I have found that working with Cogent Analytics to be a very informative and rewarding experience. They have helped in a number ways to ensure my business will be poised for sale when that time comes.
Initially I was skeptical as the Project Director (PD) assigned to us kept saying, ‘Where are your financials?’ ‘You have to use ‘GAAP’! At times I would enjoy mocking the PD by saying this back to him, and he took it in without becoming upset with me. Yet now after 4 weeks or so, they have shown me what specifically they were talking about and I see the benefit of having the spreadsheets and the GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles).
With one item in particular having to do with cost analysis of a particular job that was recently canceled, they saved me over $400,000 that I would have had to pay back to a customer. This was achieved with the PD helping to realize the actual costs of labor and overhead utilized on that particular job. They often refer to the use of ‘tools’, which are complicated Excel spreadsheets with equations embedded in them. One of these tools was used to determine the actual cost and a realized profit margin mentioned above. In the past I would have used a % markup which is somewhat lower than a pure profit%.
With respect to moving me off of my Excel sheets that I have been using for over 25 years they have helped me begin the transition to Quick Books and have provided me with access to one of their QB consultants for on line assistance. Although I still need to find someone local to take over the online QB updates, this is a very good beginning.
Another very good improvement the Cogent PD did for us was to help solve a number of communication issues with individuals whose normal method of communicating with each other was not professional and at times (myself included) and could be characterized as unprofessional and caustic. These issues have been corrected or at least we are moving in the right direction, by their introducing the use of a ‘Record of Conversation’ document combined with a calmer approach to communicating with coworkers, switching to more of a coaching mentality.
If I had hired them 4 years ago I would have been able to retire by now.
President, Vortex Systems LLC