Client Spotlight

Bruce T - April-1-bw
Bruce Tennenbaum

Owner, Arizona Pest Control

“An M&A Transaction that Maximized Value”

Business Background

COMPANY
Arizona Pest Control

HEADQUARTERS
Tucson, Ariz

OWNER
Bruce Tennenbaum

SIZE
40 Employees

Advice

“Everybody should outsource their accounting to somebody like Dan to get another set of eyes on it.”

An extra set of eyes

When Bruce Tennenbaum moved from New York to Arizona in 1979, little did he know his first job as the lone pest control technician for Arizona Chemical would turn into a 40-plus year career in the pest management industry. Today, Bruce is the owner of that company, now called Arizona Pest Control. He became a partner in 1981, buying out several investors along the way.

“We built it up one account at a time until the size we are today,” he says, noting the company has 40 employees. Bruce has always looked for ways to improve the business and make things run smoother. In 2010, when his company was about half the size it is today, he met Dan Gordon, CPA, at a pest industry conference, and decided to outsource his accounting to Dan’s firm, PCO Bookkeepers – and he hasn’t looked back.

“Man, does it save a lot of time and frustration,” he says. Prior to subcontracting his accounting function to PCO Bookkeepers, Bruce handled all his financials in-house. Creating a monthly profit and loss statement and balance sheet was a lengthy process for Bruce. At the time he had a silent partner who required detailed reporting.

“By me outsourcing the accounting and bookkeeping, I save hours of work and I get another set of eyes on it, so if there is something out of whack, the PCO team would bring that up to me,” Bruce says. For example, the company’s chemical costs have been out of line in the past. The PCO Bookkeepers team alerted Arizona Pest Control to an internal error, and they were able to quickly correct the problem. Because PCO Bookkeepers focuses on the pest management industry, it’s able to provide clients with benchmarking information to let them know how their costs line up with the industry averages.

Bruce previously benchmarked his company against itself in the prior year and against its peer group, but working with PCO Bookkeepers has allowed him to dial in his numbers more precisely and understand them better thanks to monthly data presented in charts and graphs.

“You can’t run a business without your numbers,” Bruce says. “I love the reports from PCO Bookkeepers. I’m looking at them monthly and sharing them with my management team.” Timing is also key for Arizona Pest Control. “We close the books out at the end of the month and within 10 days I have my P&L on my desk,” Bruce says. “I couldn’t get it done that quickly doing it myself. I need that information because I manage my company by the numbers.”

PCO Bookkeepers’ monthly accounting services flow seamlessly into tax season, allowing Arizona Pest Control to have the PCO Team prepare their tax returns in a timely, efficient manner, as well. “It makes it so organized to have it all in one place,” Bruce says. Bruce also has engaged PCO Bookkeepers’ sister firm, PCO M&A Specialists, when he bought out a partner in 2012. “Anything that has to do with buying or selling a business, I’d recommend Dan because he knows the numbers and what’s going on in the industry,” Bruce says. He regrets not having an adviser like Dan when buying out other partners earlier in his career.

“We didn’t really know how to value our business at that time,” he says. “With Dan I had a better idea of the value of the business.”

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