Quarterly Update – 1999 Qtr 2

Todd Herman

I remember this date and time distinctly – it is when I woke up in a cold sweat and looked at the alarm clock, realizing that yesterday had been my last day as a manager at a Big Six firm and that today I was "self-employed" – or, as Lindy called it, "unemployed." Fortunately, the initial panic subsided, I got up that morning, and began to work towards the goal driving my resignation – to move from being an auditor who was clever with computers, to being a consultant who can understand and apply accounting and information systems concepts and techniques to solve a wide variety of business problems.

Progress Isn't Always a Straight Line

Along these ten years, progress has not always traced a straight line – it is more like the changing path followed by a plane or sailboat, keeping the destination in mind, but frequently correcting course to respond to changed wind or weather conditions.

Several principles have helped keep the firm on its successful course. Even though I could not articulate them back in 1989, my guiding principles were the same then as they are now – namely, that we would be:

  • Experienced Professionals
  • Delivering Exceptional Service
  • Helping Companies Improve Their Business Processes and Systems

These principles have served the firm well, and will continue to guide the firm in the future.

There have also been many people who have helped keep the firm on its course:

  • First and foremost to my wife Lindy – thank you for putting up with everything, so that I did not have to get a real job.
  • To my family and friends – thank you for your understanding and tolerance.
  • To Terry Lockamy, Keith Huskins, and Bob Oxenfeld – thank you for taking a chance on a relatively new consultant and entrusting several large projects to me.
  • To Carol Cobble – thank you for introducing and recommending us for an initial project, which sparked the growth of the firm.
  • To Bonnie Bastow and Angela Brown – thank you for helping me run and build the firm.
  • To our current associates – thank you for believing in these guiding principles and in my vision for the continued growth and success of the firm.
  • To our former associates – thank you for having been part of the firm.
  • To our professional colleagues, such as John Royster, Cline Comer, David Burke, Bill Knight, and John Schwarz – thank you for trusting in us by referring your clients to us.
  • To our clients – thank you for allowing us to help you.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Eliot

Helping our clients...

I am pleased to provide you with an update on our client projects. Over the second quarter we have...

  • Continued implementing the Payroll and Human Resources modules for a health insurer, assisting the client with interfaces, data conversion, process changes, and training.
  • Served as the interim Payroll Manager during a payroll system implementation for a large company, processing payroll under the existing system while implementing the new system.
  • Searched for warranty and field service applications for a manufacturer and distributor of commercial kitchen equipment, identifying packages for the AS/400 and Windows NT.
  • Analyzed invoicing and receivables practices and systems for a sportswear company, proposing a realistic DSO target.
  • Reviewed pricing policies for an athletic apparel company, recommending changes to simplify pricing and maintain profitability for special processing.
  • Analyzed transactions and procedures for an apparel company, identifying possible causes of inventory shrink at a subcontractor.
  • Developed reports for the redesigned chart of accounts for a hosiery company, eliminating several manual monthly reports.
  • Defined the procedures necessary to calculate value statements from standard cost and sourcing information and worked closely with the client's development staff, allowing a sock manufacturer to automate this complex offshore reporting in 3 weeks.

In current projects, we will...

  • Assist a manufacturer and distributor of rubber products in evaluating ERP packages, providing an objective assessment of needs and vendor capabilities.
  • Review and analyze Year 2000 contingency plans for an apparel company, assisting management in assessing responses to possible external and internal failures.
  • Define procedures to implement standard cost development and cost accounting for a packaging products manufacturer, improving information for pricing and other decisions.
  • Streamline the product development process for a sock company and implement the revised process in Lotus Notes, reducing the cycle time to develop a new product.
  • Provide tracking and notification of performance review dates using Lotus Notes, ensuring timely review of employees and reducing followup by Human Resources.
  • Review physical and perpetual inventory items for the bookstore of a university, identifying discrepancies and suggesting steps to improve inventory accuracy.

Brent Quick joined the firm in May, bringing to the practice experience in accounting, systems, and operations. Kathy Arfmann, CPA, after working with us as an independent contractor, joined the firm in August, bringing a strong background in accounting, systems, and client service. Both professionals will help us deliver top-notch service in our second decade.

Sincerely,

Todd Herman

Todd L. Herman


Client Project Update:

I am pleased to provide you with an update on our client projects. Projects we have completed over this period are...

Continued Implementing the Payroll and HR Modules

Continued implementing the Payroll and Human Resources modules for a health insurer, assisting the client with interfaces, data conversion, process changes, and training.

Served as the Interim Payroll Manager

Served as the interim Payroll Manager during a payroll system implementation for a large company, processing payroll under the existing system while implementing the new system.

Searched for Warranty and Field Service Applications

Searched for warranty and field service applications for a manufacturer and distributor of commercial kitchen equipment, identifying packages for the AS/400 and Windows NT.

Proposed a Realistic DSO Target

Analyzed invoicing and receivables practices and systems for a sportswear company, proposing a realistic DSO target.

Reviewed Pricing Policies for an Athletic Apparel Company

Reviewed pricing policies for an athletic apparel company, recommending changes to simplify pricing and maintain profitability for special processing.

Analyzed Possible Causes of Inventory Shrinkage

Analyzed transactions and procedures for an apparel company, identifying possible causes of inventory shrink at a subcontractor.

Developed Reports for a Redesigned Chart of Accounts

Developed reports for the redesigned chart of accounts for a hosiery company, eliminating several manual monthly reports.

Assisted in Automation of Complex Offshore Reporting

Defined the procedures necessary to calculate value statements from standard cost and sourcing information and worked closely with the client's development staff, allowing a sock manufacturer to automate this complex offshore reporting in 3 weeks.

Future projects we are planning include...

Evaluating ERP Packages

Assist a manufacturer and distributor of rubber products in evaluating ERP packages, providing an objective assessment of needs and vendor capabilities.

Review & Analyze Year 2000 Contingency Plans

Review and analyze Year 2000 contingency plans for an apparel company, assisting management in assessing responses to possible external and internal failures.

Standard Cost Development & Cost Accounting

Define procedures to implement standard cost development and cost accounting for a packaging products manufacturer, improving information for pricing and other decisions.

Streamline Product Development Process

Streamline the product development process for a sock company and implement the revised process in Lotus Notes, reducing the cycle time to develop a new product.

Tracking & Notification Performance Review Dates

Provide tracking and notification of performance review dates using Lotus Notes, ensuring timely review of employees and reducing followup by Human Resources.

Review & Identify Inventory Descrepancy

Review physical and perpetual inventory items for the bookstore of a university, identifying discrepancies and suggesting steps to improve inventory accuracy.

Latest Todd's Results

Read about Todd's last accountability check-in and what he learned from the 6 year program.

About Todd's Results

This monthly series is Todd's continuing journey of "Intentional Reality" through the process of personal accountability. What's at stake? Todd's BlackBerry.

Check back each month to find out if Todd met his accountability goals or if he had to give up his BlackBerry.