Just call us coaches!
As a CPA who doesn’t work on taxes, I often struggle to describe what I do to my family and friends. Most, when I tell them I am a CPA, assume my life is one IRS form after another. I’ve tried other descriptions, and I quickly learned that the best way to end a conversation with a stranger is to tell them you are an auditor. The truth is there are really 3 facets to what I do. I’m (a) an independent 3rd party assessing the accuracy of your financial statements (an auditor), (b) the consultant who helps you generate reliable financial statements, and (c) the consultant who helps you understand and use your financial statements to maximize the earnings of your business.
Section (b) is frequently labeled, “Channel 2 Services.” This description can be applied to a variety of services, but the most common forms are:
- Transactional Support: When describing this line of service to my friends, I tell them I’m a coach. We coach buyers through the merger/acquisition process by helping assess the credibility of the information they receive from the seller, and helping them use this information to formulate a reasonable estimate of future earnings. We coach sellers through the process by helping them generate and gather the financial information to be reviewed by a potential buyer. In both instances, we are able to add value by lending credibility to the financial information, facilitating a smooth due diligence process, and helping our client either pay, or receive, a fair price for the target company.
- Internal Controls: I call this the referee division of our practice. We help companies identify, implement, and enforce the rules by which they should play by. These rules are commonly known as “internal controls.” We have experience helping growing small to medium sized private companies manage the new risks that come with growth. We also help SEC filing companies comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Our goal is to provide our clients with the peace of mind that their financial statements provide an accurate basis for decision making, and that they sufficiently guard themselves against fraud.
- Audit Facilitation: We also serve as coordinators for some of our clients. Just like an good offensive coordinator, we call the plays for our clients to help them through their audit as efficiently as possible. This often includes coordination with a Big 4 firm, and our goal is to help our clients take advantage of our experience to deliver the information requested by their auditor in a package that enables for the efficient performance of the audit. Our primary audience for these services includes both companies with thin financial reporting departments and companies in need of a Big 4 auditor who are seeking ways to reduce their fees.
So much of the value we add is beyond IRS forms and audit opinions. By serving as coaches, referees, and coordinators, our firm is able to directly add tangible value to our clients. We passionately use these service avenues to help our clients get more out of their business, and we’d love the opportunity to discuss them in more detail with you.