Podcast 8 – Challenges Facing Cannabis Accounting Entrepreneurs

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Podcast 8 – Challenges Facing Cannabis Accounting Entrepreneurs

Podcast #8 Challenges Facing Cannabis Accounting Entrepreneurs

MATTHEW SHEIBLER: Welcome everybody to the interactive entrepreneur podcast, sponsored by interactive accountants, where we help you minimize your taxes and measure your success. And today we're joined by Alvonn Forsyth foresight and Alvonn Forsyth is the founder and CEO of higher level accounting. Alvonn Forsyth focuses on working with clients for their accounting needs.

To the cannabis industry. He started off in the accounting industry back in 2006 as an accounting clerk with Granada distillers shortly after the completion of his studies, he moved to Dallas where he worked as a corporate accountant with a small pharmaceutical company. However, he was afforded the chance to be a director of finance at another pharmaceutical startup.

His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the cannabis industry has led him to utilize his accounting knowledge and experience to take on the cannabis niche. He continually updates his knowledge on the complicated accounting concepts and tax rules surrounding this industry. And as a. Contributor to the Canna real estate and black MJ magazines.

He informs the readers of some of the latest accounting and tax issues facing the cannabis industry. Welcome to the interactive entrepreneur podcast. Alvin, thank you so much for being here.

Alvonn Forsyth: Thank you for having me, Matt.

Matthew Shiebler: Appreciate it. So Aon, we're gonna jump right into it. So generally what we're doing on the podcast, like I mentioned to you prior is we're going through four questions and we're just gonna hit you right off. What's the biggest success in your career and what did it teach you?

Alvonn Forsyth: Wow. The biggest SU success in my career I would say so far the biggest success in my career was, was to be able to. Start a business in my field in something that, you know, I went to school for. and actually have a successful business and help clients.

It might sound generic, but whenever you take a leap like that and you're able to successfully do it and use what you've learned and what you also your experience to actually work on something that's your own and actually help people who are in need. That's always something that I would always hold as one of the top things that I've experienced.

Matthew Shiebler: And what is it teaching you?

Alvonn Forsyth: Man, it's teaching me a lot. One of the first things it's teaching me is that you have to make sure that you listen, you know, to your clients. It. Give them the best information that's possible that they need. Sometimes a lot of the times they might want things that's not the best for them.

Sometimes they might want things that's actually not possible, but you, you have to make sure that you listen to them because a lot of the times it's not just, you know, the numbers, just the accounting, but sometimes they they're very frustrated, you know, they have different. Things that they're facing.

And sometimes we can identify because not, I'm not only a, a tax pro accounting professional, but I'm also entrepreneur myself. So that's one of the main things I

Matthew Shiebler: would say. Gotcha. Awesome. Okay. Next question. What's your worst failure in your career and what did that teach you?

Alvonn Forsyth: I would say the worst failure in my career. Is way back on before I started being a started my own business I was responsible for, you know making sure that, you know, the books and everything like that was prepared for my clients correctly on my clients. Sorry, but my my, my, the company that I was working for and I was in charge of, I was in charge of, you know, people that that was doing the job.

And I would say, honestly, I did not do the best job in reviewing everything. I was under pressure. There was so many different things that was going on. So I just went ahead and, you know, submitted the information and uh, submitted to the tax accountants and everything like that. And one of them, I had a very good relationship with them.

So they reached out to me. They did speak to, to my. And they reached out to me as well. And when I reviewed it, you know I recognized that, you know, one of the people that I, I was in charge of made a, a, a grave mistake. And if I really took the time, I knew I was feeling like I was under pressure and I was, there was deadlines and everything like that.

But if they actually went ahead and filed it. Then that my boss would've ended up having to pay a lot more in taxes, so, gotcha. It was something that it was almost variable, but because of the different, you know, things that I've done, the, the work that I put in before I, I got written up, it, it felt it sucked, but you know, it was something that was a big lesson.

So from now on, you know, it just makes sure that I have to make sure I do my due due diligences and everything.

Matthew Shiebler: Gotcha. Very cool. All right. Now that you have been in business on your own for a while, what would be your number one business tip to fellow entrepreneurs, listening to our podcast?

Alvonn Forsyth: The number one business tip I would say is to, to keep learning in whatever industry you are in, keep learning and keep trying to improve your business, keep trying to improve the, the services that you bring to your clients.

Not only is it going to keep you AB. With the different things that's gonna affect the industry. And we, we, we being in, you know industry that is vastly changing and the regulations are always changing. You have to keep abreast on that. So you have to keep learning, not only about that, but seeing how you can be more efficient, seeing how you can use you know, automation, seeing how you can use that, how we can collaborate with different professionals.

So just keep working on it. Sometimes people, they might reach a level of success and they might. You know, just feel a little satisfied and feel a little lazy, but no, you have to keep working on it all the time continuously.

Matthew Shiebler: Gotcha. And being in the cannabis industry, I mean, there's, it's such a new industry, even though like, it, it, you know, Colorado opened up probably back 10 years ago or more, but a lot of these states now it's, it's brand new to them.

You know what I mean? And. What I'm seeing is there's just so much change happen. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm , and, and I can't imagine other than change being one of the, you know, like the major things that a person involved in the cannabis industry has to deal with, but, you know, maybe that's not your biggest challenge.

What do you think really right now, you know, working in the cannabis industry and in accounting, in the cannabis industry, what would you think is your biggest challenge right now?

Alvonn Forsyth: Possibly it could possibly be the changes, you know? I, I work with different states, you know, and you know, every state I is unique, you know, there, there, there are certain similarities on the federal level, but every state is unique.

So you have to stay abreast with it. You have to stay abreast when there's different tax rates when there's different. There's different regulatory bodies that consolidate sometimes. And then, you know, just trying to get information from some of them can. A lot of the times, I honestly believe sometimes they don't even know themselves.

Matthew Shiebler: So much hoops. So I think that is a really challenging. Sometimes, I wonder if the IRS knows what they're doing. Nevermind. The states

Alvonn Forsyth: oh man. don't talk about that. You're definitely right. So I think it's just being a relatively new industry, you know, you gotta just stay abreast and I think maybe that's the biggest challenge.

Great. The, the great thing is that, you know, I have people in my network such as you and you know, other accountants. We basically just pull, pull our resources together and share information and everything. So that makes it a lot easier, but it's still on need to make sure that I stay on top of everything.

Matthew Shiebler: Gotcha. I keep hearing a recurring theme throughout our, our sharing today and Avan, and that is, I need to stay on top of everything. I need to stay on top of everything. Do. Do you rely on anyone else other than yourself to stay on top of things within your firm? Or is, are you kind of at the point right now in your firm where you are the one that's responsible for like the What I would call like the knowledge base of the tax laws and such.

Alvonn Forsyth: Well, I collaborate, I actually don't do taxes specifically. Okay. So I do, so I do collaborate with other accountants. Gotcha. Very cool. Very cool. Yeah. So I do a lot of collaboration, but at the end of the day, once, you know, I'm signing off on something. Once I am the actual, once a client is actually one of my clients even though I collaborate, I still have to make sure that, that I stay on top of it.

That part, not necessarily meaning that I'm doing everything, but just making sure that, you know, whatever I deliver to them, whether it's true collaboration or whether it's something that I do myself, that it's, you know, it's, it's done in the best possible way. According to the knowledge that we.

Matthew Shiebler: Gotcha. So through these collaborations, you've been able to, to grow as an entrepreneur and, you know, just strategically hire or contract with people that are going to bring the best knowledge to your business. Is that a fair assumption?

Alvonn Forsyth: Definitely. Definitely. Awesome. Yeah. Well, collaboration is, is the, the way to go, you know, in this industry, because it's, there's so many different factors that, you know, one person or, you know, one firm it's, it's, sometimes it's not a solo firm or a solo person.

It's hard for them to just stay on top of everything. So.

Matthew Shiebler: Gotcha. Alvonn Forsyth. Thank you so much for all your responses to these questions and joining me today on the podcast. If anybody wants to reach out to you regarding questions on accounting for cannabis, or maybe even just some general questions on the cannabis industry in general, would you mind sharing with us your contact information?

Alvonn Forsyth: Definitely. Matt. You can get me on email at af@higherlevelacct.com or you can get me. My phone number is (919) 891-342.

MATTHEW SHEIBLER:All right. Awesome. Alvonn Forsyth thank you again so much for your time here on the interactive entrepreneur, where we love sharing ideas with other entrepreneurs and I'm an accountant and I'm not even afraid to have another accountant come on.on my podcast. Everybody's welcome here. So thank you again. Alvonn Forsyth really appreciate it. And just a reminder to everyone. The Interactive Entrepreneur Podcast is sponsored by Interactive Accountants, where we minimize your taxes and measure your success. Have a great day, everyone. And again, Alvonn Forsyth thank you so much for being on the show.