Small Business Practice Group
Most small businesses operate in an environment of limited resources. As a result, management often experiences financial management breakdowns due to under investment in the financial function while focusing its limited resources in other areas of the business that are closer to revenue production. Breakdowns can reveal themselves as missed obligations, such as lax internal controls or untimely and inaccurate financial statements/data to outside users, or even threats to the business’ very existence from theft of critical business assets, tax liens from taxing authorities or forbearance letters from lenders. Small business leaders should find a balance between all the functional areas in the business in order to sustain the existence of the enterprise and to insure its growth and profitability.
The Small Business practice group is co-led by Consulting CFOs who can assess the unique financial management requirements of a small business and assist management in customizing a “balanced” solution. The Consulting CFO can work alone to design a comprehensive outsourced accounting solution to meet the needs of a small business. The solution can be a short-term project or take on important responsibilities over a long-term time horizon. The solution can either enhance or reconstruct core functions like bookkeeping, payroll and receivables and payables management, as well as more robust accounting advisory services like financial reporting, budgeting and cash flow forecasting. It can even enhance your executive team with a seasoned Chief Financial Officer. The solution goes beyond the basics to provide financial insight and accounting advice that will help you make better informed decisions that will lead to greater efficiency in and effectiveness of business operations.
Our experienced team of consulting CFOs and staffing services professionals will provide you with a team of top notch financial professionals who can help make your business run more smoothly than ever before, enabling you to shift your focus from accounting and finance to business development and revenue growth without fear of financial management breakdowns.
Practice Leaders – Jess Gutierrez & Doug Kennedy
Jess has supported small businesses as an Accounting & Finance Manager, Controller, and Chief Financial Officer. His work with small businesses includes a technology start-up, financial services organizations and family run businesses. He works with management teams and boards of directors on the development of financial reporting systems, policies and procedures, strategic planning, forecasts and budgets, and recruiting and training accounting personnel.
Doug performs business advisory services and financial consulting work for a variety of family owned businesses from start-ups to mature successful enterprises. He often coaches new leaders of the family-owned enterprise, mostly on financial issues, as they transition from one generation to the next and until they are fully up to speed and comfortable in their new role. On occasion he fills the role of CFO until a new permanent CFO can be identified.
Who We Serve
Many established small businesses that have achieved revenue and profitability goals find that the financial management practices that got them to where they are have become obstacles to their future. Whether it is the inability to manage profitability with the same precision as revenue or the inability to access outside capital or to share effective financial information with department managers, small business leaders know that they need relevant information in order to take the enterprise to the next level.
Small businesses, even those with effective financial management practices, occasionally experience a change in business operations that presents serious challenges. Sometimes, the change is short-term; other times, it is permanent. It could be a new market, a new product, a new technology, a new competitor or even a new employee; it could be revenue growth or revenue contraction or acquiring a new business. Small business leaders know that they need help anticipating the new obligations and potential threats. They need an expert to quickly assess the situation and design a solution.
Family Businesses, in addition to the typical concerns of any small business, often face issues related to the management of personal wealth, expansion of the family business and the sometimes divergent interests of family members. The development of a strong strategic plan and financial forecasts may be beyond the current strengths of the family management. In such cases, the leaders of the family business often look for a Consulting CFO with expertise in wealth management, tax, valuation as well as broad financial management practices to assist with the development of a strong coherent financial plan to support sustained growth of the business and for opportunities for development of the skills of family members. Family members with divergent interests beyond the family business also need the attention, support and guidance of an experienced consultant to help them articulate their interests to other family members, define the skills they need to pursue their interest and aid in developing a career path in their chosen field.
- Design an accounting team that will address your daily, weekly, monthly and annual operating requirements accurately and on time. The nature of your financial operations will drive the structure deployed to meet your needs. We have access to professionals at all levels of accounting, from bookkeepers to CFOs. We will also provide training to existing staff and supplement their expertise with outsourced professionals when required.
- Design and staff your accounting function with 100% outsourced consultants. The solution employs permanent part-time personnel that can work on or off-site to meet the financial operating requirement for your small business. This team will be designed to be cost effective and provide the technical skills required for your financial operations.
- Design and construct five-year interactive financial plans that build consensus on current company value and future potential value as well as coordination in the strategies and tactics to be taken.
- Design and construct annual budgets and reporting packages with dashboards and key performance indicators customized for industry and company metrics to meet management’s needs.
- Design and construct Ninety Day Rolling Cash Flow Forecast tool to improve cash management
- Direct accounting policies and procedures of all sorts including revenue recognition as well as provide oversight and support to accounting team.
- Prepare and present financial reporting package and loan applications to lenders, investors or boards of advisors.
- Coordinate reporting requirements with outside professionals including tax preparer and auditors
- Evaluate and implement accounting software solutions including integrated electronic storefronts
Successful Client Engagements
- Worked with CEO of $20.0M distribution company to introduce annual budgeting practices to better understand the impact of his decisions on profitability and cash flow prior to obligating the firm
- Worked with a development stage privately held technology manufacturing company to help extend its cash flow to allow acquisition by a publicly traded technology company.
- Worked with shareholders of $3.0M “software as a service” company to develop five year plan to establish current company value, establish the key strategies and milestones that would build company value
- Worked with a family business founder, who had no wealth tradition in his family, to develop a wealth accumulation plan funded from business profits to help him and other family members achieve financial independence separate and apart from the family enterprise.
- Worked with $6.0M architectural firm to develop annual budgeting practices and monthly reporting package that resulted, for the first time, in accurate profit planning
- Worked with $12.0M consulting firm to develop a monthly departmentalized reporting package that included a dashboard and key performance indicators.
- Worked with $6.0M specialty construction services company in building the accounting policies and practices to support a monthly departmentalized reporting package that utilized standard costing practices in order to understand actual costs of services
- Worked with $4.0M law firm to develop budgeting and reporting practices that resulted in accurate profit planning and, then, reconciled to “free cash” available for partner distributions after allocations for tax, capital expenditures and changes to working capital due to revenue growth or contraction.
- Worked with 2nd generation family business leader to help him assess the financial needs of the business he took over and in developing a financial plan to sustain and grow the business over the next five years.
- Worked with management of $5.0M “software as a service” in establishing an electronic storefront that integrated with its CRM database and produced reports for data entry into its core accounting software.
- Worked with a family business leader to help develop a succession plan for the enterprise to assure business continuity.
- Worked with CEO and outside attorney of $60.0 M Entertainment Company to provide the financial support during a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Worked with CEO and COO of organic food manufacturing company in developing standard cost practices that opened up the possibility of understanding production and distribution costs and ultimately resulted in changes to business and distribution strategy.
- Worked with a family business CEO and his board of advisors to help them put in a place a family member skills development and compensation plan for those family members who worked in the business and a wealth distribution plan for those family members who either did not enter or decided to exit the family business.