Kevin P. Cairns
I was introduced to George H. Thom, III a few years ago by a senior partner in my former CPA firm whose business opinions I hold in high esteem. He told me that George was “good with numbers" and could assist professionals in the business world developing thorough estate plans and intricate business models. My immediate reaction was that I didn’t need George, and some “bridges” would have to be crossed in order to work with him.
Bridge One – Do I need George?
My immediate reaction was “no.” After all, I'm a CPA with 20 years of experience. I assist clients with estate plans and help them develop business models. And, I'm good with numbers.
I figured George was a Fuller Brush salesman who could do a few fancy things with spreadsheets. However, after an initial face to face meeting with George I became comfortable in choosing to cross the bridge. He was man of depth and substance and knew his stuff inside and out.
Bridge Two – Can I work with George?
George does not fit the mold of one who is “good with numbers.” While most analysts are quiet, reticent and understated, George possesses an unconventional exuberance and enthusiasm for his specialty. I had some reservations in bridging our styles.
I decided that the only way I could successfully cross the second bridge was to take a leap of faith and bring George into a client project. This was an intricate and extremely complex financial forecast model requiring us to provide necessary information for a business startup.
In quick summary, the second bridge became a yellow brick road.
George's modeling wizardry and my financial abilities worked well in tandem. George exceeded my expectations by 1000 percent. Not only was I completely comfortable with his work product, but my client was so pleased he actually hired him for further projects.
Flat out, George's fervor for his work can be summed up in one word: passion. He truly loves his work and loves sharing his abilities with those in need of his services. George is a true professional.
As one CPA to another, let me address some issues:
1. I don't need George, I have a strong firm!
Answer: Yes, you do. He will make your firm stronger by creating a profit center within your firm while you concentrate on generating more business.
2. I can use Excel and other spreadsheets as well as George.
Answer: No, you can’t. Compared to George, even the most astute business person will fall short of his ability to eyeball every angle a spreadsheet has to offer.
3. I can't afford George.
Answer: Yes you can. George will make you money.
Kevin P. Cairns is a CPA and is Senior Tax Manager in the firm of Shultz, Chaipel & Co. with offices in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida.
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© George H Thom lll 2007
© George H Thom lll 2007