Real Estate Development and Construction Practice Group
From the conceptualization of your real estate development project through construction, CFOs2GO has the industry experience and expertise to guide your operation through the minefield of financial risks plus we can supply any staffing you need.
Real Estate Development
Real estate development requires expertise to manage the critical accounting and finance functions involved in acquiring, financing, planning, entitling, closing and reselling real property for development. Not to mention the financial impact of handling local regulatory issues such as below market rate commitments, rent control, redevelopment, gentrification and other political winds. The process of identifying and acquiring an interest in real property for development entails costs long before there is revenue. From concept design to location/entity selection and investor funding to hiring architects, engineers and other professionals, to negotiating and acquiring sufficient interest in the property, CFOs2GO can provide the essential accounting talent and financing expertise and staffing to guide you through the early stages of a project. Budgets are essential not only to investors but to the project team and actual expenditures must track the approved budget. Our consultants are experts in budgeting, forecasting and investor relations. As entitlements are obtained, our consultants can assist in the accounting and financing aspects of transferring subdivided interests, recognizing revenue and profit, and reporting to investors.
Once construction starts a whole new list of financial and staffing complexities come into play. Construction companies operate in an environment driven by on-time, on-budget and happy customer metrics. In the relentless pressure to deliver on these metrics, financial management breakdowns occur because of under-investment in the accounting and finance functions while the focus is outward on customer relations and revenue production. Breakdowns can show up as lax or inefficient internal controls that permit or cause errors, miscues between project management and accounting departments, missed obligations such as late payment to subcontractors or suppliers, late or inaccurate pay applications, reports to lenders, government agencies or upper management, or untimely and inaccurate financial statements and other data to outside users. These breakdowns can even threaten the very existence of the business from theft of critical business assets, mechanics’ liens or stop notices, tax liens, labor or insurance audits or forbearance letters. In addition, evolving technology, government regulations, increasing costs, financing opportunities and project complexity require you to stay nimble and capable in an increasingly competitive environment. Consequently, you need experienced financial leadership to help you manage that evolving landscape.
Whether your company is a small home builder, specialty contractor, supplier, or a large commercial, industrial or public works contractor, you are driven to produce financial returns and sustainability. Our real estate development and construction practice group has the resources to respond quickly to any challenge.
The Practice Group is led by a Consulting CFO who can assess the unique financial management requirements of contractors and assist management in customizing a balanced solution. Our experienced team of consulting CFOs and staffing services professionals will provide you with 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.
The solution can be a short-term project or one involving important responsibilities over the long-term. Through our temporary or permanent placement abilities our personnel can either enhance or reconstruct core functions like bookkeeping, payroll, receivables and revenue operations, procurement and payables management, as well as more robust accounting advisory services like financial reporting, budgeting, cash flow and risk management and forecasting. We can even enhance your executive team with a seasoned Chief Financial Officer. The solution goes beyond the basics to provide industry specific financial insight and accounting advice that will help you make better-informed decisions and achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Practice Leader – Bill Klein
Bill Klein provides business advisory services and financial consulting for both large and small developers and contractors. As a former real estate development and construction controller and CFO, he has significant experience dealing with all facets of accounting and financial management and has particular expertise in bank and private financing, project budgeting, investor waterfall modeling, construction cost accounting, internal controls, reporting, and project management. Bill grew up in a family of builders and gained on-the-job training working with this father and grandfather before studying engineering in college. He has worked in the field with various construction trades doing everything from fence building to home building and remodeling, high voltage electrical work, and underground construction on a major freeway project. Additionally, as a former attorney Bill has unique insights into licensing, contract review and mechanics liens. Bill has that rare combination of on-the-job savvy and the calm authenticity required to deal with the business needs of investors, lenders, auditors, insurance and bonding companies, subs and primes, customers and vendors. He understands the pain points that developers and contractors experience and enjoys providing solutions through analysis and process improvement.
Who We Serve
As a company grows the financial management practices that served it well in the past begin to hamper further growth. Whether it is the inability to manage overall company profitability or project profitability or to share effective financial information with key people in the company or the inability to get meaningful reports or access credit, small company leaders know that they need relevant information in order to stay competitive and take their enterprise to the next level. We can provide the insight and resources to reengineer those processes to help management drive future growth, whether by a part time bookkeeper, accounting manager or full time controller.
When evaluating or taking on a new project, there is tremendous pressure on staff to focus on the existing day-to-day operations while project managers, designers, engineers and estimators focus on the new project. Finance teams must arrange for private or bank financing and the accounting department must set up the project correctly. Often the communication channels among these departments get bogged down right when they need to interact with each other the most. We can provide the oversight and staffing resources needed to open these channels and get the work done effectively.
For construction companies, one of the most difficult processes to master is the communication between project management and accounting. Even though they use the same critical information differently, they must share accurate and timely estimates, change order status, billings and payables, and progress reports. Our consultants can design and implement appropriate systems and processes to enhance the ability of these departments to obtain, process and share information quickly and accurately.
Even developers and contractors 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 or changed market, a new technology, a new competitor or even a new employee. Changes in markets, policies and regulations require companies to change direction quickly to preserve their margins. This may entail restructuring the business or setting up and staffing multiple sites for remote projects. Managers of both types of companies 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. CFOS2GO consultants work with companies to objectively review the options and make decisions that are consistent with their strategic objectives, whether it is providing a project accountant or controller, or a full temporary accounting team.
Our Real Estate Development and Construction Practice Group advises and assists companies by designing and implementing unique and valuable solutions from basic bookkeeping to corporate strategy.
- Set up accounting processes and procedures for projects and provide interim staff to handle added workload for the length of the project
- Assign an accounting team that will address your daily, monthly and annual operating requirements accurately and on time. The nature of your financial operations will drive the structure deployed to meet your needs. Through our in-house staff and our recruiting division, we have access to professionals at all levels of accounting from bookkeepers to CFOs. We will also provide training, oversight and support to existing staff and supplement their expertise with outsourced professionals when required.
- Direct accounting policies and procedures of all sorts including revenue and cost recognition and work-in-process accounting.
- Evaluate and source financing options for new projects and liquidity needs
- Prepare and present financial reporting packages to lenders, insurers, bonding companies, investors and other stakeholders.
- Coordinate reporting requirements with outside professionals including tax preparers and auditors
- Develop compliance calendars
- Process improvements to enable existing staff to spend more time supporting forward-looking decision making and less time on prior period reporting
- Analyze the financial impact of changing regulations and tax policies and work with management on strategic solutions
- Develop financial models for evaluating both individual projects and corporate performance for internal review and external review
- Analyze costs and identify issues related to job performance and company performance
- Create rolling cash forecasts and cash management systems
- Develop annual budgets and long-term strategic plans
- Develop systems to capture Key Metrics and Key Performance Indicators
- Design and staff your accounting function with 100% outsourced consultants. This solution employs permanent part-time personnel that can work on or off-site to meet the financial operating requirements for your business. This team will be designed to be cost effective and provide the technical skills required for your financial operations.
We also support environmentally sustainable real estate development and construction, see our Cleantech practice group for more on our expertise in sustainable business practices, practices firmly anchored with strong financials.
- Co-founded the development team that conceived and obtained entitlements for the residential community and championship golf course at Hiddenbrooke in Vallejo, California.
- Executed turnarounds for a foundering residential remolding company and a prominent real estate developer, achieving profitability shortly after taking control of the accounting and finance functions.
- Negotiated three renewable options to acquire contiguous tracts of land for large development without a cash payment to the landowners; options were sufficient to enable developer to proceed with obtaining entitlements.
- Designed and presented 18 month rolling financial statement history for management of a large subcontractor, allowing management to observe trends, monitor compliance metrics, and foresee shortfalls and surpluses.
- Designed interactive waterfall model that showed results of various scenarios in a high end residential development of spec, custom and semi-custom homes, which improved the credibility of developer and investor confidence.
- Designed queries to collect project data from various sources and consolidate into a single database that would report work in process and compare to prior periods, for two contractors that improved precision of reporting and accuracy of financial statements.
- Prepared projections for real estate developer allowing it to raise investor funds to meet cash requirements during entitlement phases.
- Designed and presented cash forecasts to enable contractor management to foresee short term surpluses and shortfalls.
- Designed report for a contractor that showed loan covenant compliance at end of each close cycle to ensure loan terms were continuously met.
- Trained billing staff on proper use of lien releases and preparation of pay applications that allowed contractor to receive payments more than 30 days sooner.