President/CEO, Brock Lawn & Pest Control
"I view PCO Bookkeepers as a trusted partner that comes alongside me and helps me run my business."
Brock Lawn & Pest Control
Lynn Haven, Fla.
“Dan (Gordon) and I talked over the years, and it never seemed like the right time to switch (to PCO Bookkeepers for accounting services). Do it sooner than I did. You don’t want to wait for a big issue to come up to make the call.” —Tim Brock
The power of the right data at the right time
Brock Lawn & Pest Control, a family-owned company in the Florida panhandle, strives to be recognized by its customers, team members and experts in the industry as the best pest control and lawn care company in its area.
As part of this pursuit, President and CEO Tim Brock, a third-generation pest management professional and a former winner of the National Pest Management Association’s Young Entrepreneur Award, decided to upgrade the company’s approach to accounting, bookkeeping and tax preparation early last year.
Tim wanted to make the change from the desktop version of QuickBooks to QuickBooks Online. He also knew he needed to get his monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements in a timelier manner than he had been getting them.
“If you get reports six months after the fact, it’s hard to make decisions on how to run your business,” Tim says.
So in early 2020, Brock Lawn & Pest Control outsourced its accounting and tax preparation to PCO Bookkeepers, a firm that works with more than 300 pest control and lawn care companies across the U.S. to provide accounting, bookkeeping and CFO services; tax preparation and planning; and accounts payable management. PCO Bookkeepers also provides in-depth monthly benchmarking reports that compare clients to other firms in the industry.
It turned out to be good timing with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty it brought to business owners across the U.S. Tim had known PCO Bookkeepers Managing Member Dan Gordon for years from pest industry association events and mutual friends in the industry.
By becoming a client of PCO Bookkeepers, Brock Lawn & Pest has realized several benefits. For one, it has freed up some time for the company’s on-staff bookkeeper to do other things.
“We were at a point of having to hire someone else, so being able to outsource some of this stuff prevented us from hiring, which has been challenging over the last year or so,” Tim says.
Another benefit of PCO Bookkeepers’ services, Tim says, are the monthly benchmarking reports.
“Because they work with a lot of companies across the industry, they’re able to share that data and I can compare my business with other businesses around the country to see where I stand,” he says. “The only way to get that information before was to talk to people I know in the industry, but I certainly didn’t get monthly reports. And some of the other industry benchmarking information could be a year or two old, so a usable function of the (PCO Bookkeepers’) reports is knowing it’s almost real-time data.”
In particular, Tim says the company is putting the product cost benchmarking information to good use.
“Based on where those numbers are, we’ll make adjustments, whether it’s the type of products we’re using or staying on our suppliers to make sure we’re getting the best prices out there,” he says. “Some of the other cost areas we thought we were doing pretty good on, and the reports confirm that, which is nice to see, too.”
Whether it’s benchmarking data or regular financial reports, having timely, accurate information makes a big difference for a business owner, Tim says.
“It’s important to have the right data and on-time data to help you make decisions moving into the future,” he says.
Beyond the reports PCO Bookkeepers provides, Tim says the pest- and lawn-specific management consulting advice he’s gotten from the team has been helpful during 2020 and 2021.
For example, Tim says he’s run important decisions by PCO Bookkeepers, such as purchasing vehicles and equipment at the end of last year and analyzing the quantity of vehicles and equipment to purchase. Making those investments in late 2020 turned out to be a good move, considering the sluggish supply chain business owners are facing this year.
“Luckily, we had prepared and planned last fall and PCO Bookkeepers helped with that,” he says. They have an idea how our industry works, how our seasons work and how different times of the year have more pest pressures,” he says. “The better understanding they have, the better they can help me run my business. I view PCO Bookkeepers as not just another vendor I use but as a trusted partner that comes alongside me and helps me run my business.”