CPA Firm Andrews Consulting Seeks to Add Value to Clients' Businesses

Andrews Consulting is a CPA firm designed to support the owners of privately held businesses in their financial management and reporting needs. Along with the gamut of traditional services - accounting, tax planning and return preparation, payroll-the firm uses its financial expertise to play a larger role for its clients, with additional strength in business consulting and wealth management.

"We know taxes and numbers, but our real desire is to add value to the client's business," remarks Forrest (Frosty) Andrews, President of the firm.

As an example, he notes that "taxes are a burden to businesses and need to be proactively managed. Poor tax planning can ruin a viable and otherwise healthy company."

Unfortunately, the opposite is not true: a good tax plan does not build a successful company. Minimizing taxes is just one piece of very big puzzle. "For a business to grow and achieve the dreams of the owner, the focus needs to be on much bigger issues, and that's what sets us apart from the typical accounting firm," Andrews observes.

His mission is to work with clients to help determine what they need to make the business grow. One of these vehicles is the firm's specialized Financial and Strategic Management Program (FSM), which addresses 10 topics that are common to every business.

"Business owners are typically experts in their field, but, especially when starting out, they do not necessarily have all the business skills they need," he explains. Like a car whose wheels are out of alignment, they are pulled in many different directions - by suppliers, customers, the market, the business environment. Unless the owner is aware and deliberate about how to deal with specific issues, all that pressure can pull the company apart.

Instead, FSM teaches a proactive approach to company management by taking "an intensive look at the business environment to identify and realign the key strategic areas of the business so they are working together."

"It's not rocket science," Andrews continues, noting that several FSM topics address basic business skills. "For some clients, it's a reminder, while for others it's a revelation. Often, it's information they already know, but, coupled with the numbers and models we supply, they see how to make their business more efficient. When you learn to manage your key profit and working capital drivers effectively, it can make a big difference."

Following his own advice, Andrews has applied sound operating principles to his own practice. Based in Brentwood, he opened a Hacienda office two years ago to add a Tri-Valley presence. His embrace of technology has facilitated the creation of new service offerings. In 2012, the firm will introduce a back-office support system, accessible through its online client center, for companies that want to outsource their accounting department but still have 24/7 access to their books and records.

"The principles that make a business succeed are still the same," he observes, "but technology has changed the way services are delivered, and that creates more opportunity to be efficient and prosper."

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