“I’m so grateful to [Fine Point Controller] Sarah Motiff and her team for rolling up their sleeves, digging into our complex financial systems and processes, and bringing ‘order out of the chaos.’ Sarah’s quiet confidence, tenacious spirit, and desire to help others has not only been refreshing, but extremely helpful.”
– Marc Maillefer, Lead Pastor
After losing a qualified CPA and Director of Finance, Door Creek Church turned to Fine Point Consulting to lend a helping hand. Fine Point staff standardized processes, streamlined the organization’s Chart of Accounts, and organized the various fund accounts. Many of the church’s accounting processes are now automated, creating efficiencies for staff and cleaner reporting overall. Church leaders have a greater understanding of the church’s finances through easy-to-read reports, ensuring better communication to the congregation at large.
Visit Fine Point Consulting for more information about the great tools and services we use to help organizations like Door Creek Church succeed.
Continuing our series on Leaders & Influencers, we talk with attorney Jane Clark, founding partner at Clark & Gotzler, a Madison-based law firm specializing in human resources and employment law, founded in November 2015. Clients range from start-up businesses to multi-state employers in a range of industries as well as the non-profit sector.
What was it that made you decide to found Clark & Gotzler?
My business partner, Mike Gotzler, and I have been working together for a number of years, and through a variety of interests and involvements with various businesses and organizations, we got the entrepreneurial bug. We also both have kids who are the same ages, with our oldest kids starting high school, so the time was right to try this so that our business could be established by the time they started college. Once you get that entrepreneurial bug, it’s very difficult to ignore!
We also felt that now more than any other time in recent memory, there’s just a really great culture of entrepreneurship in Madison. I’ve been active with the Doyenne Group [a local organization that promotes and develops women entrepreneurs] and have worked with start-ups in the past, and just to see how charged these clients are is really exciting. Mike and I felt that the services that we provide could fill a unique niche, and it gave us a reason to be excited about launching our firm.
What does Clark & Gotzler offer that other firms do not?
Mike and I have unique, respective backgrounds that really bring something different to the world of legal representation. We have private law firm experience, and have been in-house consumers of legal services and also advisors to clients. We’ve helped run organizations, and provided legal, managerial, executive, and advisory services. The other attorneys we’ve taken on since founding the firm also have this unique mix. Most law firm attorneys don’t have that in-house experience.
What’s the most important piece of legal advice you give to start-ups regarding human resources or employment law?
One of the most important pieces to have in place, especially as businesses are growing and starting to hire outside their group of friends or advisors, is an employee handbook. It’s important both for the leaders of the organization as well as the employees. This is especially true when businesses start expanding outside of the state, to have this road map for how to get things done, and to reflect your corporate and organizational culture. The employee handbook is not meant to be intimidating; it should be educational and reflect your voice as a company.
Any HR/employment-related books, blogs, or podcasts you recommend to new or established entrepreneurs?
There are so many resources out there, but not all of them are great. The best thing to do is to find one that reflects your voice and approach to business. Don’t jump on whatever happens to be hot at the moment or is produced by the biggest expert. If it doesn’t match your approach or culture, it won’t come across as credible.
What are you enjoying most in your work now?
I love being back advising clients directly. In my most recent job as a COO, I was more involved with the big picture and advising the staff members who were advising clients, so it’s great to be working with clients directly again. I also love the problem-solving aspect—I love helping clients resolve problems, whether they’re existing problems or ones that might be looming just around the corner.
Visit Fine Point Consulting for more information about the great tools and services we use to help businesses like Clark & Gotzler succeed.
Meet the newest Fine Point Consulting staff and learn a little bit about what makes them tick.
Tell us a bit about your role at Fine Point and what you like best about working there.
I started in January of 2016 as a staff accountant, so I work on accounts payable and receivable, reconciling statements, running payrolls, and that sort of thing. I’m actually working on completing my BS degree in Accounting at Edgewood College and finish up this Spring. I was looking for an internship-type position and a mutual connection who knew Luella told me about Fine Point. I really like the relaxed environment we have here and the ability to learn about a variety of companies that are in different stages of development. Plus the fact that we work largely with more casual start-ups means we have a casual atmosphere and dress code, too. (I have one co-worker who got teased by a client for wearing a suit!) Fine Point also has a really open environment for learning and sharing information.
(Fine Point Owner) Luella is a big reader. Any favorite books, blogs, or podcasts?
One podcast I’m enjoying at the moment is called Surprisingly Awesome. It’s two guys and one guy will come up with a topic that’s often considered boring (think adhesives, pigeons, broccoli), and over the course of an episode will try to convince the other guy that the topic is not boring by talking about the history and just random facts about the subject. I like random trivia, so I think it’s really interesting. The episode about concrete, for example, talked about the history of concrete and how it impacts our society, and how many fatalities from natural disasters are actually “concrete disasters” in that the cement or concrete used in construction is often not up to standards.
When you’re not working, you…
I do quite a bit of woodworking. My family has a Christmas tree farm, so I work on the farm and we mill all our own wood. I’ve made tables, cutting boards, and benches. I also like to garden, and I play a lot of sports, mostly pickup soccer and basketball games.
Visit Fine Point Consulting to learn how our knowledgeable staff can help your business succeed.
“Outsourcing accounting to Fine Point enabled us to centralize accounting functions, upgrade our financial expertise to a CPA level, and benefit from improved financial performance visibility for the management team.”
– Pat Wall, CEO, A-R Editions
A-R Editions publishes music and the research of musicologists for university libraries and major collections around the globe. In 1998, they founded sister company, MusicNotes.com, the world’s largest e-commerce sheet music retailer and publisher. But when it came to reporting on their financials and understanding what those reports meant, A-R Editions was a little out of tune. Fine Point Consulting stepped in to help A-R Editions automate its monthly financials, and educated managers on how to read and interpret those monthly reports to better run their business. It’s a cost-effective solution that has enabled the company to make sound financial decisions and plan for the future. Music to our ears!
Visit Fine Point Consulting for more information about the great tools and services we use to help businesses like A-R Editions succeed.
“We have been particularly pleased with Fine Point’s diligence, technical competence, and responsiveness as we made the shift from cash to accrual-based accounting. Their involvement and continued work has allowed FHG to focus and refine our financial processes with greater speed and efficiency as we rapidly expand our business.”
– Charlie Sloan, Interim CFO, Forward Health Group
Forward Health Group helps health care providers improve outcomes via population health management thru its PopulationManager data visualization and analytics. Fine Point Consulting began working with Forward Health in late 2015 to serve most of their accounting processes, including payroll, receivables, payables, and reconciling. As a partner in helping them grow their business, Fine Point also helped convert their accounting from a cash basis to the more-common accrual basis, and guided the development of accrual reports for board members and investors. The shift to accrual accounting not only provides Forward Health with a more accurate picture of their company’s financial health, but also allows them to respond quickly company revenue and expense trends and prepare for the future, whatever it may bring.
Visit Fine Point Consulting for more information about the great tools and services we use to help businesses like Forward Health Group succeed.