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CLIENT’S INTERVIEW

(Advice to Colleagues)

 

To help us evaluate how we can help a prospective client we must learn as much relevant information about the company as quickly as possible. We expect to earn the opportunity to serve as CFO/Controller. We need to identify relevant situations which warrant our participation. The client should expect us to be capable of beginning to work with almost no apparent learning curve. We expect to represent the owner’s point-of-view and be his/her ally. Our job should be to enable him/her to run the business without feeling blindfolded. We must understand his/her vision. We pledge loyalty to the owner. We will not work for a competitor of a client. We pledge to help the client improve the quality of existing relationships with other professionals that the owner wants to keep.

CONTEXT ----- COMPLUS Professional Controllers serve clients (owners of "for-profit" businesses in the Chicagoland area - McHenry to Merrillville) which are too big for him/her to run with only a checkbook in the back pocket and too small to hire one of us full-time (generally 20-100 workers or $2-10 million sales).

 

 

Why did you agree to this meeting?

 

 

CLOSE (as soon as the opportunity arises)

"May we begin (the project) on (date) ."

 

 

Tell me more about your business.

Your vision

Product/service

Target market

Competitive advantage

Obstacles/frustrations

"Plant tour" (Why did you choose these tools?)

Number of workers

Transaction volumes

(sales, cash receipts, purchases, cash disbursements, inventory)

Other professional relationships

 

How would you use a budget if you had one?

 

How would you use cash flow projection, if available?

 

What management information do you now have?

Is it accurate?

Is it timely?

Is it useful?

 

What management information would you like to have? When?

 

How can we fit some "quality (discussion) time" into our busy schedules? …… (lunch-?)

 

With whom (else) can management information be shared?

 

If the "owner" seems really frustrated by status quo ----

If (management information) showed (indicator) ,

What you be willing to do about it?

What changes will be prohibited?

What restrictions on my actions will be imposed?

(e.g., access to building, access to personnel, access to records, tools to use)

 

If the "owner" seems price-conscious ----

What kind of car do you expect your CFO should drive?

(How much do you think "good accounting" should cost?)

 

 

We’re good, and we’re worth what we’re paid.

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