Martin Moll is the founder and CEO of Breakaway Bookkeeping and Advising. Breakaway is a fully distributed virtual CFO-controlled bookkeeping firm and has its own offshore team.
Background of Martin Moll
Martin joined the Big Four accounting firm, Andersen, after several years of practicing law. He specialized in taxation, planning, strategy, and compensation concerns for physician entrepreneurs, medical clinics, health systems, and executives. Martin later became a partner and the leader of the healthcare practice at Aldrich, a top ten west coast accounting and advisory firm. Martin served as interim Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Executive Officer of numerous big medical practices in addition to directing the firm's business. Martin eventually rose to the position of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Aldrich.
Founded Breakaway Bookkeeping and Advising
Martin left public accounting to establish Breakaway Bookkeeping & Advising, founded in Salem, Oregon, which offers bookkeeping, controller, and CFO advisory services. The firm has quickly grown to 17 advisors (12 Onshore and 5 Offshore) servicing clients around the country in a multitude of areas. Breakaway Bookkeeping and Advising began in January 2020, right before the pandemic, and since then has grown to an annual revenue of over a million dollars.
Martin says, “At Aldrich, we built a 400 people offshore team in Coimbatore which is a city in Karnataka (India) around more than 15 Years ago. We started with a couple of young staff who are still with the firm now. I always knew offshoring is always an integral part of my new firm when I started my new firm in January 2020”.
Martin Travels to India
Martin has traveled to India 18 times till now and he says, “It was very important to us, and we know about Entigrity as well, we tell our clients that we treat the team in India no differently than the team in the US''.
Initial Challenges - Communication - Cultural Differences
Talking about initial challenges and communications, Martin says, “We understand that they are humans, they can also make mistakes. We created a poll and went through that in parts of Oregon and we were again very open about it. We got some resistance but ultimately most clients understood the communication, so there was no such problem of communication.” As Martin always says “great systems require good people”
Hierarchy of the Team
Breakaway Bookkeeping And Advising introduced a term called Champion. The idea behind this is not to have 10 people reaching out for a conversation with the India team, but for one dedicated person to be the point person, or Champion. This person would learn more about their cultures and spend more time learning about Cricket, Bollywood, Indian culture etc.
Martin explains, “We really wanted someone state site so it was a little bit more of a funnel point rather than having 10 people in Oregon communicating with certainly the 10 people in India, but we found it better to have one person who was checking in with the Indian team team and so we called it the Champion”.
Offshoring and Its Impact
Martin often mentions that offshore is one of the three crucial pillars that helps his firm develop. He now has 5 employees that work alongside his onshore team and are entirely remote. They are working together as a team, both technically and in terms of skill.
Also, Martin explains, using an offshore team really empowers bookkeepers, virtual CFO's, and controllers.
The 3 Pillars of this Business Model
1. Processes: All processes should be in place so that the transition to offshoring and scaling it further is easier and smoother. Whether it's client onboarding, document recovery, financial reporting, invoicing, or follow-ups. It is preferable to scale back if processes are already in place.
2. Technology: Right technology will give your firm the evolution it needs to thrive. The constantly evolving technology and firm processes allows practitioners to be more productive, efficient and profitable, as their practices will endure and thrive.
3. Offshoring: Staffing is always the No. 1 challenge. Salaries, retention, recruitment are all pain points involved. Offshore staffing helps you build capacity so that a lot of your compliance and data entry and review level work is being done by your offshore accounting team and your core team onshore, is responsible for investing time behind their clients and their business. Offshoring has been one of the solutions that you need to have in order to continue serving your clients better.
Martin told us that, “Those are the three things that are the pillars of Breakaway Bookkeeping and Advising. The high level advisory of course is done by the staff but then back-office work is done by the offshore accounting team”.
Martin is an avid cyclist who serves on the Pacific University Board of Trustees as well as the boards of New Avenues for Youth and Cycle Oregon. Martin holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark College's Northwestern College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon's Robert D. Clark Honors College.
Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 600+ accountants, CPAs, and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still, you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.