Turning on Lights: The Origins of Advantage Insights


When Conagra Brands decided to relocate their corporate headquarters from Omaha to Chicago in 2016, Mary Ferry had a choice to make. Moving to Chicago wasn’t a viable option as Mary had strong family ties in Omaha and didn’t want to leave her home. 

With her skills and experience, she could have easily found a new corporate environment to continue her career in financial management. However, she had long considered starting her own LLC through which she could provide Financial Management services for a clientele of smaller businesses. 

Mary spent over 30 years as a CPA in the corporate setting, working for such entities as Gateway Computers and Foot Locker before her time at Conagra. Throughout her career, she worked in corporate accounting, financial planning & analysis, developing strategic plans, forecasts, business reviews, board reviews, and earnings releases—elements of financial review and planning that tell the true story of a business’s performance.

These roles gave Mary a unique perspective and experience with a set of tools that she could use to help small businesses revolutionize their bookkeeping and achieve new levels of clarity in planning. Though her corporate positions had allowed her to make a positive impact for her employers, the thought of unlocking potential for small businesses across the country was intriguing and inspiring.

That possibility along with the freedoms and responsibilities that come with self-employment and small business ownership were exciting. In 2017, Mary established Mary Ferry LLC to provide Financial Management services directly to businesses.

The Name that Stuck

Things got started quickly for Mary as she began meeting with prospective clients. Thanks to her network and word of mouth, she began providing Financial Management services through Mary Ferry LLC. It soon became clear, however, that the unique value she offered her clients was sometimes difficult for people to understand.

When Mary tried to describe how her services could be transformational for businesses, she would occasionally be met with something like, “Oh, you’re a bookkeeper, or a tax preparer. Got it.” As a result, she decided she needed a name for her business that did a better job of communicating those factors that differentiated her from an ordinary bookkeeper or tax preparer.

Working with branding experts, Mary landed on “Advantage Insights” as the official name of her new venture. Yes, Advantage Insights provides bookkeeping services, but bookkeeping is really only about creating financial databases that are accurate and organized. Advantage Insights goes further by helping clients read and understand their financial information as it pertains to profitability, growth, areas of opportunity, forecasting, and budgets.

Plainly put, Advantage Insights delivers on its name by offering financial insights that give businesses a real advantage in how they set goals, plan, and make investments. With the new name and brand, Mary’s new company began to experience even faster growth. Advantage Insights clients receive expertise in process improvement, technology implementation, and advisory services that help business owners and operators use the data in their financial records to increase predictability and make better decisions.

Guiding Principles and Expanding Services Help Advantage Insights Grow

From the beginning, Mary’s primary goal with Advantage Insights has been to help others. This is well defined in Advantage Insights’ purpose statement: To change the way small business owners view financial information by enabling them to interpret it, apply it, and thrive in their business.

As virtual financial management tools continually evolve, Mary has expanded her own expertise. She keeps up to date with technology for inventory management, point of sale monitoring, payroll, accounts receivable, and anything else that has to do with business cash flow. 

Thanks to continued growth and expansion of services, Advantage Insights has added team members who share Mary’s vision and values. Remote meeting and virtual financial management tools have allowed Advantage Insights to offer its services to clients anywhere in the country. 

Advantage Insights is all about creating a trusting partnership with its clients, providing accurate, timely financial insights and advice. Financial awareness and careful planning backed by data gives business owners back a portion of their time and their attention, and eliminates the kind of worry that can come from uncertainty.

According to Mary, it’s very gratifying to see the difference Advantage Insights services can make for clients. In the corporate world, there can be minimal acknowledgement of the impact an individual’s work can have on the company. Mary’s experience working with small businesses is completely different. When Advantage Insights partners with clients, the feedback and results are undeniable.

“Since we started working with Mary a few months ago, we have been provided with great professional advice regarding our business finances and strategy moving forward. Our finances were chaotic until Mary came along and reorganized them very quickly. Mary is easy to work with, responsive, and always willing to answer the (many) questions we have.”
-Jade Jensen, Chief Operations Officer, Appsky

Let Advantage Insights Help You Write the Next Chapter for Your Business

The Advantage Insights team is uniquely qualified to help you strategize and execute an effective growth plan for your business that addresses your particular business goals. They help a wide variety of clients overcome financial hurdles, gain financial awareness, and create actionable business plans backed by data. 

When you work with Advantage Insights for Financial Management and Advisory services, you are partnering with a team that understands the needs and challenges that face small businesses today. Advantage Insights helps business owners and operators turn on the lights to see the stories their financial records are trying to tell them, and take positive action!

Advantage Insights offers a wide array of services including a Financial Systems Health Check, Cash Flow Management, Accounts Receivable Monitoring, Bookkeeping, Payroll, Accounting Clean Up, Cloud Accounting Setup, and a range of Advisory services for businesses at any stage of development.

To find out exactly how Advantage Insights can ease your Financial Management burden and address your business concerns, you can request a free consultation today. The team at Advantage Insights will work with you to create a custom suite of services that address your needs and goals.

Contact Advantage Insights by email at info@youradvantageinsights.com or call 402-281-3785. Turn on the lights to see a way forward to a brighter future with Advantage Insights!

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