International Practice Group
A foreign-based business evaluating a move into the US or a foreign-born entrepreneur considering starting a US based business need not suffer the costs and delays associated with being uninformed or under-prepared for the constellation of laws, regulations and local market standards that differ state to state and often city to city. Our practice group of experienced CFOs offers a proven process of assessment and planning that will identify the risks and obligations often unfamiliar to foreign companies entering the US market. We also help US companies set up foreign offices, with particular expertise in Europe, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Our consulting CFO can work alone or gather a team to execute a short-term crucial project or take on a long-term responsibility. Each consulting CFO has established relationships with bankers, attorneys, auditors and specialty service providers that will expedite your entry and develop financial processes for scaling your company as it evolves and grows. Further, a unique benefit of our firm is its integrated recruiting and staffing service, including a full range of outsourced recruiting services customized to your needs.
Are you aiming to set up a foreign office? We facilitate strategic planning sessions with your team to align and coordinate everyone’s efforts for success.
Check out the top ten challenges that our international clients encounter detailed in the October 2012 newsletter and the capabilities we provide to address them.
Practice Leaders – Bob Weis and Marcus Bergen
Bob Weis is the founder and CEO of CFOs2GO. He established the 2GO Group to address the growing need of companies to engage “talent on an “as-needed” basis. In 1986, he established CFOs2GO which provides executive finance and accounting expertise, and later Accountants2GO and IT2GO which provide staff-level temporary and direct hire placements in accounting, finance and technology; each company differentiated by meshing powerful consulting and recruiting operations. In addition to his leadership role in the companies, he is most actively involved with the international practice of CFOs2GO, helping companies set up and maintain foreign operations inside and outside of the US as well as attract top talent for their US team.
Marcus Bergen’s distinctive international professional career prepared him perfectly for his role as Consulting CFO and Co-Lead for CFOs2GO’s International Practice Group. His background and skill set provides for valuable and dynamic support to set up effective country organizations, create proper company structures, implement timely and accurate management reporting and budgeting processes, ensure adequate frameworks of internal controls, provide interim CFO functionality, and support internal audit functions and projects when and where needed, in the U.S. or anywhere around the world.
Practice Partners include Ed O’Dea, Michaela Gifford, Doug Kennedy, and John Luttrell. Languages spoken by Partners include English, French, Japanese, Romanian, and Swedish.
Recruiting Expert – Jodi Avina
Jodi Avina is the Director of Recruiting Services for CFOs2GO. She has been with CFOs2GO for more than 15 years providing executive search and placement services for a variety of clients, utilizing her knowledge of international cultures and proficiency in several languages including being fluent in French and conversational in German and Russian. Her career has taken her worldwide – from living in France in college, to working with Ernst and Young and ending up in financial recruiting. She sits on several Boards for non-profits, including the East Bay Leadership Council and is past Chairman for Opportunity Junction in Antioch. Jodi brings 15 plus years of experience in the field of International business. Her understanding of the dynamic market conditions of global companies and her strong relationships translate to unique and significant recruiting advantages.
Recruiting Expert – Mwape Jokic
Mwape Jokic is an International Recruiting Expert at CFOs2GO. Her international upbringing coupled with her research and analysis skills allows her to uncover relevant background and skills, and to assess and match talented candidates with challenging roles. It is her innate desire to help others, however, that shines through most. She coaches candidates, helping them prepare and put their best foot forward, thus connecting bay area employers with outstanding candidates who are often overlooked. She is the Lead Recruiter in the International practice groups using industry expertise and languages to produce exceptional value for both clients and candidates
Her clients and candidates benefit from her personalized service, experience, and passion for her work. Her knowledge of the candidate marketplace, the international marketplace, and best practices in recruiting allow her to offer direction and acumen along the way. Mwape speaks Chinese and has studied French, Spanish, Zulu and Afrikaans.
Who We Serve
Established Foreign Companies
Established foreign businesses understand how to operate a successful business and recognize and appreciate effective financial management. What they need is a local country expert who is both knowledgeable of the relevant financial and human resource management strategies and tactics of the US marketplace. They need a guide that allows them to quickly expand into to the new territory, avoiding the legal and regulatory potholes as we develop the professional and service relationships to realize their US market potential.
For foreign-born entrepreneurs the situation is similar but not the same as for established foreign business. They are not adapting established successful practices to a new market. Rather, they are developing new practices in a new market usually while applying for a VISA. They need someone to identify and prioritize the most crucial decisions that they must get right the first time from those that are best delayed until the business develops and reveals its true promise and opportunity as well as its obligations. Someone who can anticipate needs as well as find solutions, and prioritize them, advising on when to best execute.
Established US Companies
Established US businesses understand that they operate in a global market place and the expertise to move effectively outside of the US is often not found in the full-time management team. What they need is an expert who is both knowledgeable of the relevant financial, tax and human resource management strategies and a network of professional relationships for the target marketplaces. They need a guide that allows them to quickly expand into to the new territory avoiding the legal and regulatory potholes as we as develop the professional and service relationships to realize their market potential outside of the US.
- Anticipate problems in adapting foreign business operations to US laws and practices
- Set up banking relationships including bank accounts, merchant bank accounts, lines of credit, and letters of credit.
- Set-up single or multi-state US payroll with benefits and human resource programs that are locally compliant to regulations and competitive in the marketplace.
- Identify and manage US compliance reporting requirements including tax and regulatory agencies.
- Provide local representation to respond to communication and manage regulatory/compliance problems.
- Provide rapid access to the E-2 Investor Visa Program for foreign investors to temporarily live and do business in the United States and EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program for foreign investors who would like to permanently live and do business in the United States.
- Provide direction and/or support to technical accounting issues including working with outside financial auditors.
- Provide general bookkeeping and accounting services for the US subsidiary either on or off premises.
- Evaluate and develop talent acquisitions strategies including recruiting of sales, operations and administrative staff and executives – Recruiting Process Outsourcing (RPO) offerings. READ MORE
- Recommend financial accounting systems for the US subsidiary ranging from QuickBooks and Zero to SAP.
Successful Client Engagements
- Worked with the incorporating attorney and the CEO to understand the issues that had made setting up a US bank account difficult. Navigated numerous barriers that had been road blocking the company, and executed on a strategy to set-up both corporate and personal bank accounts.
- Worked with VP of Sales to reconcile standard job descriptions against market compensation studies as well as conversations with local recruiters to develop compensation packages that achieved hiring objectives.
- Worked with Corporate Counsel and the CFO to review Department of Labor complaints and develop a successful response. Evaluate and redesign job descriptions to avoid future reclassification risk and future exposure to overtime regulations.
- Worked with the CEO and outside immigration attorney to organize a business plan that both produced a conditional VISA for the immigrant entrepreneur as well as a useful operating plan that produced a Green Card at the end of the second year.
- Coordinated evaluation of the existing stock option plan to ensure compliance with the outside tax counsel and administrated the stock option plan including yearly 409A Valuation as well as preparation of the FAS 123R calculations prerequisite to the stock compensation expense journal entry.
- Hired multi-lingual (French/English) consulting CFO who could work with Board and CEO of Paris based technology company to restructure and relocate to Silicon Valley.