Chapin Hill Advisors’ panel of experts shares insights on what deal flow is taking place, what is stalled and what opportunities are out there. Listen to our experts: M&A attorney, Dennis O’Rourke w/ Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP; Ron Lehman, MD Bruderman Brothers; Keith Dee, President Osage Advisors & Allan Tepper, co-founder CFO Consulting Partners take us through their views on the current state of affairs. What deals are going forward, which ones are in triage; are PE firms going to add to their portfolios and more. Moderated by Kathy Boyle. The link for the video can be found here.
CFO Consulting Partners, a financial management consulting firm, is closely monitoring the business impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to help you make business and cash saving decisions in these very uncertain times. Below are eight points for consideration:
1) If you need to lay off employees, it is important to first investigate the latest federal and state employee-related requirements, including those related to unemployment and paid time off.
2) Conserve cash by deferring tax and mortgage payments under initiatives that have been or may be enacted at the federal and state levels.
3) Review expenses for non-critical functions that can be reduced.
4) Contact your insurance broker in regard to Business Interruption Insurance.
5) Start or increase the frequency of your cash forecasting process.
6) Manage working capital more aggressively to free up cash.
a. Inventories: Reduce raw material and finished goods inventories to reflect the downturn in top line activity during the crisis.
b. Receivables: Accelerate collections activities; reassess credit lines as customers come under cash constraints; consider increased cash discounts and shorter payment terms to accelerate cash.
c. Accounts payable: Reach out and partner with key vendors, they may be willing to work with you; work with your local utility providers for support (i.e., rates, terms, …).
7) Use this interruption in business activity to strategically plan for the future when the spread of the virus has been curtailed and the economy recovers. How are the markets in which you purchase and sell likely to be different from the way they were before the crisis?
8) Improve use of technology to allow employees to work remotely.
9) Consider using temporary staffing firms to substitute for employees who become ill.
CFO Consulting Partners has experience in all of the above areas. If you would like to know more about our capabilities, email or call Allan Tepper at firstname.lastname@example.org, (646) 650-2028 x701, or David DeMuth at email@example.com, (609) 309-9307 x700.
- We have developed significant expertise in helping companies achieve their business and accounting & finance goals, including buying and selling businesses, raising capital, strengthening internal controls, improving cash flow management and developing growth plans.
- Clients have benefited from our all-senior-level financial management team who have “been there, done that.” Our people have held CFO or Controller positions in large and small companies, most are CPAs from major firms and have advanced degrees.
- Clients have been aided by our firm-wide team approach to problem solving. Clients have access to the expertise of all of our team members to diagnose and solve problems.
- Clients have prospered from having a boutique firm that moves quickly and has the depth of knowledge and experience to meet their needs.
- Finally, we are proud to say that our clients recognize us as the “go-to” firm for CFO services provided to the community banking industry.
Eight Red Flags that your Board Financial Package is Failing to Support Board Needs
Allan Tepper, CFO Consulting Partner LLC
One of the goals of boards is to oversee the financial performance of the company or companies to which they are associated. Informative, transparent financial statements are necessary for boards to discharge those duties. If your board financial package lacks one or more of the following, there would likely be a deficiency in the board’s oversight function.
– The financial package should contain the three basic financial statements – P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow. The benefits of the P&Ls and balance sheets are fairly well known; however, the cash flow statement may not be as well known. The cash flow statement answers the question, “Where did our money go?”
– The package should contain accounts receivable and accounts payable agings.
– Critical notes to the financial statements should be included to explain complex accounting transactions.
– The P&L and balance sheet should be compared to budget.
– The package should contain reasons for variances from budget, and if it does, the explanations should be business reasons, not accounting reasons.
– The package should contain key business drivers.
Is Your Finance Department a Cost or Profit Center?
Allan Tepper, CFO Consulting Partner LLC
To begin, I will define cost and profit centers, using my definition developed after leading accounting and finance functions for over twenty-five years.
Cost centers need to be efficient and be doing critically important tasks. From a company perspective, cost centers need to keep their costs at the lowest possible level while functioning at a highly effective level.
Profit centers have all the same attributes as cost centers, but produce revenue, thereby adding profits to a company’s bottom line.
Well-run finance departments have profit center elements. Although finance departments, as a unit, are not true profit centers because they do not directly produce revenue, they have many positive bottom-line attributes. Finance functions aid other cost and profit centers to be more efficient and effective and incentivize them to work cross-functionally as a team.
There is an often used phrase called a “strategic CFO.” That person would primarily focus on making the whole company stronger. I believe it follows that a goal for all companies should be to make the finance department function more like a profit center than a cost counter.
Examples of how finance departments become strategic include:
– Perfect the closing process so the books are closed quickly and accurately after month end, and time is available for analysis.
– Make the budgeting and reporting process part of a company’s DNA.
– Work with the various company units that feed information to the accounting department in order to make the information accurate and at the proper level of detail.
– Provide analyses that allow for action-oriented decisions. An example would be an analysis of the profitability of various business units. Another could be customer profitability analysis.
– Have the capability – systems and people – to meet the normal demands of all stakeholders on a timely and accurate basis.
– Spearhead merger and acquisition projects.
In summary, well run accounting and finance functions have significant attributes that help improve the bottom line of the whole company. A discussion with a C-level financial management consulting firm should provide insights on how to transform an accounting function from a cost to a “profit center.”
Learn about financials from Allan Tepper’s webinar to Women in the Boardroom
CLICK HERE to view this webinar
CFO Consulting Partners was a proud sponsor of the 2016 golf outing of the Boys & Girls Club of Garfield. Allan Tepper is a board member and head of the Finance Committee of that Club.
Allan Tepper, Senior Managing Director of CFO Consulting Partners, was named a judge for the 11th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, held on December 11, 2012 in NYC. This is similar to the “Academy Awards,” but is obviously related to M&A dealmakers. There were 423 award finalists, representing over 600 organizations. The winners were announced on December 11th. For more information, kindly visit (Click here).
by John Callegari
With the acquisition of Germany’s Deutsche Card Services and its 100 employees, EVO Payments International, a payment processor, also wants to add a handful of financial and accounting professionals at its Melville headquarters.
But CEO Jim Kelly said the company is having a hard time doing that. “The market must be getting better, because we can’t find them,” Kelly said this week. “And I know it’s not a result of the salaries we’re offering them.”
He’s not alone.
Businesses across the nation are struggling to find talented accounting and finance professionals, specifically business systems analysts, tax accountants and auditors. And they’re coping by seeking out less qualified individuals or increasing the salaries they’re willing to pay.
Nationwide, almost 60 percent of companies surveyed in Robert Half International’s annual professional employment report noted it is at least somewhat challenging to find needed accounting and finance employees.
To combat the shortage, Dawn Fey, district president of New York City-based Robert Half International, which helps place accounting and finance professionals at companies in the New York metropolitan area, suggested companies limit their wish list for potential employees to only a couple of must-have skills.
“Some of the skills clients are looking for are still so new and different that few have them,” Fey said. “For example, Dodd-Frank is new for everyone, so not that many people are completely versed in it yet. Expecting job candidates to be completely up on that along with several other skills may not be realistic.”
The current 4.7 unemployment rate for accounting and finance professionals sits well below November’s 7.7 percent national unemployment rate for all occupations. For companies seeking younger talent, the supply is more readily available than for mid- to senior-level professionals, but the key is to get a first crack at them. Michael Nugent, director of the MBA and Finance program for Stony Brook University, recommended companies keep close contact with the career centers at local universities to reach potential employees before they hit the job market.
But with much of the demand for mid- to senior-level finance professionals, some companies have turned to outsourced accounting professionals to meet their needs while combing the market for permanent replacements.
And rightfully so, some would argue. A lot of these outsourced professionals will be able to work with integrating existing internal systems into software such as Salesforce (learn more about these type of integrations on the Salesforce website). This is often a skill that in-house accountants lack.
Huntington Station-based CFO Consulting Partners, a provider of interim and part-time CFO services, has seen its business increase 25 percent in the past year, according to co-founder and senior managing partner Allan Tepper, with the majority of that stemming from smaller to midsize companies and community banks.
“When the banks are feeling pressure from regulators, they must react, so they try to staff up,” Tepper said. “We usually compete with talented people who are in between jobs, but that kind of competition has been taken off the table right now.”
Accounting and financial employees are the second most in-demand jobs nationwide according to a new study by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International. The study noted 37,123 accounting and finance jobs have been added since 2010, a 3 percent increase, second only to software developers, which increased by 70,872 jobs during that same time period. And the number of jobs in accounting and finance is expected to grow between 16 and 23 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Starting salaries for accounting and finance positions, estimated at about $61,000 in 2010 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, are expected to rise an average of 3.3 percent in 2013, according to an annual employment report from Robert Half International. The report noted there will be a particular need for Financial Analysts and business analysts who can support growth opportunities, as well as staff and senior accountants.
While the need for more finance professionals continues to grow, the number of degrees conferred nationally in accounting and finance has remained relatively stable. Locally, Stony Brook University has actually been drawing down the number of students admitted to its business school from 1,200 in 2010 to 1,000 in 2011 and 900 in 2012. This comes at a time when 68 percent of accounting majors nationwide have received job offers, the highest percentage of any major according to a report from the National Association of Colleges & Employers.
Nugent said the school is making its entry requirements more stringent in an effort to lower class sizes. Stony Brook does not have enough professors to handle both the undergraduate and graduate workloads, so the school is focusing on expanding its MBA program. The decrease in undergraduate admissions should only be temporary, Nugent said.
“We’re in the process of expanding the finance and accounting faculty by between four and eight new hires in the next year,” he said. “Once we have adequate staffing, then we can again look at
Richard Paris, CEO of Melville-based Marcum Search, the staffing division of accounting firm Marcum, said he’s seen a large increase in demand for finance and accounting professionals
across the nation for the last six months.
“We have 75 recruiters who work for us, and we are overwhelmed with work,” said Paris, who noted the company just completed an acquisition of Connecticut-based search firm Horton
International on Dec. 1. “We’re having to turn down some work.”
Marcum has even turned to some of its own to help stem the shortage, creating a financial incentive program for all staff members who refer qualified accounting and auditing professionals. The incentive is being used to recruit tax and assurance professionals for Marcum’s offices in Melville, New York City, Pennsylvania, Boston, Connecticut, South Florida and San Francisco.
Paris said the uptick in demand for financial professionals stems from the economy’s turning around enough that companies can afford to fill vacancies in crucial positions like accountants and auditors.
“Companies wait and try to do more with less during bad times,” he said. “Then they backfill in their overhead positions when there’s a rebound. That’s what we’re seeing on the corporate side.”
Nugent agreed, saying companies locally now have to again contend with the large Wall Street firms that have recovered from the 2008 recession. “You have a lot of extra demand here because of New York City,” Nugent said.
And for larger companies with multiple offices, like EVO Payments International, if the talent market has soured in one area, it may be worthwhile to look elsewhere.
“Most of the countries we’re getting into require some work done locally, so while we’ll keep attempting to centralize some of our administrative work [on Long Island], we’ll also staff up our offices in these other countries,” Kelly said.