Page After Page helps businesses optimize their infrastructure with managed print services and workflow solutions. As a small business, managing day-to-day accounting & finance needs became a daunting task. A trusted CPA firm made the recommendation that a hands-on experienced accounting professional could assist the organization by bringing clarity, structure and organization to the existing accounting department.
Initially, AMS performed a financial health assessment with the Rapid Diagnostic. The assessment provided observations and recommendations to improve the organization’s accounting and financial reporting. The recommendations were reviewed, tailored to specific outcomes needed and implemented by an AMS experienced interim consultant. Significant improvements were made to simplify financial reporting and policies and procedures were documented.
After implementing many of the observations and recommendations from the Rapid Diagnostic assessment, there has been significant improvements to the policies and procedures. The organization has more accurate, timely and reliable information and better control of cost of goods. The implementation of these changes has resulted in significant savings as well as the ability to transition time to more revenue producing activities.
Bixby International, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of mono- and multi-layer plastic sheet applications, serves clients in industries from aerospace to mining, to medical devices. The company’s lagging financial department was struggling with aspects of financial reporting and analysis, cost accounting and best practices approaches to deployment of financial and manufacturing systems. Leaders of the organization knew that without more strategic direction and reporting from this department, they would not be able to make the right long-term business decisions to sustain company growth and operational efficiency. They envisioned a financial department that could go beyond day-to-day accounting and provide insights based on key business metrics and best practices.
With a number of solutions in the market to choose from, Bixby International turned to AMS’s signature consulting service, Rapid Diagnostic®, for a comprehensive review of the company’s practices including technology utilization, reporting, staffing, systems and processes. In a few short weeks, AMS provided a complete analysis with recommendations for changes that would significantly improve the health of the accounting and financial processes to support growth and improved profitability.
The Rapid Diagnostic® assessment revealed several areas for improvement that targeted: scrap generation, scrap usage, pricing, factory utilization and inventory control. AMS provided recommendations that, once implemented, would help the company optimize the use of its manufacturing resource planning (MRP) technology. AMS also identified gaps in the skill sets of its staff and recommended the addition of an experienced Controller who could bring the right kind of leadership for informed decision making. AMS’s recommendations were accompanied by supporting metrics and documentation so that key stakeholders would be in alignment with the proposed changes. As a result of the assessment, AMS provided the necessary guidance and change management to implement critical programs. The company is now enjoying the benefits of greater visibility of the key numbers, improved planning and technology optimization and is well positioned for the road ahead.
Asahi/America, a diversified manufacturer of corrosion-resistant fluid flow products, was growing quickly with continuous production and profit improvement processes in place. The CFO sought to improve the bottom line without impairing the business and selected AMS to provide an independent perspective on the key financial areas impacting profitability.
AMS performed the AMS Rapid Diagnostic® to provide a tailored, organization-wide assessment of Asahi’s key financial processes. A senior AMS consultant spent two days meeting with management and reviewing financial reports, analytical data and other key documents in order to gain an appreciation of the business.
Working closely with the CFO, AMS identified more than a dozen actions, which, when implemented, could improve Asahi’s profitability by as much as $500,000. The specific, actionable, recommendations address a wide range of areas from detailed expense reductions to enhancement of information that will lead to improved profit margins. Asahi is in the process of follow up and implementation and expects to achieve both immediate and long term benefits from the project.
Eyegate Pharma, a privately-held biotechnology company that develops drugs for diseases of the eye, had recently secured a second round of preferred stock financing and was in the midst of closing a third. The recent financings had left Eyegate and its minority-owned foreign subsidiary with a complicated ownership structure. Faced with rapid company growth and a complex capital structure, the company needed expert assistance to prepare for its upcoming financial audit.
EyeGate’s management engaged AMS to assist with audit preparation and equity valuation. AMS’s senior consultant determined the fair value of EyeGate’s common stock and quantified the stock-based compensation expense, providing detailed models and analyses to the auditor. The AMS consultant also assisted with consolidating the company’s foreign subsidiary and preparing additional analyses and reconciliations for the external auditor.
EyeGate’s audit was successfully completed and the company was able to issue financial statements. The company’s finance team had additional time to oversee day-to-day financial operations and manage the rapidly expanding business.
An AMS Rapid Diagnostic® showed the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) they needed to improve their financial management practices. The organization had recently hired a new Manager of Finances & Operations and wanted to increase the efficiency of their reporting procedures. In addition, updating policies and procedures would help the organization become compliant with requirements around the new Form 990. The organization also wanted to create a more advanced financial structure to support improved budgeting.
The organization engaged AMS, who provided a consultant with more than 25 years of experience. The consultant set to work, rewriting the current policies and procedures manual to introduce industry best practices, especially Form 990 compliance. The consultant developed a sample month end financial package and provided training to the Manager of Finances and the Executive Director. The consultant also worked with the Manager of Finances to complete the yearend close and prepare for an upcoming audit.
The yearend audit was streamlined with all schedules created and with the additional training, the Manager of Finances was able to get up to speed quickly. The new policies and procedures manual has provided the organization with additional financial structure, ensuring continued growth in the years to come.
Clean Energy Solutions, Inc (CESI) was the intended recipient of a Department of Energy (DoE) subcontract. During the initial submission of the cost proposal, CESI CEO David Dayton received various inquiries from the Department of Energy. He quickly realized that the company needed a seasoned professional to help navigate the auditor’s inquiries and secure the subcontract. Dayton turned to AMS for a government grant and contract specialist for help with the new venture.
AMS provided a seasoned finance and accounting professional with specific experience in grants and contracts. This professional quickly ascertained that the DoE auditor’s focus was on CESI’s indirect costs. (An accurate indirect cost estimate means CESI’s overhead expenses associated with the subcontract would be covered.) The cost proposal was resubmitted to the expectations of the DoE auditor. While on-site, AMS also implemented a government compliant accounting system for CESI in order to avoid future scrutiny.
The Department of Energy accepted the cost proposal and issued an approval of the proposed indirect billing rates. AMS is currently monitoring CESI’s accounting procedures on a monthly basis to ensure CESI is in compliance. David Dayton and CESI are now able to focus on the science of the award because the accounting is compliant.
Verocel, a Westford, MA-based company focused on providing software verification services for the aviation industry, was looking to preemptively upgrade their accounting system so that they could appropriately track and monitor job costs in accordance with Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) standards. It was understood that upgrading the systems in advance would afford them the opportunity to pursue cost-type contracts with a handful of their current customers as well as with new prospects. Verocel contacted AMS to spearhead the endeavor.
AMS sent out a seasoned veteran to streamline Verocel’s accounting system and ensure its compliance with DCAA regulations. While on site, the consultant trained the finance staff on the new procedures needed to maintain the accounting system and provided insight on various DCAA expectations and timelines.
The accounting system was successfully updated and is fully operational. Verocel is now able to pursue DCAA cost-type contracts with confidence that its systems and financial capabilities would pass pre-award audits. The accounting system will also allow them to quickly calculate indirect rates so that they can be sure to request the appropriate overhead coverage on future cost-type proposals. Verocel is expecting to receive their first cost-type contract this year and all systems are ready.
The Community Foundation of Western MA (CFWM), a nonprofit organization that administers 560 charitable endowments serving three counties in Western Massachusetts, recently underwent a significant transition in their finance staff. Faced with the need to replace key staff and maintain continuity of services, the organization needed knowledgeable interim assistance to maintain financial operations while a permanent solution was put in place. In addition, the organization needed to prepare for its audit. There were several opportunities to improve overall processes, for example, the foundation held a license to finance software that was not being used to its potential. Monthly procedures and internal controls needed fine-tuning, and financial operations required streamlining.
The CFWM contacted AMS to engage a consultant to assist with audit preparation, monthly closings, financial reporting and budget preparation assistance. The AMS consultant immediately saw that many functions, including documentation for journal entries, reconciling accounting software subsidiary modules to the General Ledger, reconciling balance sheet accounts and reconciling all investments accounts, were done only at year-end for audit prep. The consultant automated the functions and folded them in on an ongoing monthly basis, making future audit prep considerably less arduous. The quality of work produced resulted in the CFWM extending the engagement into a long-term assignment even after the staffing transition was otherwise complete. The new CFO saw areas where the AMS consultant’s considerable skills and knowledge could be used to further improve their financial systems. The consultant was able to automate several manual functions including: the generation of financial statements, creating spending policy, accessing administrative fees and generating recurring grants.
The Foundation’s audit was successful and operational efficiencies were significantly improved. CFWM now has formal procedures that streamline monthly operations, improve internal controls and ease audit preparation. Many functions that were previously manual tasks were automated, reducing the opportunity for errors and freeing up valuable time for staff to work on other projects.
Growth at the Friends of Mel Foundation was outstripping its grass roots heritage. The organization, well known for Mel’s Bracelets™, used to fuel donations for cancer research, was experiencing growing pains and needed to find a way to efficiently move on to the next level. Previous audits had taken too long. Its tools and processes, fine for a smaller organization, were no longer working efficiently and weren’t appropriate to support future growth. When the organization found itself “at a crossroads” and in need of professional accounting services, it turned to Accounting Management Solutions (AMS).
Two AMS senior consultants started immediately with audit preparation, and support for bookkeeping, finance and accounting management. Because the organization distributes several different kinds of bracelets, and works through partners and some for-profit businesses, there is some complexity to the money coming in and going out, and tax receipts for donors. The AMS team moved quickly to deliver updated, enhanced policies and procedures more appropriate to the organization’s current size and plans for future growth.
While the team was originally focused on a stand-alone audit prep project, it was the ongoing activities that were the priority, especially those designed to help the organization grow and manage its revenue generating aspect, the bracelets, which it distributed in return for donations. The relationship between Friends of Mel and Accounting Management Systems continues as an AMS consultant works with the team twice a month to oversee the operation.
When diagnosed in 2000, the prognosis for Mel Simmons was grim. A devoted single mother of two and a much-loved friend, the 38 –year flight attendant for Delta Air Lines was now facing breast cancer. Sadly, Mel lost her battle five years later, but her legacy lives on through the Friends of Mel Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research, education and support for cancer patients. The Friends of Mel offers bracelets—as colorful and charming as Mel herself—in exchange for donations. Originally, the organization’s goal was to raise $5,000 for research at Massachusetts General Hospital where Mel was treated. Astoundingly, in just one year, Mel’s friends raised $1 million dollars and donated the funds to Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cancer Center in Mel’s honor. To date, they have donated an additional $2 million to programs that provide support for cancer patients and their families. This year, the organization will host their third annual conference, The Art of Living – Life Beyond Cancer on November 2nd at the Marriott in Quincy, MA. The program is designed to empower individuals whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Over the years, Mel’s Bracelet™ has become a symbol of support, friendship and love. Thousands of women wear them to make the statement that they are committed to making a difference in the lives of those who have been touched by cancer. To learn more, visit www.friendsofmel.org
Sqrrl, a “Big Data” company, was being spun out of the development arm of a major government agency. Sqrrl’s leadership team had raised $2 million in first-institutional-round funding from two major venture capital firms in order to accelerate development and bring its product to market. The new company needed an “instant on” finance and accounting department to focus on all financial aspects of the company including monthly cash burn, budgets, financial modeling, accounting, bookkeeping, reporting and financial statement preparation.
Sqrrl’s management contacted AMS who assigned a team consisting of an engagement manager and a senior consultant to the account. The AMS consultants were effective immediately, setting up QuickBooks as the accounting system.
The AMS team became the startup’s outsourced part-time finance and accounting function. AMS assisted the founder in developing the initial operating plan for the board (forecast, exhibits, etc.) and continues working with the company to this day. AMS currently handles all of the Sqrrl’s accounting, financial analysis and assists with budgeting. The AMS team provides all the financial information used by the Board of Directors.
Community Resources for Justice, a social justice services organization, wanted an external assessment completed to evaluate the staffing structure, internal controls, processes and financial reporting relative to the payroll and benefit functions. With just under 600 employees, active residential facilities in 5 states and public safety advocacy programs throughout the country, the CFO needed this assessment to determine if the current functional structures were adequate to maintain payroll and benefit operations within management’s anticipated staffing growth targets.
Community Resources for Justice engaged AMS, who provided an experienced consultant to perform an AMS Rapid Diagnostic®. The consultant’s finance, operations and human resources background enabled him to quickly grasp the payroll and benefit function processes and internal controls. The AMS consultant performed an internal control review, determined compliance with internal policies and procedures and recommended structural changes to improve overall payroll and benefit function processing. These changes ensured the use of current best practices and implemented various initiatives that led to improved processing.
The organization’s solid financial operations, specifically the paper-less electronic records filing system, proved instrumental in making the organization’s A-133 audits a success. The two AMS consultants continue to serve as the organization’s finance and accounting department, managing day-to-day financial operations on a part-time basis.
Lawrence Family Development Charter School and Education Fund (LFDCS) needed a five year cash flow and financial projections to develop a better understanding of the financial implications of an increasing expense base, while faced with minimal tuition increases from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Management needed this analysis performed as part of their facility and enrollment expansions in order to identify financial risks prior to beginning negotiations on an upcoming debt refinancing opportunity.
LFDCS engaged AMS, who provided two seasoned industry-experienced consultants to develop the five year cash flow and financial projections. The AMS consultants, who specialize in charter school finance and operations, developed the analysis and projections to quickly and clearly identify the issues impacting LFDCS’s financial performance. The recommendations made on structural changes immediately improved overall expense management and mitigated the impact of minimal increases to tuition. The financial projections also provided the Board and Management with a better understanding of the school and fund’s longer term operations and outlined strategies that can be implemented to improve performance prior to negotiating a debt refinancing.
The team of AMS consultants developed the five year financial projections which provided the Organization’s Board and Management an initial assessment in identifying ongoing negative financial results. Based on these results, the team developed various recommendations that significantly improved financial performance and provided the Board and Management team a key financial tool to use going forward.
The client experienced significant changes and rapid growth over a period of a year and a half as part of a rebranding from Everybody Wins USA, a nonprofit umbrella organization, to Read to a Child, now a network of six offices throughout the country. With just two employees, the company was outgrowing its existing accounting system that could no longer handle the demands of the growing business. Facing acquisition of several offices on a national basis, the company felt it best to move from a decentralized business model to a centralized business model, allowing all accounting functions to be performed in one central location.
In order to merge with the other offices, the company realized it needed industry expertise in setting up an effective, efficient bookkeeping and accounting function within the main office, with the ability to support the other offices around the country. AMS delivered an expert consultant who “clearly understood what our challenges were,” says Darcy Madden, COO of Read to a Child, adding that she felt confident AMS could support their goals. One of the first orders of business the AMS consultant undertook was recommending the client migrate to a more efficient online version of QuickBooks, where previously the client was relying on a QuickBooks desktop version for all of its accounting procedures. “We merged with four offices in less than a year, so it was essential that AMS was able to help us at that rapid speed,” said Darcy Madden.
AMS was able to bring the company through a streamlined, online conversion process that “made it possible for us to move forward with this new structure,” said Ms. Madden. She calls AMS “instrumental” and “fundamental to our ability to restructure the way we did.” From consultant competence on the part of AMS to the quick conversion process, the client appreciated the speed and efficiency with which the entire process was handled. “The timeliness of the support we got was amazing and central to our work,” said Darcy Madden.
Bixby International, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of mono- and multi-layer plastic sheet applications, serves clients in industries from aerospace to mining, to medical devices. The company engaged AMS Rapid Diagnostic® to identify key areas for improvement in accounting practices and financial leadership. Results of the assessment indicated that based on its size and business objectives, the company did not need a full-time CFO but instead, the company would be better served by hiring a strong Controller with manufacturing experience.
AMS guided Bixby International through the entire change process, beginning with the engagement of a seasoned consultant to serve as a part-time CFO. During the subsequent months, AMS assisted in the execution of projects that resulted from the Rapid Diagnostic while a search was performed to identify a Controller. Once the new Controller was hired, AMS continued for a short period to ensure a smooth transition.
Today, the company has programs in place to address each of these areas and is enjoying greater visibility into its financial operations. With improved reporting and financial controls in place, the company is better positioned to make informed, long-term, strategic decisions.
A leading provider of metal windows, glass curtains, and other complex installations, A&A Windows Products, Inc. had outgrown many of the financial and accounting processes it utilized in the early days of the company. Their methods for estimating and tracking job costs were not sufficient to keep up with the increasingly sophisticated projects the company undertook and A&A sought to make key operational improvements.
AMS selected a part-time controller with an extensive construction background who was instrumental in improving the company’s operations. The part-time controller provided the unbiased perspective of a consultant and offered A&A the flexibility to meet changing needs as the company grew.
AMS has been working with A&A for more than 20 years as A&A continually improves its day-to-day operations. The AMS professionals implemented a management reporting suite that allows the A&A leadership team to see updated monthly financial reports, which feed into a continually updated budget forecasting tool and provide a financial history of each individual project. The budget forecasting tool, which projects the company’s future finances relative to current company performance, has been instrumental in tracking cost performance and has helped A&A secure public sector projects with tight budgets and detailed reporting requirements.
As technology litigation consulting firm Elysium Digital grew to more than 20 employees, routine financial tasks began to keep the company’s leaders from areas of the business where they were needed most. The company also had yet to establish a comprehensive system for budgeting and financial reporting.
Two AMS consultants, a senior consultant and transactional accountant, came on board to relieve management of the burden of day-to-day financial activities and refine all financial processes. The AMS consultants reviewed the company’s financial activity, re-designed the budgeting process, and assumed responsibilities in the areas of payroll, Accounts Payable, cash disbursements, and monthly client invoices.
Elysium Digital continues to grow, doubling its headcount in the two years since AMS was engaged. The two AMS consultants each work two days a week, providing the diverse financial support the company needs without the overhead of full-time personnel.
The OpenCape Corporation, originally formed to address the lack of broadband access on Cape Cod, had recently secured $40 million in funding through multiple federal and state grants. The nonprofit organization needed to quickly establish an accounting function and was looking for an innovative solution that would allow them to quickly get up to speed.
The OpenCape Corporation engaged AMS, who provided two consultants on a part-time basis to serve as the organization’s accounting and finance department. A senior consultant, serving as OpenCape’s senior financial manager, worked alongside a consultant, who acted as the accounting manager. Both individuals quickly set to work, designing a customized QuickBooks chart of accounts, developing policies and procedures, preparing federal and state grant reports, and implementing a paper-less electronic records filing system on a remote basis. After developing a robust financial foundation with proper internal controls, the consultants streamlined preparations for the organization’s audits.
Reach Out and Read, Inc. is a $12 million national nonprofit organization that develops and supports literacy programs by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. The organization needed an interim accounting professional to fill a vacancy until a permanent employee could be hired.
CLA assessed the organization’s needs and promptly placed an experienced senior accounting professional at Reach Out and Read, Inc.’’’s national headquarters in Boston. From that central location, the CLA professional quickly integrated himself into the organization and took responsibility for controlling grant- and
contribution-funded financial transactions and outcomes, and ensuring appropriate use of donor funds and compliance. Duties included preparation of grant budgets, tracking of spending, forecasting, and both internal and external grant reporting. Working
with regional and national managers, he participated in month and year-end close activities, annual audit coordination, and Form 990 schedule preparation. Being intimately experienced with nonprofit accounting standards and processes, the learning curve was short, and he was able to address all of the significant tasks that were placed before him.
Although it was known from the start that this would be a finite engagement, the CLA professional put his experiences and resources to work as if he were a seasoned member of the Reach Out and Read, Inc. staff. He successfully kept financial operations moving in an interim capacity for more than six months, and then assisted with transitioning the work to a new staff member.
CASPAR, a nonprofit organization that provides community-based services for individuals affected by substance abuse, was looking for finance and accounting assistance. A key member of the financial department had left the organization and CASPAR needed to create a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, project year-end results, and prepare for a financial audit, as well as implement new accounting software.
CASPAR engaged AMS to assist and AMS provided a financial professional with two decades of nonprofit experience to serve as interim CFO. The CFO consultant worked with the Executive Director to determine priorities for the organization and then led the management team to develop a budget for the next fiscal year and prepare the year-end financial forecast. The CFO consultant also assisted the accounting staff with closing the year-end books and preparing for the upcoming audit.
CASPAR’s budget and year-end forecast were both completed on time and the organization was able to meet its target goals. The year-end books were closed and the audit was completed with no adjustments. CASPAR’s staff utilized a parallel process to begin the transition to a new accounting software. Additionally, the CFO consultant successfully transitioned work to the incoming permanent CFO.
Saint Anselm College, a Catholic liberal arts college, needed to begin preparation for an upcoming audit. The accounting and finance department was already short-staffed and with one member preparing to go on medical leave, the College needed to address several audit concerns and prepare for the audit on a short timeframe.
Saint Anselm College engaged AMS, who provided a seasoned consultant to serve as Interim Controller. The consultant had a strong higher education background, which enabled him to get up to speed quickly. Taking the lead for accounting operations, the consultant directed the entire audit preparation process, providing a fresh perspective on audit preparation and identifying potential areas that could affect the audit time line. The AMS consultant ensured the use of current best practices and also implemented various initiatives that led to better financial reporting.
By managing the accounting function through the completion of the audit, the consultant ensured that the College had a successful audit. AMS has continued to take on additional projects to help the organization improve financial operations, including developing short/long term staffing plans and creating job description, duties and responsibilities for a new financial controller position.
To optimize their internal operations, the City of East Providence enacted a plan to consolidate the City’s and School’s finance departments. The City and School departments had begun merging their Finance operations, while existing Finance Directors on both sides resigned. They needed an interim solution, someone to oversee the merger and daily operations while they conducted a search for a permanent, consolidated Finance Director.
The City of East Providence engaged AMS, who provided a seasoned financial consultant to serve as interim Finance Director. The consultant, who specialized in implementing accounting and financial management best practices at both the state and local government level, quickly set to work, assuming all responsibilities associated with the Finance Director position in order to maintain proper and efficient city operations. The consultant prepared monthly financial statements for various departments, participated in the annual municipal/school budget preparation process, and managed individuals in both the city and school finance departments.
With AMS’s assistance, the City of East Providence was able to sustain efficient operations while they searched for a full-time Finance Director. The city was able to secure an individual to serve as full-time Finance Director. The AMS Consultant transitioned work to the new, full-time Finance Director and continues to assist.
In 1988, UniBank was formed as a result of a merger between Uxbridge Savings Bank (incorporated 1870) and Whitinsville Savings Bank (incorporated 1873). Operating in one of the most heavily regulated industries where experienced compliance professionals are difficult to find, UniBank was looking to fill the role for their Director of Compliance. The ideal candidate would be able to implement and oversee a strong risk-governance structure to guide the bank’s operations and to protect its long legacy of financial excellence.
UniBank engaged AMS to perform a retained search to fill the position. By leveraging AMS’s network of highly skilled professionals, the bank would have greater access to the caliber of talent they were seeking, and would fill the position faster than if they performed the search on their own. The AMS team got a firm grasp of the corporate culture and stayed in constant communication with UniBank’s leadership to refine the parameters of their requirements. Ultimately, the focus of the search shifted to finding someone with a higher level of experience with enterprise risk than originally planned.
As a result of AMS’ thorough process of screening and providing the best talent to the client, UniBank not only hired the Director of Compliance role but also added a Compliance Manager. Later in 2015, UniBank also hired a new Assistant Director of Internal Audit provided by AMS. With their new compliance and audit team in place, UniBank now enjoys a greater level of confidence that all of their operations are carried out in accordance with company policies and applicable laws.
Nestled just north of the Adirondack Mountains and near the Canadian border, Potsdam, New York provides a quiet, academic setting for Clarkson University, a private research university for approximately 4,300 students. The remote location, however, makes it significantly more challenging to recruit high-quality talent to the area. Clarkson needed a new Controller to manage the University’s $130 million budget and the four direct reports in the Controller’s office. The ideal candidate would not only be sharp and technically savvy but would also demonstrate the aptitude to one day become the CFO’s successor.
Clarkson University engaged AMS to provide a retained search for their new Controller. Using industry-specific sourcing methods, the AMS team began screening candidates to fill the role. The team managed the entire interview process, including video conferencing with the Clarkson Hiring Committee which saved both time and money. Ultimately, AMS presented three highly qualified candidates and helped to negotiate the final offer to one. The offer included a flexible working arrangement where the candidate was able to live in Syracuse on the weekends and in Potsdam during the work week. This compromise would prove to be a critical component to the offer acceptance.
The AMS retained search saved the client approximately 15 percent on interview and relocation costs for their new Controller. Not only did they introduce new methods for attracting top talent, they also provided Clarkson University with the guidance they needed to retain it.
Bixby International, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of mono- and multi-layer plastic sheet applications, serves clients in industries ranging from aerospace to mining, to medical devices. Looking to improve visibility, reporting and overall performance in its financial department, the company engaged AMS for a consultative assessment. Based on the company’s size and business
objectives, AMS made the recommendation to replace the full-time CFO with an experienced Controller and part-time CFO. Bringing the right combination of skills and expertise to the organization was a critical step in moving the company in the desired direction.
Through a retained search, AMS began the recruitment process for the new Controller. In addition, AMS provided supporting documentation to company leaders so that all stakeholders were aligned with the proposed changes and understood why the expertise of a Controller was necessary for sustained growth. The ideal candidate would have to meet all of the criteria in terms of experience, cultural fit, technical skills and compensation requirements.
With over 30 years of experience in professional search, AMS was uniquely poised to find the right kind of talent that Bixby International needed. Leveraging their network proven, financial leaders, AMS quickly sourced not one, but three candidates matching the selection requirements. The company hired one of the three candidates and is quickly realizing the benefits of the expertise their new employee brings to the organization.
From the results of an AMS Rapid Diagnostic®, a nonprofit that creates national grassroots campaigns realized their need for a new financial structure. The organization’s current accounting staff was challenged to achieve proper segregation of duties and the Vice President of Development and Organizational Strategy was actively involved in the day-to-day finance operations. It became clear that adding a permanent senior accountant would help support the organization’s new financial structure.
Needing to fill the role quickly, Be the Change engaged AMS to perform a retained search for a new senior accountant. The AMS team immediately went to work creating and finalizing a job description, pre-screening resumes and arranging interviews with select candidates. The AMS team worked with Be the Change throughout every step of the process, ultimately negotiating a final package and extending an offer to a candidate less than 6 weeks after beginning the search.
The newly-hired senior accountant has greatly improved the financial operations of the organization. Working alongside other members of the finance team, the senior accountant not only has added financial knowledge, but is also an excellent fit with the culture of the organization and has meshed seamlessly with other employees, senior leadership, and the Board of Directors.
A $40M national nonprofit organization that helps young adults transition into full-time employment was looking to strengthen its finance team. The current Director of Finance was leaving and the organization was looking for a new Senior Director of Finance and Administration that could improve Year Up’s operations as well as prepare the organization for substantial future growth.
Year Up engaged AMS to perform a retained search for the position. The AMS team led every aspect of the search, from working to create and finalize a job description to pre-screening resumes and conducting interviews. AMS worked as a partner with the organization, assisting members of the senior leadership team in negotiating and extending the final offer to a candidate.
The AMS team introduced several candidates with excellent qualifications to Year Up. While all candidates had the required financial background, the leadership team selected the individual that was the best fit for their culture and had specific experience working in a growing organization. The newly-hired Senior Director of Finance and Administration has already begun to build upon the work of the previous Director of Finance by positioning the organization for future growth.
Persimmon Technologies Corporation needed someone to lead its accounting department. The company was leaving start-up mode and entering growth mode. Piecing together resources became cost prohibitive, with five people including board members, consultants, the part-time office manager and even the CEO trying to cover all duties and doing the job of one. The office manager went from doing simple invoicing tasks to being asked to handle complex accounting functions, and became overworked. The CEO was handling forecasts and financial models, while seeking input from board members. This inefficiency caused Persimmon to rethink its approach, realizing it needed to hire a skilled Director of Accounting and Finance. “The most important thing to us wasn’t so much the experience but the cultural fit,” said Karla Rossetti Pippins of Persimmon. “That was the driving factor for us.”
When the Persimmon team first met AMS’s search professionals, they gave the team specific background and experience they were seeking, namely a candidate with industry experience who had audit experience within one of the “Big 4” CPA firms. The AMS search team listened to the client’s needs and responded to the challenge with an exact fit. Pippins said AMS “just nailed it out of the gate.” After interviewing several candidates from other search firms who weren’t a good fit, from a cultural and skill set standpoint, Persimmon was eager to make a connection with the ideal candidate right away. AMS “understood our marching orders, the experience was a given, however the key was the cultural fit” said Pippins, and “AMS didn’t waste our time.” During the two weeks it took to find the ideal candidate, AMS kept the Persimmon team in the loop, providing constant communication with progress updates. As a result, the very first candidate AMS brought to the table was the one Persimmon hired.
AMS listened to requirements and understood the critical cultural elements of the firm, focusing on finding a team player with an energy level to match the company’s. The new Director of Accounting and Finance jumped right in, handled all accounting functions and took charge of the modeling and forecasting, freeing the CEO up to work on more important aspects of growing the business.
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