President, Blue Sky Pest Control
“We’re just trying to get better, and they’re a great resource for us"
Blue Sky Pest Control
“There’s no sense in doing your own accounting if you can have it done by PCO Bookkeepers. By outsourcing it, it’s one less thing I have to manage. If you’re so busy operationally that you push back your reporting every month, that’s a slippery slope. When it’s more consistent, it allows you to provide information to your team in a timely, more actionable manner.”
Betting on Benchmarks
Nate Woolf is a CPA. He worked in mergers and acquisitions for a Big 4 accounting firm before buying into and operating Blue Sky Pest Control from the ground up.
Certainly, he knows how to do proper bookkeeping and he is capable of preparing financial statements. Still, in March 2018, he made a move he says he wishes he’d made years earlier. He signed on to be a PCO Bookkeepers client, primarily so he could tap into pest control industry benchmarking information he couldn’t get anywhere else.
“We’d seen (PCO Bookkeepers Managing Partner) Dan Gordon speak at different trade shows over the years and we were looking to have a better understanding of industry benchmarks,” Nate says.
PCO Bookkeepers, which works with more than 300 pest control companies across the U.S., provides accounting, bookkeeping and CFO services; tax preparation and planning; and accounts payable management for companies in the pest control industry. Along with these services, clients receive in-depth monthly benchmarking reports that compare them to other firms in pest control industry.
“When you go to PestWorld or these other events and people talk about financials or margins, it’s really hard to know if you’re comparing apples to apples,” Nate says. “You really aren’t, but with PCO Bookkeepers, you know you’re comparing apples to apples. As far as ‘Is my pricing where it should be?’ Or, ‘Do I have an operations problem or a pricing and an operations problem?’ Once you can see the information clearly in context, it helps you to not get lost in the sea of numbers and information. It tells the story a lot more clearly.”
It’s not just the PCO Bookkeepers benchmarking that’s valuable for Blue Sky, Nate quickly realized. He also saw a benefit in outsourcing the monthly financial statement reporting, which was previously handled in house.
“It’s one less thing our staff had to put together on a monthly basis,” he says. “As I look back, we should have done this years before. It’s just a better use of our time to have someone else do the reconciliations, bookkeeping and put the financials together. They do a better job faster than we did. No doubt.”
Beyond the benchmarking and monthly financial reporting, Nate appreciates the experience and expertise of the PCO Bookkeepers team. In fact, he says he’s learned a lot and made some changes based on their advice.
“We’ve made a few changes to how our general ledger is structured to make things clearer based on their recommendations,” he says, noting these changes allow him to look at gross and net margin to be able to compare them to the industry standards. “It made it really clear to me what we needed to do to get our margins more in line with the best in breed and to know how to improve them.”
Ultimately, Nate views PCO Bookkeepers as an invaluable resource for his firm rather than just a company that provides financial reporting.
“The reporting comes with a lot of experience and real-time information, and they’re very generous with their knowledge,” he says. “We’re just trying to get better, and they’re a great resource for us.”