Milestone’s Back Office Support Scales With Growing Small Business

The Milestone Team July 19, 2023

“As entrepreneurs we can be visionaries and set objectives, but the back-office support of our company is as vital as the plan. Milestone delivers every time, giving me peace of mind to focus on growing my business.”   Craig Smaagaard, Generational Wealth Advisors – Founder

Situation

Generational Wealth Advisors knew they needed “air-tight” financials  and forecasting to have a successful business, but did not have the budget to hire a full time accounting team, including a CFO. They were looking for a cost effective fractional solution that would give them the range of coverage and the expertise they needed to scale their business. 

Solution

Generational Wealth Advisors hired Milestone for both accounting and payroll services. 

Outcome

Milestone built a scaleable back-office solution based on proven best practices and industry leading technology tools.  The trust they established early on, provided GWA with the confidence they needed to rapidly grow their business.  


Generational Wealth Advisors (GWA) is a statutory self-employed financial advisorsory company under the umbrella of Thrivent.  GWA helps financial advisors plan and execute their own retirement by providing detailed succession planning and operational support for advisors as they transition out of their businesses.    GWA also provides the back-office support and automation to enable a successor to focus on seamless client transitions.  GWA Founder, Craig Smaagaard, noted “Our vision is to be the team of choice for advisors transitioning into retirement, structure staff to create maximum impact, and provide concierge-level customer service to every client,” 

As Smaagaard started his business, he recognized his need for accurate financials and forecasting, and his lack of expertise in that area. When he searched for a solution, Smaagaard was referred to Milestone by a trusted advisor.  Smaagaard states “the most-attractive part” of Milestone was their ability to help him scale his business. GWA started with Milestone when they had just 1 employee and now they’ve grown to over 30 team members. 

GWA uses both controllership and staff accountant services from Milestone. Each month, Milestone meets with Smaagaard and GWA Practice Development Manager, Jen McBurnie, to review their forecasts which Smaagaard calls his “sigh of relief.” Smaagaard believes the forecasting is an essential component to managing his businesss.  “My biggest fear as an owner is not having the financial information I need to make informed decisions,” said Smaagaard.  By leveraging the Milestone forecasting tools, Smaagaard has been able to confidently execute his aggressive growth plans.  “I use our forecast to run scenarios and better understand the cash flow implications”, he noted.  

From McBurnie’s perspective, Milestone’s use of best-in-class technology tools is her “favorite part” of working with Milestone.   “The tools are easy to use and have greatly improved our operational efficiency”, she noted.  McBurnie went on to say, “I can take a deep breath knowing Milestone is on it and everything is covered.”  

Milestone also supports GWA’s payroll function. Smaagaard noted that onboarding new employees has been “simple and seamless” from her perspective. McBurnie works directly with the Milestone payroll team to communicate any payroll related matters.  “The Milestone team is very responsive”, she noted.  “They just take care of it.”  

GWA doesn’t plan to stop growing any time soon, but they know they can count on the Milestone team to support them.  “Milestone has been a terrific partner”, Smaagaard said.  

“They have the experienced team we need to help us reach our goals”.

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