Building a Foundation for Success
As an original founding partner at MCG, Jeanette Musacchio’s job description fundamentally entails needing to see the big picture. That outlook extends not only to the company’s employees who she oversees, but also the clients who look to MCG for effective resolution of immediate accounting challenges and forward-thinking strategies integral to their future growth.
The process behind attaining real success can take multiple paths and timelines. Critter Control, a wildlife control service company based in Dallas-Fort Worth, approached MCG several years ago with a need for general tax work. The franchise’s owner, Mark Shetterly, also required some basic accounting cleanup. This initial engagement was the start of a relationship that has grown in scope as Critter Control’s needs and requirements have changed.
“At the very beginning, they needed their books and records cleaned up and tax return preparation — typically that’s the type of services that need to be done initially,” Musacchio said. “It is also typical of smaller businesses where we clean up their records and then transition into either monthly or quarterly reviews of their in-house bookkeeper or internal accounting staff.”
Critter Control eventually hired an internal controller to handle its financials while phasing out the dependence on MCG. Hiring the right person became an ongoing issue for the company, and with high turnover in the accounting department came a call to MCG to fix the issues and implement a more solid foundation for financial tracking and reporting.
“We went away for a while, then they came back to us when their accounting became unreliable and they realized that they couldn’t completely handle it in-house,” Musacchio said. “We’re currently working with them to clean up their books and records through year end. In the process of this specific engagement, we are also working with them on restructuring their debt. They need to have clean financial information in order to arrange for alternate financing with a new banking relationship.
“We’ve built a culture around very experienced and professional people here.” – Jeanette Musacchio
“This project will also help them once they hire a new internal controller — we will help them train that person to maintain accurate financials and records going forward. We’ll be involved in training the new controller, and depending on their experience and level, we typically start off reviewing and working with that person monthly and then eventually moving to quarterly depending on how the monthly reviews go.”
As with Critter Control, MCG’s full-circle approach with operating companies is strategic in planning for current and future opportunities. Conducting an assessment and implementing cleanup typically ends one engagement while positioning MCG and the client to transition easily into a consulting piece that addresses a number of different contingencies.
“For smaller operating businesses, as they grow and the volume of transactions increases, we eventually transition our work to their internal accounting team,” Musacchio said. “Eventually they hire a CFO or an experienced controller and they won’t need our services from our recurring accounting group. They’ll continue with us as a client with tax preparation and consulting, including other types of consulting services for complex transactions or strategic planning. When they have an exit down the road, our transaction services team can assist with their transaction. Once they go through a liquidity event, they will transition into our high net worth tax group and family office services, which includes personal financial statement preparation and back-office support that aligns well with the high net worth tax group.
“It’s important as we work with our small business clients to not only review and discuss historical and real-time financial information, but to also include forecasting and budgeting discussions to assist them with making management decisions to help grow their businesses. This is where I feel we make a big difference with the recurring accounting services we are providing.”
Musacchio’s career in public accounting has been highlighted by an overriding desire to position clients for prolonged success. Once she switched from prior controller positions into an accounting services job with a firm managed by fellow MCG founding partner Tom Montgomery, she knew that she had found her destined path — and an avenue to help others attain their goals.
“When I moved from industry to public accounting, I knew it was exactly where I wanted to be,” she said. “I love the diversity of challenges that come with public accounting. I’m constantly challenged, meeting new people and learning new things. It doesn’t feel like a job to me.
“It’s also really gratifying to work with employees that come in at the staff or senior level and advance into manager, senior manager, principal and eventually partner. We’ve built a culture around very experienced and professional people here. It’s a great place for someone to come and have a career track or path to partner very easily. The partners are truly involved with the employees and the clients — we have a very open-door policy.”
With what is the busiest time of year for MCG on the business development side in Q1 of 2017, opportunities will be there to onboard new clients that initially need help filing their tax return. From there, consultations can move in multiple directions to determine a company’s goals and how MCG can help them get there.
“When I meet someone new, the wheels start turning around how I can help that person in their business through our relationships and how I can make introductions to people who might end up being customers of theirs, or somebody that might be a better fit for them on the vendor, benefit or financing sides,” Musacchio said. “These introductions provide huge value to our clients and are one of the main reasons we have grown so quickly over the years.
“For the financial advisory services group, I feel it’s extremely impactful to the companies that we work with — the work that we’re doing impacts their business, how they grow their business and how they become successful. This is very gratifying and purposeful.”