Welcome, Trades!

Are the trades the next growth market for accountants? At least two companies think so. Massachusetts’ Rodman & Rodman have launched a new trades division, while Foundation Software has unveiled a new patent-pending CPA Audit/Review Module for their FOUNDATION(R) for Windows(R) construction accounting system.

Rodman & Rodman, P.C., a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) and business services firm in Newton, Massachusetts, has created a new Trades Division in response to a growing client-base of mid-sized trade businesses. The new division will provide plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical service firms with traditional accounting and tax services, as well as much needed business services.

“As accountants, we already know all about a client’s sales, expenses, cash flow, and so on. So, we take it one step further, do a complete analysis and simply provide a blueprint of what they need to do to make it better,” explains Larry Rice, CPA, Rodman & Rodman’s Director of Strategic Consulting.

The firm coaches clients in the trades on how to win new and “ideal” customers and improve customer satisfaction and retention. Trade clients also learn to improve business processes, including cash flow management, strategy development and easy methods for incorporating internal controls.

“Our clients are very good at what they do, but where they sometimes fall short is in the business and accounting aspects,” Rice states. “Most tradesmen need better systems, along with some business coaching. By establishing performance measures and focusing on business development, we’re essentially able to help folks in the trades operate more efficiently and grow.”

The CPA Audit/Review Module, introduced by Foundation Software, at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA’s) Construction Conference in early December, is the only construction add-on program dedicated exclusively to the audit/review process. The patent-pending module features a centralized “CPA Console” which launches a “Reports” screen, allowing CPAs to select from a list of reports created using the PPC Guides for Accounting and Auditing. Also available with the module, is the FOUNDATION for Windows’ CPA Audit/Review Guide, which includes specific instruction on extracting information for the audit/review process. The Guide was co-authored and edited by CPAs specializing in construction.

“After speaking with thousands of contractors and their CPA firms over the years, a common theme was noted, the need for a quick and accurate method to gather the necessary information easily from a client’s accounting software,” Fred Ode, CEO/Chairman of Foundation Software, says.

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