Reconciliation Problem Resolved with Strategic Accounting Services

Situation Overview:

The president and CEO of a utility management company had a reconciliation problem.

“My company manages utility billings and water conservation services. Our deposits include utility payments that aren’t ours to keep as well as our income. We struggled for about 10 years with how to properly reconcile deposits even though it’s what I’d consider a basic accounting function.”

Issue:

The company had been in business for 34 years and worked with four accounting firms in that time. The first two were very small operations; eventually the company moved up to working with a mid-sized regional firm.

“When the new firm took over, they didn’t challenge or change anything the previous accountants had done, which really surprised me. They just kind of ‘rubber stamped’ everything and had a very transactional approach. We weren’t making any progress addressing our reconciliation issue and the CPA firm didn’t engage in helping us figure it out.”

Action:

During that time, the CEO got to know Bruce Benator, WBL’s managing partner, through a professional organization and called him for advice.

“WBL came in, went back through the years, made some adjustments, and came up with a solution in just a few months. They didn’t just take a superficial look and move on. They did a deeper dive into each element of our finances, identified problems and helped us solve them.”

Impact:

The CEO said that WBL’s thoroughness and depth of understanding was much greater than his previous accountant.

“With their input, we were able to finally reconcile our deposits and, in the process, uncover a significant amount of money that was ours to use. We were able to free that up for operations and we haven’t had a problem with it since thanks to the procedures WBL recommended.”

What this CEO appreciates most about working with WBL is that the firm is “more CFO-oriented rather than CPA-oriented.” 

“Any accounting firm can handle accounting transactions,” he said. “I see accounting as more of a tool for finance. WBL is principled and understands the best way to get things done. They are willing to challenge me when I have ideas I think are great that are, in fact, more likely hare-brained. That’s what I think growing companies like mine need, a strategic advisor who understands who we are and what we’re trying to do.”