data is an enemy of efficient and prosperous business, right? So if you don't have the data to make decisions. Then, really, what can you do? You can't really do anything with it. It's kind of like the folks who, throw all the receipts in the shoebox, the shoebox clients, right?

Then they take it to their CPA at the end of the year and say, Hey, do my taxes. It's sitting in that shoebox. There's a ton of data and a ton of information that you could have been using, throughout the year to make decisions on and to advance your business into the business that you won. As opposed to the business that you have and so, getting around that stale data problem is enormous for businesses.

Gresham Harkless 07:46

Yeah. Yeah. And I can imagine not being able to obviously put it in and leverage the cloud, but also probably be able to have somebody like yourself who's able to quote and quote, translate that data so that you understand like what decisions to make or not to make based off of that data.

Chris Hervochon 07:58

Exactly right. Once you get the data, you have to be able to tell the story about what the data is telling you. So that's part of what we do, especially using the dashboard. It's a one-page visualization of where your business is, the data in your business, and measures things that help you to advance your business forward.

So that's another component to that. It's, being able to actually see the data in a meaningful way.

Gresham Harkless 08:17

Yeah, that makes sense. Now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but it's something that you feel makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Chris Hervochon 08:29

Sure. So I guess this would fall into that habit bucket, and maybe it's not a hack, but it's being intellectually curious. For me what that means is reading a lot. So it's not for me, it's not just technical accounting information that I'm reading or management books. But also publications, magazines, newsletters, and things like Fast Company Strategy Plus Business is good one. The entrepreneur just gets a sense of the things that are going on around me, what is gonna apply to my business, and also what's gonna apply to my client's business.

Then good recommendations I have is anything by Daniel Burrus? Daniel Burrus is a futurist, last name is spelled BURRUS, and he's put out a lot of stuff and what he focuses on is hard trends. So hard trends are future facts. Things that we know in the future are 100% gonna happen. Good example, demographic shifts. What he teaches in his writing is how do I identify these hard trends and then how to apply them to your business?

So really important to be able to know, the things in your environment that are gonna impact your business so you can make decisions based off of that and kind of get ahead of that curve, right? That's how you pass your competitors.

Gresham Harkless 09:32

Yeah, and I can imagine if you're definitely dialed into those like you said, those are things that are going to happen. So, If you're aware of those at the heart of the business, you're always trying to minimize your risk. One of the ways to minimize your risk is to be very aware of what's going on in your industry or in the world in general and how it will affect your and impact your industry.

Chris Hervochon 09:49

Exactly right. So the strategy that's based off of future facts is lower risk than strategy that's based on soft trends or whims, things that aren't backed up by data or backed up by the things that are advancing around us.

Gresham Harkless 10:02

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, or if you can hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Chris Hervochon 10:12

I would tell myself to do it sooner. Go out on your own, rip the band-aid off. That's something that we say a lot in my house. Rip the band-aid off. Just go out and do it. If you're always putting it off or saying the time's not right, the time is never gonna be right. So if you're listening to this and you're thinking about going out and starting a business and going out on your own, Know that the first step is actually getting started. You got to get started and you got to throw yourself into it.

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Then the other thing I would say to that is getting help, right? I actually wrote a blog article, you can find it on my blog. So blog on better ways,, about something that's pertinent to me in my industry, but outsourced accounting, right? One of those things that if you're a business owner, you're thinking about going out on your own, or you just went out on your own and you don't have an accounting background. You don't have accounting expertise. Go out and get an account, right? Same thing's true for a lot of other facets of the business.

If you're not a lawyer and you don't have legal background, go out and hire a lawyer to help you get that business started and help you form that entity. If you think about, back to what I was saying about my golf career, everybody who's out on the PGA tour, they've all got coaches. In most cases, they've got more than one. So business is the same way. Go get yourself a business coach. Go outsource the things that you don't have particular expertise in. The best thing you can do is take that first step.

Gresham Harkless 11:20

Yeah, and I love that reminder. Yeah, if you want to start a business, start it yesterday and making sure that when you do start it, we all have our lanes and things that we do, better than other people.

So understanding what your lanes are, having that self-awareness, but then being able to bring that team along to have that accounted, that CPA, that attorney, whatever it is where you're weak or you're not as knowledgeable about, can only help and make sure you are successful. So I think that's a great reminder.

Chris Hervochon 11:44

Exactly right.

Gresham Harkless 11:44

Awesome. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of being a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on this show, but I wanted to ask you Chris, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Chris Hervochon 11:53

To me, it means being in a position to drive a business forward and execute on a vision.

Gresham Harkless 11:58

Awesome. Perfect. And Chris, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do is pass you to the mic to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and then how best they can get ahold of you. Find out about your blog content and all the awesome things that you're doing.

Chris Hervochon 12:13

Yeah, sure, I appreciate that. The best way to get in contact with me is email You can also get in touch with me via the website, which is I've got a pretty active Facebook page. That's all one word. Twitter is Chris Hervochon.

The other thing that I'll offer up, I've got a product called a Wayfinder, which consists of a one-hour introductory fact-finding video call with me. Then it's the preparation of an eight to nine-page report, followed by another one-hour video call where we walk through the report. The report consists of a look at the current state of your industry and the geographic economy that you're operating in, financial benchmarking within your industry, and then a look at your accounting processes and procedures.

Then from that what we do is we put together five recommendations on how to move forward. You can see an example of that report on Usually it's a $1,500 one-time fee for this product. But for your listeners, I'll go ahead and I'll offer a discount code, which is IAMCEO2018, all one word. That will give you the price on 199 for that particular tool. So you can also find that on the webpage and you can also book that with me through the webpage.

Gresham Harkless 13:28

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Definitely appreciate you for offering that, Chris. What we'll do is we'll have those links in the so notes just so that anybody can take advantage of that offer and make sure that you do that. Then also to follow up with Chris and follow all the awesome things that you're doing. But Chris, I appreciate you and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Chris Hervochon 13:43

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on.

Intro 13:45

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five-star rating.

Grab CEO gear at this has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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