At Bond & Company, we love working with smaller companies. We average about one placement each year at companies with $100 million or less in sales. Most of these clients have been referred to us by other professionals, often consultants.
We’ve found that smaller companies are different from our other clients. Our contact is the owner or another senior manager who has a limited interest in, or understanding of, accounting and finance. Our contact is generally frustrated by the fact that it takes a long time to close the books and that there are often unpleasant surprises when the results are finalized.
We look not only to solve the problem with the “books”, but more importantly, to help our clients by finding someone who will give the company timely reporting and actionable analyses so they can manage their businesses proactively, not reactively. We have been successful because:
We understand small business and small business financial management.
- From 1984 through 1986, I ran a family business, Olsten Temporary Services of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where I increased sales from $2.5 million to $5.5 million.
- I was the general manger and the only financial person. After our payroll person gave me a trial balance, I closed the books and prepared management reports for my father and brother.
- I made the necessary operational changes to make it easier to collect the receivables.
We understand that finance is a useful tool, if the focus is on the future, not the past.
- A company needs accounting records to be able to stay in business and pay its taxes.
- The tax and bookkeeping records are not sufficient to manage a business. Bookkeeping only shows what happened retrospectively.
- We can’t change the past, but we can impact the future. For example, if profits are down because of increased costs or lower margins, you want to know sooner rather than later, so corrective action can be taken.
We use relevant criteria to screen and evaluate candidates. We will only work with candidates with quantified accomplishments.
- To meet our recruiting criteria, the individuals need to prove that they have shortened the reporting cycle, reduced costs, produced cost savings or lowered inventories.
- We look for candidates who have helped management identify the customers and products that generate good margins and can potentially be grown profitably.
- They have also highlighted for management customers who are a losing proposition and should either be replaced or dealt with on a different basis.
Learn how Bond & Company has placed finance and accounting professionals at smaller companies and helped solve significant challenges.
Problem: A rapidly growing company with sales of $100 million had purchased a new state-of-the-art, small-enterprise Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) system. But the company’s accounting system was still stuck at the “bookkeeping” stage they had been at for years, using their old Peachtree System.
Situation: The company realized they needed someone who could make the new ERP system fully functional. They had talked to over 30 potential candidates, who were accountants and power users of the ERP package, about filling their newly created position. While these candidates knew how to use the new package, they did not know how to effect the necessary process improvements to make it work for the company.
Solution: Bond & Company realized the new position was actually a systems job, not an accounting job, and searched for a person whose expertise matched the newly defined criteria. Our client hired the first individual we sent them. This person had 10 years of experience making the ERP package fully functional in other companies, plus a basic knowledge of accounting. She was a systems person first, and accountant second. Most importantly, she possessed the expertise and experience to solve the client’s problem.
FINANCIAL REPORTING PROBLEMS
Problem: A growing manufacturing company with sales of $30 million had installed a new ERP system, but they were not getting any better or quicker financial reporting.
Situation: The incumbent controller, who had been with the company for 10 years, had not grown his skills to match the needs of the growing organization. He could not provide the more sophisticated financial analyses necessary to manage the larger and more complicated business the company was now conducting. Management had looked sporadically on several occasions for a new controller, to no avail.
Solution: Our confidential search found a new controller who significantly improved the reporting and analysis processes. He was able to close the books in a timely manner. More importantly, the new controller helped reduce inventories by over $1 million, while increasing the on-time order-fill rate from 85% to 90%. The new controller, who has since been promoted to CFO, more than paid for himself while giving our client better tools to manage the business.
We can help you find a “business partner” to provide you with actionable analyses that will help you profitably grow your business. Give me a call at 800.472.4028 to talk about your particular circumstances. I’d love to see if we can help each other.