January Member Spotlight – AFM CPAs and Advisors, LLC
What is your business industry category or specialty?
AFM CPAs and Advisors, LLC is a tech-oriented CPA and Advisory firm that provides integrated accounting, advisory, tax, bookkeeping and record-keeping services to local, national and global businesses to partner with them in the success and growth of their businesses. We also provide fractional controller and CFO services to companies that do not have the need, or cannot afford, to staff this in a full time role.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
As part of a team of cloud-based, remote staffed CPA’s, tax and advisory professionals we operate a “virtual firm” working closely with businesses and individuals in growing their businesses and becoming operationally and tax-efficient, with a heavy focus of planning. Bottom line is we help clients save money and time.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition? What makes you unique?
Our main competitors are global and national CPA firms. The definition of ’boutique’ is “a small company that offers highly specialized services or products”. Bringing a broad and deep range of experience, including decades of Big 4 public accounting experience, C-suite experience and business ownership, we offer a very personal relationship and experience with our clients, and like to look at ourselves as key partners and providers in their success and growth of their business and bottom lines.
How was the business started?
After building my career with over a decade with Deloitte and Ernst & Young in three countries, owning my own small businesses, and having been a senior financial executive with public, private, non-profit and start-up companies, I was inspired to create a modern day, tech-based, virtual and remote staffed firm. My original vision was to build this with senior level, seasoned personnel however I am very excited that we have now also attracted young professionals who are excited to work in this mode, and who are now adding a whole new energy and culture to the firm.
How many employees does the business have?
Currently we have a team of twelve and we are currently expanding.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
I would like to say that it took a whole lot of thought and planning, however that was not the case! After having a lot of fun during our four long winters with Arthur/Ernst & Young in Toronto, a vacancy for Senior Manager of Computer Audit opened up in the Atlanta office, and I was fortunate enough to be selected for that position to move down to the sunny South.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
My goal is growth. As a firm and as individuals. There are many businesses and individuals that we can assist, and there are many professionals that are looking for a “new way” to support and service their clients and want to work in a virtual/remote based mode. So we look to grow using this business model and also to effectively face the challenges and gifts that are present in this.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with Americans/Dutch?
Well, I was fortunate enough to be the Vice President of Finance for ORTEC in Atlanta, the US subsidiary of a Dutch software/logistics firm, for a number of years. I worked closely with a team of Dutch, American and other international personnel. I have enjoyed my many trips to the Netherlands for both business and personal reasons. I have had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands and to form business and personal relationships there and to learn about the Dutch, their interests, their passions and their culture. In 2010 I personally witnessed the pride and passion of the many in Orange as they supported their team in the FIFA World Cup. As an avid cyclist and tri-athlete I have also been inspired by the Dutch in their passion and commitment to cycling. I have been advised about and always admired the Dutch “attention to detail” and this is an important attribute and value that we share.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
My highest priority in life is being a faithful servant to the Lord Jesus Christ. After that, to my family, my wife Sue, my children Matt and Linsey, Christie and Adam and recently arrived on the scene…our granddaughter Ava Hope. On the special interest side, I have really enjoyed being a private pilot, running and triathlon and have completed five Ironman events and the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. I also enjoy touring on my BMW 1200RT motorcycle, particularly in the North Georgia and North Carolina mountains. I am currently researching a motorcycle tour in Europe.