President, Nozzle Nolen
“You can't go wrong with PCO Bookkeepers. To be able to compare yourself to everyone else in the industry, it makes so much sense to me. Why wouldn't you do it?"
West Palm Beach, Fla
$11.5 million in 2019 revenue
“You can’t go wrong with PCO Bookkeepers. To be able to compare yourself to everyone else in the industry, it makes so much sense to me. Why wouldn’t you do it?”
Making a move
Mickey Nolen has done nearly every job at Nozzle Nolen, the pest control firm his father, Ken Nolen, founded in 1951. He cleaned floors and restrooms in high school and worked weekends in college. He’s served as a service technician, office manager, data processing manager, branch manager, general manager and now president.
“I’ve worked almost every position in the company,” says Mickey. There is one department he never served in, though: finance and accounting. He always relied on the local accounting firm his father had used and a staff comptroller. A few years ago, when Nozzle Nolen’s comptroller was retiring, Mickey opted not to replace her and to change accounting firms.
“That position was the one I never did, and I didn’t have a replacement for that person,” he says. So Mickey decided to move to PCO Bookkeepers, a pest control industry-specific accounting and bookkeeping firm operated by Dan Gordon, whom he had met through various pest industry meetings and groups. It wasn’t an easy decision — Nozzle Nolen had been using the same local CPA for two generations — but Mickey is happy he made the move.
“Dan’s in there with us, helping us each step of the way,” Mickey says. “We’re always asking him to look at our numbers and tell us what part of the business we should focus on.” The best part is the advice is industry-specific. For example, one of the first questions Mickey asked PCO Bookkeepers was which key performance indicator his company should focus on. Dan’s recommendation? Gross margin.
“People who don’t know our industry wouldn’t know how to answer that question,” Mickey points out. “Our gross margin is gradually getting better, so he’s been a big help.” It’s also helpful that Dan and his team are familiar with all the pest management industry software programs, Mickey says. They have no trouble accessing the information they need from Nozzle Nolen’s software, which streamlines things for the company. PCO Bookkeepers does accounting, bookkeeping and bill pay for Nozzle Nolen. Like all PCO Bookkeepers clients, Mickey and his management team receive a monthly dashboard report that compares its financials with industry standard figures aggregated from all of Dan’s pest control clients.
“It’s great, because we can see how we compare with other companies in admin, material costs, labor – everything,” Mickey says. Historically he’s had access to data showing industry averages from his involvement in the Associated Pest Control Group, but he says those reports don’t compare as many firms as PCO Bookkeepers’ data does.
“I love the dashboards,” he says. “I look at them from a 20,000-foot point of view and my general manager looks at the small details.” For example, if G&A costs are high compared to the industry average, the GM works with PCO Bookkeepers to determine why and how to fix it.
Mickey also has turned to Dan for management consulting-type of information, such as compensation agreements and other areas of the business.
“Dan’s advice to me has been invaluable to our company in so many different ways,” Mickey says. “He’s somebody that has so much experience with so many different companies in our industry.”