Client Spotlight: Taking the Pressure Off

F&W Pest Control is a fourth-generation, family-run pest management business based in Massachusetts. With a family business come family dynamics, and with a pest control company come unique challenges that everyone doesn’t understand.

That’s why, when it came time for F&W Pest Control to change accountants about a decade ago, President Tom Gibbons and his brothers and co-owners, James and Mark, looked to PCO Bookkeepers.

F&W previously worked with a local accounting firm, but Tom says they didn’t seem to understand the pest control industry or family businesses.

“They’d show up at year-end and say, ‘We’re going to do your tax returns,’” he says. “They didn’t know about prepay customers or seasonality. When it was time to make a change, there was no question who we were going to go with.”

Tom brought in Dan Gordon, managing director of PCO Bookkeepers. He knew Dan from pest industry trade association meetings.

“We looked at Dan as not only our accounting firm but as our CFO, if you will,” he says. “He knew the issues we were facing and had good advice for us.”

Today, F&W is about three times the size it was when it first started working with Dan and his team, including Managing Partner Anthony Pepe.

“The customer service has been great,” Tom says. “We deal with Anthony Pepe a lot. He’s a great resource and has been really helpful.”

The company enlists PCO Bookkeepers in accounting, bookkeeping, business tax planning, personal tax planning and online bill pay services. Beyond that, Dan provides F&W advice based on his extensive experience in the pest control industry.

“For example, we were not spending enough on advertising,” Gibbons says. “He made recommendations on budgets and pointed us in the direction of who could help us. Those things are invaluable to us, and he knows where we should be as far as the benchmarks we should be hitting.”

Benchmarking data is key for F&W. Prior to working with Dan, Tom relied on periodic trade association reports that he says didn’t get into the “nitty gritty” details and recommendations he was looking for, which PCO Bookkeepers provides its clients.

This type of advice from Dan and his team has resulted in cost savings and fewer headaches for the F&W leadership.

For instance, PCO Bookkeepers encouraged Tom to enlist a professional employer organization to manage its human resources, employee benefits and payroll.

“We’re a small company that’s not big enough to have a full-time HR person, but we have all the compliance issues of a larger company,” Tom says. “Now the benefits are much more competitive. Dan pushed us toward that.”

That move, plus the services PCO Bookkeepers handles, even allowed F&W to forgo replacing a full-time bookkeeper when the previous person in the role moved out of state.

“It takes a lot of pressure off of us and is a cost savings for us,” Tom says.

F&W Pest Control

Wrentham, Mass.

President: Tom Gibbons

Size: 20-30 employees

Advice: “I recently had a good friend in the industry reach out and say, ‘My office manager isn’t working out and I may need to make a change. What would you recommend?’ I said, ‘Are you using Dan? You may not need to replace that person.’ I tell people about Dan whenever I get a chance.” —Tom Gibbons

Author: Marisa Palmieri Shugrue