Meet the Team: Sandy Kundert

124What is my role? My role is to ensure our clients are getting the best possible Eide Bailly experience they can. I do this by making sure we understand what our clients need, what they wish for and suggesting things they may not have thought of. Then we try to match a member of our team with the client. If our clients are successful, then we are successful!

Why are numbers important for business? Numbers are like lab test results from the doctor. They not only show us the current health of the business but aid in what we need to do in order to improve over time. Good decisions come from being informed and numbers do just that.

Why do I want you to succeed? I have several clients I have worked with for many years. You get to know each other on a personal level and they become like family. I always feel a little pride when my clients have a win, no matter how big or small and I’m thankful they let me be a part of that.

#ILoveSmallBiz – Whether a small business succeeds or fails, it has a huge impact on their employees, customers, and the local economy. By helping small businesses succeed, we all become winners.

An Exit Interview with Jim Ramstad

Jim Ramstad is no stranger when it comes to business. From starting businesses to selling businesses and every step in between, Jim has done it all. After all his time and experience, Jim has decided it’s time for a new path in life – retirement!

Jim has been an important part of our work here at Eide Bailly, and we know his advice and knowledge will be missed. We sat down with Jim to ask him to share some of his thoughts and advice with you, fellow business owners and entrepreneurs.

How long have you worked in the business world?

Altogether, I’ve spent 49 years in the business world, involved in various aspects of business.

How/what made you want to get involved in business?

Growing up and in high school, I never even thought of getting involved in business. In fact, I wanted to be a teacher and a coach. As I grew up, I watched as my dad’s family did very well for themselves in business. As I watched their successes and trials, I became more and more intrigued, and decided it was the right path for me.

If you weren’t in business, what would you be doing?

As mentioned before, I thought about being a teacher and a coach when I was younger. Now looking at it, I think it would be fun to be in politics. Twenty some years ago, I took a personality test that determined the top two areas that would make sense for me career wise. My top two were politician and ambassador, and accountant wasn’t even on the list. I feel like ambassador made sense, and I’ve gotten to do some of that in being an ambassador for other businesses.

How long have you been at Eide Bailly?

I’ve been working at Eide Bailly for 12 years, and I was a client here before I started working here. I’ve always had a connection with the Firm, which has led me to some of the career positions I’ve been in.

What positions have you held prior to being at Eide Bailly and at Eide Bailly?

Prior to being at Eide Bailly, I held many different positions. I’ve been an accountant, controller, CFO, COO and CEO. I’ve also done business development and government relations for a company in which I got to propose a piece of legislation that actually got approved into law in the energy bill.

Here at Eide Bailly, I’ve always worked in business advisory. In 2005, I started working with entrepreneurs to help get their businesses to take off. Throughout this role, I’ve been blessed and fortunate to take my personal experiences in business and apply it to other clients and help them learn from it.

What was your favorite position and why?

I don’t think I could really pick a favorite – I’ve enjoyed them all! I’ve really enjoyed the last twelve years here at Eide Bailly. I’ve enjoyed getting to apply my past experiences while also learning new things from our clients. Although there have been challenges, I’ve found it very rewarding.

What changes did you see take place in the business/accounting world during your tenure?

The biggest and most obvious change I’ve seen is in technology. From everything being completely manual to now being nearly all online and in the cloud, it’s been a total change. When I was 26, I worked with for a trucking company that completed everything manually. I gradually helped introduce them to technology, which was a process. Now, they use technology for everything.

What advice would you offer small to mid – sized businesses just getting started?

Get an advisor. It’s important to find people who are truly and genuinely interested in you and your success, not just in selling you something or getting a fee for the job. Find these people and rely on them – don’t try to do it all on your own.

What will you miss most about Eide Bailly?

The people, hands down. I am also sad that I won’t be around to watch the Possibilities Center grow into a bigger, Firm-wide practice, but I will be paying attention and willing to help if the need arises.

What are your plans after retiring?

I’m going to stay busy. I’m going to use my facilitation skills to start some groups in the FM area, such as mastermind groups and a bible study type group. I always want to continue to be a mentor and resource for Eide Bailly professionals who may need my help. The rest of my time will be spent with family, being a grandpa and a great grandpa.

While Jim isn’t leaving us for a few more weeks, please join us in wishing him well and thanking him for all his hard work and dedication.

Meet the Team: Angie Ziegler

6147What is my role?

My role is to make sure that all business owners feel understood and educated with what the team provides them, whether it be accounting or payroll. I want to make sure business owners understand the information they are being provided so they can make smart, informed decisions about their business. I strive for the team and me to connect with the business owners in order to build a trustworthy relationship.

Why are numbers important for business?

Numbers are a road map! This map is a journey for the business owner to visually see how their risk and rewards play out, and where these decisions might lead them. The numbers allow us to show a business owner the past, present and future of their business, which can help them make better decision for the future.

Why do I want you to succeed?

I enjoy that feeling you get when you walk out of a business and realize they really value the service you provided them.  If they feel success, then so do I!  A lot of business owners don’t understand and/or really struggle with accounting and payroll, so when I can come in and explain it in a different way that makes sense, we all win and feel a sense of accomplishment.  When the payroll makes sense, everything else rolls along smoothly!

#ILoveSmallBiz

I love to see someone take a leap of faith and start a new business (seriously, how cool is it seeing someone chase their dreams?). I find it so rewarding to be a part of that leap of faith and to help them get where they want to be.  I love hearing the stories from our clients that start out in a basement or garage and then move into a large facility. The business owners have such pride in what they do and I enjoy when they share that with me.

Meet the Team: Stephanie Berggren

StephWhat is my role? My role is to help business owners by sharing and teaching what I love – accounting. Owners can focus on the fun stuff, like making their business grow, while my team and I can provide the accounting skills and knowledge to help them make smart growth decisions. My team and I can help them interpret the story the numbers are telling so they can have a better understanding of where their business is and where it’s going.

Why are numbers important for business?  Numbers are the story of your business. They tell the owner important statistics that, when understood and applied correctly, can help the business owner make informed decisions. Numbers tell the business owner what works and what doesn’t.

Why do I want you to succeed? When you succeed, we all succeed. I love the feeling of seeing businesses I worked with become successful. It develops a sense of pride in what I’ve accomplished, but also makes me excited to see where your business will go next!

#ILoveSmallBiz – Small businesses truly make the world go round. From job opportunities to innovative ideas, small businesses provide success and growth opportunities for our communities, which is a win-win for everyone.

Meet the Team: Matt Stone (@mattdstone)

matt-stoneWhat is my role?

I have the pleasure of rolling out the Possibilities Center to Sioux Falls, SD and the surrounding area. In doing so, I get to meet with a lot of great entrepreneurs and talk with them about their business, ideas they have and the possibilities for their business. My overall role is to help small businesses grow using a holistic approach. This includes teaching them the importance of having good financials, how to use those financials as a valuable management tool and how to look at their business from the outside in, either as an investor or as a client.

Why are numbers important for business?

The old adage “the numbers tell the story” is true. With the numbers contained in your balance sheet and profit & loss statement, I can tell you what happened in your business for a given period of time. The number story does not end with your financial statements. Numbers, called ratios, can help you make important management decisions. Ratios specific to your business can help you determine if you are performing your mission and achieving your vision. Without numbers, your business becomes extremely inefficient. I encourage every business owner to find themselves a numbers geek and embrace them.

Why do I want you to succeed?

I was self-employed for more than 20 years, prior to coming to Eide Bailly. In that time, I experienced losses and wins. I want to share what I have learned in hopes you can leverage my mistakes and successes. You, the small business, are the backbone of the economy in the United States and the town in which you are located. When you succeed, we all succeed.

#ILoveSmallBiz

I love what small business stands for and what it is. Small business is America at its best. Small businesses signify independence, a drive to do better and to be more. I love the fact anyone, regardless of his or her position in life, can take an idea and bring it to life to create a better life for their family. All it takes is a definite primary aim, faith and action!

Meet the Team: Amber Ferrie (@berferrie)

fgo_ferrie (2)What is my role? My role is to help business owners write the next chapter in their lives and their business’ adventures. That may be selling, transitioning to a management team or a succession plan involving family. When businesses are going through transitions, I come in to help guide them through.

Why are numbers important for business? Numbers tell the story of where you have been, where you are and where you are going. Understanding the numbers associated with your business can help you capitalize on certain opportunities and/or avoid disasters that may be lurking. Buyers always want to hear the story of your business, but they also crave the numbers and love metrics. Understanding these for yourself can help your business have a huge advantage.

Why do I enjoy what I do? Selling your business is a huge deal (no pun intended) not only from a financial perspective, but also from an emotional stand point. Being a CPA, this is one area that you can use more than just your love for numbers. You also see the personal side of transitioning a business and I find that incredibly interesting. Nothing in the M&A world is black and white. Each situation between a buyer and a seller is unique and has its own characteristics and challenges. Seeing all of those play out can be really fun.

#MidwestIsBest The majority of my work is actually not in the immediate area, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the love around here. The Midwest in general is an underserved market in the M&A world, and I see a lot of opportunity to serve these fabulous businesses. I truly believe these people and businesses are the best, and Eide Bailly is lucky we get to work with them.

 

Meet the Team: Lisa Fitzgerald

Lisa.jpg

What is my role?

Here at Eide Bailly, I serve as the Director of Human Resources. I am also the Director of Human Resource Consulting. I am what they call a people person. In the consulting side of my job, I get to work with managers and small business owners to make sure they have sound people strategies in place to keep their business running smoothly. This can be anything from recruiting tactics to employee policy manuals to retention strategies. If you need HR help, I’ve got you covered.

Why are people important for business?

People are the heart and soul of any business, and are the core of success within the business. Without the right people, your business would suffer tremendously. You want happy employees so your business can also have happy customers.

Why do I want you to succeed?

I love watching businesses grow and become successful. It’s fun to follow the journey of a business from the beginning stages up to a more mature, established company. When businesses thrive it results in a healthy business ecosystem. When we have strong and thriving businesses, we all win!

#iLoveFargo

Okay… who doesn’t love Fargo? I’m convinced that Fargo is the greatest city on Earth. From all of the things to do, to all of the shops and restaurants, you never find yourself bored here. The people here are warm and friendly, and the small town feel in a big city atmosphere creates a strong sense of community. I love Fargo, and I plan to stay here for life!