Introduction

About Me

Florida Accounting & Litigation Services is a full service, licensed Accounting, Business Valuation and Management Consulting firm. We help entrepreneurs prosper by enabling them to focus on their business, not the paperwork. We provide individuals and families with tax advantageous financial strategies to secure their financial legacy.

My Skills

accounting
tax
consulting
construction
surety
surety-bonds
management-consulting
acquisition-integration
restructuring
business-valuation
financial-accounting
debt-restructuring
forensic-accounting
six-sigma
life-insurance
health-insurance
quickbooks
financial-analysis
negotiation
process-improvement
collaborative-law
litigation-support
general-insurance
construction-management
insurance
private-equity
strategy
strategic-financial-planning
valuation
internal-controls
cash-flow
portfolio-management
financial-services
leadership
management
small-business
dog-training
due-diligence
financial-modeling
corporate-governance
executive-management
managerial-finance
corporate-finance
cpa
venture-capital
investments

Profile Questions

What do you like most about your profession?

I love to solve problems - the more complex the better.

What questions do clients most commonly ask you? How do you respond?

Why isn't my bank account growing as fast as my profits? Typically my clients are paying vendors and 1099 contractors faster than they are receiving payment from their clients. They have very low accounts payable to their high accounts receivable. I help my clients become comfortable with contacting their clients about the quality of the work completed, and use that as a bridge to get paid. It's a win-win in most instances - they get to demonstrate that they care about how the job went AND have a positive opportunity to talk about getting paid.

Describe a recent client engagement or project.

Took a profitable business that was being reported as Schedule C (sole proprietorship). Re-established the business as a 1120S (S-Corp) and gave the client an IRS reasonable salary. The client saved $7,500 in self employment taxes and we were able to lower the taxable income even further by utilizing a sole-401k plan with profit sharing.

What are 3 attributes you need to be successful in your industry?

1. Experience - It's irreplaceable. You can read books or learn on-line, but until you've experienced a transaction first-hand, you don't know much. 2. Continuing Education - I have to be on top of things that change from year to year. Anything I learned about tax accounting when I graduated college is almost worthless now. 3. Self Confidence - I can have an amazing quarter, but I still don't know whats coming in later in the year. You gotta keep plugging and believe in yourself and your abilities.

What are the most important things to consider when hiring a service provider in your field?

Experience: If all you need is a tax return or an audit, you have a wealth of firms to choose from – but if you are looking for strategic financial advice to help you grow your firm, lower your costs and help you attract new capital to your business, you need to hire a CPA that has made payroll – and actively worked with clients, vendors and banks to improve cash-flow. Communication: Before you hire a CPA, sit down with the person that will actually be doing your work – not just the owner. Ask hard questions, and don’t be shy about getting some free advice. Above all, look for someone who is willing to challenge you – tell you what they think instead of just what you want to hear. Sometimes hearing a ‘No’ from your CPA can save you money and future headaches. Size of the Firm: There are reasons to engage a large firm and reasons to engage a smaller firm. Large firms are able to handle complicated transactions and can afford to have specialists on staff to focus on unique tax and accounting issues. They tend to have stability at the top of the firm, but incredible change-over towards the middle and bottom. Most small businesses don’t need the benefits of a large firm, and are frustrated by having a new junior accountant to train every year. Small firms tend to be more stable, but you have to be confident that the small firm can handle your needs. Typically, small firms are less expensive as well. Licenses and Certifications: Not all accountants are CPAs – but all CPAs are Accountants. Make sure that your accountant is licensed by the State and is a member of the AICPA and the FICPA (Florida CPA Society). Find out which payroll services they are certified to use, and whether they are a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. If they are performing any valuation work for you, make sure that they are also Accredited in Business Valuation. Fees: Many clients look at the CPA work as a necessary cost, and try to make sure it is as inexpensive as possible. CPA hourly rates tend to be competitive for the services they offer, if a CPA can fill his time at $400 per hour, he won’t be taking many clients at a lower fee. Many clients want to pay a fixed fee for their accounting work. And while a CPA cannot promise a specific result in return for a fee, many CPAs are willing to estimate the hours (conservatively) and then propose a fixed-fee rate.

How are you different than others in your profession?

I have over 20 years experience in the most admired companies in the World. I've had to solve problems at a bigger scale than any of my clients need - but that helps guide me towards what works and is scalable.

What are your biggest professional influences (books, mentors, events)?

I do quite a bit of public speaking, so I have to keep up with the leaders in my field. I'm always impressed with people that are admired and are admireable.

How do you typically handle disagreements with clients?

Depends on the disagreement. If it is an ethical or legal disagreement I need to fire the client. My license is worth more than any single client's fee.

Describe your proudest professional accomplishment.

I don't look behind. Every step I've taken propels me forward.

Work/Experience

Founder at Assurety America

June 2012 - July 2013
- Founding Member of a Surety-Specific Insurance Business in Winter Park, Florida.
- Developed and managed all financial and operational underwriting processes.
- Lead all marketing efforts, website development and continuing education programs.
- Certified as a General Agent (10-20) and Life/Health (10-15) by State of Florida.
- Sold equity stake to focus on Licensed CPA firm.
- Provide back-office & accounting services as a non-employee contractor through CPA Firm.

Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer at Privately Held Management Consulting Firm

October 2010 - December 2011
Managing Director and Head of the Business Consulting Practice for a privately-held business advisory firm, specializing in business restructuring, equity and debt replacement and turn-around consulting.

Senior Managing Partner at Florida Accounting & Litigation Services (Formerly Assurety Financial)

May 2010 - Present
Florida Accounting and Litigation Services (FLALS) is a full service, licensed CPA Firm providing Accounting, Tax & Financial Planning, Business Valuation, Forensic Accounting & Litigation Support and Management Consulting.

We help entrepreneurs prosper by enabling them to focus on their business, not the paperwork. We provide individuals and families with tax advantageous financial strategies to secure their financial legacy.

We are also trained to provide financial advice and counseling to families considering or entering into divorce proceedings. FLALS is a strong supporter of the Collaborative Divorce process.

Chief Financial Officer at Teledyne Oil & Gas

October 2009 - May 2010
- Consolidated the acquisitions made by Teledyne that serve the Oil and Gas Industry to drive standardization and create a seamless global customer experience.
- Identified and implemented improvements in internal controls for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, IFRS and Defense Department Regulations.

Chief Financial Officer at Thermo Fisher Scientific - Weighing & Inspection Business Unit

August 2005 - May 2009
- Implemented best-practice internal controls and fraud prevention toolsets;
- Improved Gross Margin and Earnings Before Taxes through improved pricing discipline, product and manufacturing consolidation, enhanced business reporting and productivity initiatives.
- Improved Working Capital by 15% through disciplined focus on collections and customer negotiations, inventory control and other best practices.
- Reduced time-to-close from 10 to 5 days (50%) through improved processes and financial system improvements.

Division Director of Six Sigma - Finance at Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions

August 2002 - August 2005
- Developed Six-Sigma based toolsets to improve internal controls, fraud prevention, business integration and cash flow improvement;
- Improved working capital by 24% and working capital % revenue by over 2 points;
- Reduced past due accounts receivable by 26% and past due percentage by over 6 points;
- Improved DSO by over 4 days (5%) and cash conversion by 22 points to over 140% of Net Income;
- Awarded the Honeywell Quest for Excellence Award for process improvements resulting in over $50M of free cash flow

Finance and Corporate Systems Six Sigma Leader at Intuit

April 2001 - August 2002
- Improved profitability as a result of process and policy changes to the retail software returns process.
- Improved retail channel delivery speed by identifying process weaknesses and driving the improvement of on-time and complete deliveries to Intuit product retailers.
- Awarded Six Sigma Black Belt based on training, testing and project success.

Director of Pricing Strategy at Greenlight.Com

April 2000 - February 2001
- Created and executed vehicle merchandising programs to increase sales volume and gross margin through Internet banner advertisements, co-branded advertisements at Amazon.com, print and web, print and dealer-based promotions.
- Awarded Forbes Magazine 2000 Best of the Web for vehicle pricing¸ accuracy and ease of use.

Global Director of Operational Analysis (FP&A) at General Electric

April 1998 - April 2000
- Achieved greater than 25% annual profit growth in 1999 through improved asset & debt management, pricing opportunities, risk analysis and cost reduction.
- Awarded GE Management Award for outstanding contributions and performance.

Finance Staff at Ford Motor Company

April 1990 - April 1998
Positions of Increasing Financial Responsibility in
Finance Staff
Truck Operations
Car Product Development
Powertrain Operations

Education

University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Degree: MAcc
Field of Study: Accounting & Finance

University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Degree: BBA
Field of Study: Accounting

Certifications

Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce Professional (ICDP)

Authority: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator

Authority: Florida Supreme Court

Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator - Family, Circuit, County & Appleate

Authority: Florida Supreme Court
License: 30967

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)

Authority: Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts
License: 102126

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

Authority: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
License: 5467076

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

Authority: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
License: 5467076

Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF)

Authority: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
License: 5467076

Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)

Authority: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
License: 5467076

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Authority: State of Illinois
License: 065038336

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Authority: State of Florida
License: AC43680

Publications

Strategies to Restructure Commercial Real Estate Debt

Publication: Florida CPA Today
Date: Sep 01, 2012
Over $1 trillion of commercial property debt is coming due over the next five years with no signals of reliable liquidity available to refinance this debt. In many cases, the collateral securing the debt is now worth less – in many cases substantially less – than the debt and interest outstanding. With limited liquidity and collateral values approaching inflation-adjusted lows, many distressed commercial property owner/operators will face the very real prospect of defaulting on their secured commercial debt obligations.

Location

Contact Information

1059 Maitland Center Commons
Maitland, FL
Phone: 407 490-2724

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