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: Ryan Renner

RyanWhat is my role?

My role in the Possibilities Center keeps me busy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I use my wide range of skills to offer clients a large variety of services that help them improve and be successful in their businesses. These services range from general bookkeeping assistance to in-depth clean-up work to all types of special projects. If a client needs help outside of our normal Eide Bailly compliance offerings such as tax and audit, you can bet I’m the guy for the job!

Why are numbers important for business?

I believe numbers are so important for businesses to understand because they act as the heart of the business. Numbers keep the business beating, just like the pulse of a heartbeat. If a business has reliable financial information that they can access in a timely manner, they are able to make knowledgeable decisions that can help the business out immensely.

Why do I want to see you succeed?

I enjoy seeing businesses succeed. It is great to see the owners’ hard work and dedication pay off, and to know that they have produced a successful business. I also enjoy seeing businesses succeed because I am excited to see what new opportunities they will benefit from, as there are many opportunities for businesses available.

#ILoveFargo 

I like that Fargo has a small town feel, while also providing a wide range of variety to live and work in. Fargo provides many activities and venues for its residents to take advantage of, and offers many options for community and business involvement. Fargo has an excellent business community as well, and offers many events that help people gain insight and knowledge into ways to make their business successful!

Meet the Team: Jenni Huotari (@huotarijenni)

JenniWhat’s my role?

I’ve been given the awesome opportunity and responsibility of leading the Possibilities Center. I’ve been with EB for nearly 14 years, and spent almost all of that time as an auditor (don’t be afraid, I’m really nice).

So, why the transition? While verifying numbers is fun (no seriously, it can be), I have a strong desire to spread the love of numbers a little broader. Plus, I have a crazy curiosity about business, which causes me to want to know as much as possible about our clients, and keeps my mind churning with ideas of how we can positively impact your business.

Why are numbers so important?

When numbers nerds get out and about (not too often, as we’re mostly introverts) and tell others what we do all day, the usual response is “I don’t know how you do that for a living.” We find that people are either intimidated by accounting or in no way interested (usually our artistic, creative friends).

Here’s the honest truth: I could look at financial statements all day. To me, they read like a book and tell the story of a company. They clearly show the increase in revenue you’ve worked so hard for, how volatile your cost of goods sold can be, how you’ve managed to keep those operating costs in check (even with revenue growth) and so much more.

Each one plays in to the total and affects the ending of the story. Understanding what they’re are trying to tell you, and how they impact each other is essential for a business to be as healthy as possible.

Why do I want you to succeed?

Let’s face it, there’s plenty of outside factors beyond your control that impact your business. Having quality financial information, and knowing how to understand it, is not one of them. In fact, it’s completely attainable.

The Possibilities Center team and I have a strong desire to make business owners and other decision makers comfortable with your company’s financial statements. You shouldn’t have to rely on your accountant/bookkeeper to prepare all of the financial information and interpret it for you. We want you to know what the numbers mean, where different things are presented and how business decisions can/will impact your financials. We want you to have strong financials and I guarantee we even have a few ideas to help you get there!

#ILoveFargo

We’re very fortunate to work in such a great place. This area is filled with unbelievable talent, including colleges and universities with eager graduates ready to get out and make a difference.

We are blessed by strong business allies. I personally know several people at numerous community organizations (the SBDC, SBA, EDC, Emerging Prairie, etc.) who come to work every day with the goal of helping businesses be successful, including those just starting out.

And if that wasn’t enough, there’s an uprising of peer support. As nice Midwesterners, I think we’ve always rooted for each other, but we’re continually finding ways to be more impactful. Collaboration is the key to success here, and we’re proving there’s more than enough success to go around.

 

Meet the Team: Dan Macintosh (@dsmacintosh)

DanWhat is my role?

My role in the Possibilities Center is to lead our Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services. These services are designed to help you in all aspects of your business. We handle the back office accounting, Controller or CFO on call, tax consultation and preparation, even HR or IT. With a team of professionals with experience in all of these areas, we are able to fill the roles of many of these people, freeing up your time and financial resources to focus on your goals.

Why are good numbers important for business?

The biggest issue I see facing small and growing businesses is the ability to get timely and accurate financial information. The ability to get this information is vital to the decision making process, and can be the difference between accomplishing your goals and getting stuck. With a little work and our professionals, we can help you get the information you need to make sound business decisions.

Why do I want you to succeed?

I want you to succeed because it’s why you went into business in the first place. Not everyone loves accounting as much as our numbers nerds do. That’s why we’re devoting our time and talent to taking away a lot of the headaches, allowing you to focus on what you do best.

#ILoveFargo

As the newest member of the Possibilities Center (I’ve only been in Fargo for a month!), I’m still in the honeymoon phase! However, I can tell you that my wife and I were ecstatic to move back to North Dakota after several years away. One of the biggest things I heard of Fargo while we were exploring a new landing spot was how vibrant the business environment was here. From drone technology to manufacturing to the entrepreneurial startup community to the rapidly growing more established business, Fargo has done a wonderful job of creating a true business ecosystem!

 

 

An Ode to Kicking “Butt”

1 Million Thanks 2016Okay, we’re not going to lie. We’re pretty proud to have won the Kick Ass Award at 1 Million Thanks (read more about it and all the other great honorees here). No, it’s not because we like having an excuse to use the adult version of “kick butt” around the office and in every day conversation … okay, fine, that’s not the only reason.

We’re proud because we believe hard work should be honored. And believe us, we’ve worked hard this past year. We’re working hard to change a mindset. Externally, we often hear we’re intimidating or boring accountants who talk in jargon. That’s why we’re trying to talk differently and really help you understand and embrace your accounting journey (yes, we just said that). To learn more, subscribe to this blog.

We’ve also heard that we’re too big. Well let’s be clear on this, we love working with startups, entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses. We have a lot of resources and nifty people who are more than willing to help you imagine what’s possible through our Possibilities Center (see what we did there?).

In addition, we’re working hard to share our story. Because you see, our story is pretty cool.

In 1917, our business started because of the dream of an entrepreneur right here in Fargo. In May 2017, we’ll celebrate our 100 year anniversary (man we’re old, but you have to admit, some of us look pretty good). During that time, we’ve grown from a one stop shop in Fargo to a Top 25 CPA Firm in the nation with over 1,600 employees (yeah, there’s a lot of us EBers around) in 29 offices in 13 states. And we’re still headquartered right here in Fargo.

While we’ve come a long way, we also know that, to reach the next 100 years, we have to adapt and innovate. So we’re more than proud to have won the award. We’re also truly honored and INSPIRED.

In the past year, we’ve learned so much from so many of you and it has changed our thinking and altered the way we do business.

Here’s just a few of the lessons we’ve learned along the way:

  • It’s really fun to host parties with fabulous people. Our first foray into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fargo was Startup Weekend. What a kick off it was. We heard amazing pitches and celebrated with some of the brightest in Fargo Moorhead. It was a stinking blast.
  • Collaboration is so important. We’re proud to call ourselves members of the Prairie Den and partners with the NDSU Research & Tech Park. Through these collaborative efforts, we’ve met amazing people and fostered relationships that (we hope) are beneficial to both parties. We’ve seen new businesses form and grow and have been honored to even be part of the ride on some.
  • Dreams really do come true. It’s unreal to us the amount of cool things happening in Fargo. The people who wake up and decide to make their dream a reality. From Cooper’s Protosthetics research to Girl Develop It, from Co.Starters to Emerging Leaders, we’re thinking our future looks pretty stinking bright with these dreamers. And don’t even get us started on the kids in The Chamber’s YEA! Program.
  • It’s all about community. There are people all over this area who are building a community they want to live in (we’re looking at you Emerging Prairie). There are entrepreneurs making things happen and starting new companies. But there are also community partners coming alongside and lifting these individuals and companies up and collaborating with them to build a better place for all. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

So before this gets too mushy, we’ll just say this. You inspire us. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, for coming to parties with the numbers nerds and for genuinely caring about your community. Thank you for taking this almost 100 year old company along for the ride and helping us rewrite our story. We think you’re pretty kick ass (or butt if you prefer) too.

 

 

 

Imagine the Possibilities

By: Jenni Huotari, Partner, Director of the Possibilities Center

I’ve been an accountant my whole career. Believe it or not, I love numbers and everything about them. I love what they can tell you about a business, how they can project the next stage of growth or predict what needs to change.

Numbers can also tell you about a community. For instance, the population can tell you that Fargo and the surrounding communities are growing. Area organizations can tell you that our business community is thriving.

Essential to this business community is the entrepreneurial and startup movement. This movement is awesome … awe inspiring. These individuals are developing their own products, filling needs in our community, becoming their own boss. They’ve taken risks and jumped in with both feet to create, envision and, hopefully, succeed.

That’s why I’m proud to head the newly formed Possibilities Center within Eide Bailly’s Fargo office. Its concept is simple: helping businesses imagine what’s possible.

Through a variety of services, we’re helping businesses and startups get out of the day-to-day operation of their organization and instead concentrate on doing what they love. These services include:

  • Business planning
  • CFO 2.0
  • Bookkeeping Services
  • Tax Services
  • Technology
  • Your End Game

Update_Handout_Startup Week_2015_Page_2

 

We’re excited to help these small to mid-sized businesses and entrepreneurial startups grow and thrive in our community. Let’s imagine what’s possible.