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The CPA Sharpshooter

This week begins my favorite of all our many firm activities, the GJM Pistol Team and our entry in the Winter Pistol League.

Ever since I was 12 and got my first air rifle (similar to the Daisy Red Ryder pictured here) and my Dad started teaching me the basics of marksmanship, I have loved target shooting. Back then, it was usually shooting tin cans off the backyard fence. One time I used a beer bottle instead, but this makes a terrible mess and is not recommended. Eventually I learned a little bit about real target shooting, got a couple of pistols, and now I’m the Equipment Manager and general Sherpa for the firm’s own pistol team.

We’ve been doing this for a while now – this will be the eighth year we’ve fielded a team, and interest and participation in it continue to grow. Team Audit has won the Grand Interdepartmental Championship four times out of the previous seven seasons (including last year), though co-captain Hannah Nowak hails from the Tax group, and has won the individual championship three of the four years she’s participated. Last year 28 different shooters joined us at least once, and by the end of the season we had to turn people away for lack of available roster spots.

This got me to thinking, why I and so many accountants enjoy target shooting, and why some of us are pretty good at it. In shooting and in accounting there is a mindset of being able to break a problem down into its components. For a seemingly simple process (point and squeeze!), target shooting has a lot of little details to it. “Go and shoot bullseyes” is a bit overbroad as coaching goes, but helping a new shooter see that there are separate components of a good shot – sight picture, grip, breath, trigger control, consistency, and finally physical conditioning – is a lot like helping a client understand why operations cash flow isn’t what it could be. The golfers at the firm probably feel the same way about breaking down the parts of their swing – but if you’ve ever seen me golf, all I can say is, sorry you had to see that, and I do better with the shooting at saltines than I do swinging at the little white ball. 

One of the concepts we like to emphasize in client discussions is continuous improvement – there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be, and it’s usually not possible to bridge that gap in a single stride. So what do we do? Instead of stressing because of the distance to travel, we break the process into more manageable pieces, tackle them in succession, and strive to be making continuous improvements that will get us there eventually. I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be as a shooter, but in the past year I’ve worked on my grip – mainly just how hard to squeeze the pistol, and doing it consistently shot after shot. My breathing and trigger control are finally reasonably good, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this season goes now that I’ve (hopefully) improved my grip consistency as well. Continuous improvement!

We all excel in different ways and I appreciate the fact that the firm supports our participation in a sport that’s a little outside the norm for an accounting firm. If we’re honest I probably enjoy the coaching these days more than the shooting itself, harking back to when my Dad taught me the basics of marksmanship when I was 12. So if your son or daughter starts plinking tin cans or crafts a homemade slingshot, just know that it’s harder to shoot out your eye than the movies would have you believe, and that you may have a future accountant on your hands!

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Ken Sagesse contributed this blog. Ken is a partner in the Assurance Department who joined Gilmore Jasion Mahler in 2006. A member of the firm’s Construction and Real Estate Specialist Team, Ken’s area of expertise is affordable housing, though he works with many clients across the construction industry. He is a member of the National Leased Housing Association.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Is it Time to Outsource Your Business Accounting?

Running a business isn’t for sissies. You bring in good people to manage the office, handle human resources and oversee the financials for you, but in the end, you know you’re ultimately responsible.

Did you double check that last invoice that went out to your best customer? What’s the balance on your business loan? How much cash is available right now? 

What if you could stop fretting over questions like that and know someone’s got your back around the clock? That’s the basic concept behind Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Outsourced Accounting Services. We’ll call it the best of both worlds: a team of specialists is on the job, and you get to see the numbers anytime you want right on your cell phone.

Your team is there to answer questions, advise you on business decisions, if desired, and yes, to handle the books.

Advances in technology are changing the way many businesses handle the business manager role at the office. That includes many healthcare entities, including physician and dental practices. Many are embracing the technology, letting a specialized team handle the work, and turning their attention to growth strategy and other priorities. Outsourced accounting can also be an excellent fit for nonprofit organizations struggling to fill positions with knowledgeable, capable individuals.

Picture this: real time financial key performance indicators you can see any time of the day or night on your cell phone or other device. More importantly, a team of professionals working with you who not only look at today’s numbers, but help you plan and strategize for the future.

Some key benefits to outsourced accounting with Gilmore Jasion Mahler:

  1. Stop struggling to fill that internal business manager role (seems like there’s always an opening, doesn’t it?).
  2. Real time data at your fingertips around the clock whether you’re in the office or the sidelines of your daughter’s soccer game.
  3. A team consisting of accounting specialists, including a GJM partner, to handle the business finances and also guide and advise on other important financial decisions as needed.
  4. Dashboard view of your financials via leading edge accounting software platform Sage/Intacct.

Interested in learning more about Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Outsourced Accounting Services? Read up on our team's capabilities. You can also contact our Accounting Specialist Team to start the conversation.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Judy Anderson, CPA contributed this blog. Judy leads the GJM Outsourced Accounting Specialist Team. With over 20 years of experience in public accounting and private industry, Judy works with clients across a number of industries, including healthcare, nonprofit, and professional services.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.  

GJM Staff Announcements

Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) has announced some key promotions and new staff members that strengthen the Firm and its leadership team. The promotions are effective January 1, 2019.

Judy Anderson Gilmore Jasion MahlerJudy Anderson and Matt Cavanagh are promoted to partner. Anderson, a Toledo native and graduate of The University of Toledo has been with the firm for 11 years. She has over twenty years of experience in public accounting and in the healthcare industry. A member of Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s healthcare and outsourced accounting group, she works with many of the Firm’s healthcare clients providing practice management and consulting services.  

Matt Cavanagh Gilmore Jasion MahlerCavanagh, a Bowling Green native and BGSU graduate, joined Gilmore Jasion Mahler in November of 2005. Also a member of the Firm’s healthcare team, Matt’s focus is healthcare services. His expertise is in ambulatory surgery centers, outsourced accounting, practice management and modeling.

“Judy and Matt are already valued members of our leadership team,” says Gilmore Jasion Mahler Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore. ”Their hard work and dedication have strengthened our healthcare specialty and the Firm as a whole. I’m thrilled to see them both reach partner level.”

Nikki Clement Gilmore Jasion MahlerThe Firm also announced some other key promotions. Partner Nikki Clement has been named managing partner of Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Findlay office. Partner Mike Brough will lead growth efforts for the Findlay office. Nikki Clement's focus is the utilities industry. She specializes in accounting for regulated utilities.

Mike Brough Gilmore Jasion MahlerMike Brough works across a number of industries including manufacturing & distribution, government, and nonprofit operations.

Steve Miller is being promoted to senior manager. Both Ryan Avery and Ryan Emerson are promoted to supervisor and Nick Jackson is promoted to senior associate.

Earlier in the year, Diane Stretten and Mary Jo Pitzen were promoted to senior manager. Andrea Jennex moved up to supervisor in the GJM Findlay office. Ben Lochbihler was promoted to manager and Corey Selhorst, Lauren Grana and Clay Barron were all promoted to senior associate.

The Firm also brought on well over a dozen new employees in 2018 to further strengthen GJM’s administrative team and client service. They include Elijah Blackburn, Alyssa Essert, Alexandria Frances, Courtney Haas, Nicole Hartranft, Jennifer Henning, Dana Herr, Thomas Keyser, Jessica Knepper, Dylon Lause, Wendy Long, Tim Merkel, Madeline Mielcarek, Caleb Neeper, Joe Osentoski, Tina Rochowiak and Logan Sager.

“I couldn’t be happier with the staff we have in place headed into 2019,” says Gilmore. “When you have great people, great things happen. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish at a team.”

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Find Your Passion, Join a Nonprofit Board

You know in a movie when the viewer knows that fate is playing a part to bring the main character to that place they’re meant to be, but the main character just thinks it’s by chance? That’s basically how I ended up on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo (DSAGT).

I’ve always felt drawn to the Down Syndrome community, ever since I was young. As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun following the stories of families who have children with Down Syndrome on social media. I also read a book last summer, The Lucky Few, which tells a story of adopting two children with Down Syndrome. I was so inspired by the story but had no idea I would be given the opportunity to join that community a few months later.

A few days before the EPIC Toledo Board Fair, I saw a LinkedIn post from one of our Gilmore Jasion Mahler partners who shared that DSAGT was looking for board members. I read the article thinking how perfect a fit that would be for me, but I assumed I wasn’t far enough along in my career yet to join a board. I also didn’t think I had the right qualifications to join a board, nor did I think a board would want someone my age (WRONG! They value a diverse board, including young board members).

A few days later I went to the board fair, primarily in support of a co-worker who was looking to join a board. I was surprised to see the DSAGT booth since they weren’t on the list, however, I went over and met the Executive Director. We immediately connected over the passion we shared. I told her a little about myself and she gave me some information about the organization. I went home, did some research, and attended their next board meeting. I was voted on to the board at that first meeting!

Joining DSAGT has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was scared and doubtful of my abilities, but in a short amount of time, I discovered that this was a community where judgement did not exist. The little bit of accounting and non-profit knowledge I could contribute to the board was helpful, but more importantly, my passion for the cause was exactly what was required to be a great board member. I was also worried about the time commitment but again, I found out that the time spent with DSAGT was well worth it. When work and life gets to be too stressful, just an hour with the Down Syndrome community brings me back to life and fills up my soul again.

Serving as a board member hasn’t just helped me personally, but it’s also helped me professionally. I’m learning about fundraising, board governance, and programming. I’m also learning how to budget, and strategize on ways to increase revenue. All of these skills help me better serve my nonprofit clients through understanding the challenges and goals they’re facing every day.

I highly recommend serving on a board for a local nonprofit. It’s a great way to learn, meet new people, and make a difference in the community. And, you might just find that the board and its members have a bigger effect on you, than you do on them. You’ll know when you’ve picked the right one. If you’re interested in joining a board, I suggest attending the EPIC Toledo Non-Profit Board Fair (Now named the Non-Profit Palooza). You can check out LinkedIn, or simply talk to leadership at your business. They have great connections and may know a board that would be a great fit for you!

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Associate Krista Huff contributed this blog. Krista is a senior associate with over three years of public accounting experience with a specialization in the nonprofit industry. In addition to her work on the board for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo, Krista is involved in many community service projects through GJM.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Welcome to The Gilmore Jasion Mahler Family, Tina!

Tina Rochowiak recently joined Gilmore Jasion Mahler as an Accounting Services Associate. Here’s a chance to get to know her a bit better.

Describe your role at GJM. My role at GJM as an Accounting Services Associate will be to perform various accounting support functions and to work on implementing an accounts payable automation capability for clients that will help GJM to further grow its outsourced accounting services. 

When did you join the firm? My employment with GJM started on August 28, 2018.

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I chose the accounting industry because of the variety of tasks and levels it consists of, making the opportunities wide open to keep learning.

What do you like best about accounting? What can I say, I like numbers, so accounting has always been a perfect fit! Since there are never two instances that are the same, accounting can be challenging at times and always changing.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? Yes, I was born and raised in Toledo and currently reside in Point Place.

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? What I like most about living in Northwest Ohio is that it is very family oriented with a lot of hometown and regional spirit. It also has the best accesses to many waterways that include Lake Erie and the Maumee River as well as many Metro Parks to choose from. 

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience? For the last 23 years I have worked in the accounting department of a steel company working in varying levels of accounting practicing many as a Billing/Claims Specialist, Accounts Receivable and Payable entry, as well as General Ledger and Fixed Asset input. I currently hold a Bachelor’s in Business Management and am always looking for more education to keep me updated on current trends and look forward to being able to do just that with GJM.

How do you like to spend your free time? My free time is usually spent being outside somewhere either around water, going for walks, or just doing yard work. Also, since I am such a huge supporter of downtown Toledo I love spending time there attending games, going to restaurants, or concerts in the parks.   

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? I have participated in the Mobile Meals Chili Cook-off for the last 7 years. This day-long event showcases many chili enthusiasts’ recipes in a team capacity with all donations collected by each team before and on the day of the event going directly to Mobile Meals. Each team is recognized for their participation on different criteria and my team consistently holds 2nd place for judges choice award in overall taste and 2nd place for highest dollars in donations collected since we started participating, but, of course, every year we strive to be 1st place and we always say, next year we will!

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I just graduated from the Engage Toledo Ambassador Academy with the City of Toledo. It was a 10-week class of 22 participants with each week being introduced to a different city department reviewing how they are run, how they budget the city dollars allocated to them, the rules and regulations of each department, and most importantly how citizens interact with them in regard to issues needing to be addressed. The end result upon graduation is for each graduate to promote Engage Toledo and be a voice to inform the citizens of Toledo.

Anything else you’d like to add? I am excited about my new employment with GJM and eager to expand my knowledge that is going to benefit both GJM and myself.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.