Finance, Succession, Exit Strategies & Acquisitions

Finance

Our definition of business success means to achieve growing and sustainable profits. Without sustained profits, you’ll eventually run out of cash and be out of business.

Financial statements are important because they contain significant information about your company’s financial health. Financial statements help owners make informed decisions by highlighting which areas of the company provide the best ROI (return on investment).

With a solid understanding of the financial statements, construction company owners will know what’s going on and understand what actions to take. Knowing what the numbers represent and what they are telling you allows you to succeed on purpose.

At Ascent, we work with our clients to examine and interpret their company’s finances, often identifying opportunities for cost reductions and correcting accounting errors that lead to tax savings. Our intimate knowledge of construction company accounting and financing options helps our clients maximize their financial positions and provide stability so they can take advantage of growth opportunities, reinvest in the business to improve operations, or make the next key hiring decision.

Succession Planning

When you hear the word succession, do you think ‘retirement’? When we think about succession planning, we’re also thinking about key employees and positions at your company. What happens if your best project manager leaves, or your CFO?

Assessing employees to identify future candidates for leadership positions is not an easy task. While their performance in their current position is a relevant consideration, they may not be ready to take on more responsibility successfully. An assessment will identify skill and talent areas that need development to better prepare candidates for future leadership positions.

At Ascent, we bring proven, measurable strategies for identifying high-potential candidates. We base our assessment process on years of personal experience in management and executive roles at successful construction companies. Our consultants have direct experience managing construction projects, teams, divisions and companies, enabling us to evaluate both our client’s organization and employees for current and future leadership roles.

We develop Transition and Training Plans for key employees, preparing them to take on increasing levels of responsibility as the company continues to grow, or prepare them to assume leadership if the owner retires or sells the business.

Exit Strategies

Are you nearing retirement or thinking about selling your business? A business that doesn’t run without the owner isn’t worth much ‘on the street’. The best companies find ways to standardize, systematize and automate as many processes as possible.

Whether you’re considering closing your doors forever, selling your business, or handing it to your heirs, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have a solid exit strategy. A business exit strategy is a strategic plan to sell your ownership in a company to investors or another company. The exit strategy gives the owner a path for reducing or liquidating their stake in their company and potentially making a substantial profit.

At Ascent, we work with business owners to evaluate their current operations and financial position and build strategic exit plans to help maximize their reward for years of hard work and effort.

Acquisitions & Due Diligence

Due Diligence is an evaluation process used by an interested buyer to better understand the business being sold, and the risks in potentially becoming an owner of that business. The process is not only about checking financials and projections for the business, but also gaining a strong understanding of the business model: how the company conducts business, finds, wins and performs work for their customers, the talent of employees, and how the business competes against other businesses in that industry.

The buyer should know exactly what they are getting before they buy a construction company: what’s working, what will need to be fixed, improved or changed, and how easy or difficult will it be when they actually assume control of the company.

Similar to our Operational Assessments, Ascent’s Due Diligence process examines the business internally from all angles. We measure its internal performance against industry standards and best practices, uncover inefficiencies, evaluate employees and technologies, and report back to buyers with unbiased evaluations, expectations and recommendations.

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Rhonda Hudson

Construction Accountant

Rhonda has three decades of diverse Controller experience that spans various aspects of construction, including manufacturing, mechanical, electrical, flooring, and residential building contracting. Rhonda has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and has consistently demonstrated expertise in optimizing operational efficiencies, tracking financial performance, conducting annual audits, and building a process around the monthly close process.

In addition to her accounting work, Rhonda has a broad proficiency in a wide range of accounting software platforms and has a knack for adapting to new technologies swiftly. She has facilitated smooth transitions during software migrations and provided system training to numerous companies.

Bridgit Lawhead

Marketing Project Manager

Bridgit is a Marketing Project Manager, bringing a proven track record of managing accounts and marketing for diverse industries. Prior to joining Ascent Consulting, she was a Marketing Strategist for a small marketing agency that focused on transforming financial advisors’ businesses. Working with Marketing, Sales, and Upper Management to ensure strategic performance and management of tasks to appropriate team members, Bridgit helps manage the planning, development, design, execution, monitoring, and completion of all of our client marketing projects. 
 
Bridgit holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations from Valdosta State University. 

Kellie Barber

Office Manager

With a career spanning over 25 years in both the public and private sectors, Kellie stands as a seasoned professional and a valuable asset to our Ascent team. A dedicated, results-driven individual, Kellie brings a wealth of experience to the organization.

She is no stranger to the world of construction and has a comprehensive understanding from both the project management and engineering perspective.  Kellie has a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering excellence.

Nazia Hasnain

Project Coordinator

Nazia joined Ascent in the role of a project coordinator. Before joining Ascent, she served as a Web Project Coordinator.

With a rich background of 5 years of experience in the digital realm, she has been at the forefront of coordinating and managing web projects from concept to launch. With a blend of technical expertise and project management skills, she is dedicated to contributing to the success of diverse projects to ensure that projects not only meet but exceed expectations.

Gary Johnson

Consultant

Gary grew up working summers from 7th grade through graduating college for a large plumbing and process piping contractor in Mobile, AL. After graduating from Auburn University with a BS in Computer Engineering, Gary spent the next 16 years working in the industrial automation industry with The Foxboro Company and the ERP software solutions space with JD Edwards.  

The 7 years with JD Edwards were primarily focused on the construction business, providing ERP software solutions to both large general contractors and large homebuilders. In 2003 Gary acquired a small residential plumbing contracting business in Pace, FL.  Over the next 17 years, Gary grew this business to three physical locations and more than 130 employees, performing commercial and residential plumbing projects in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. 

In 2020, Gary sold the business and continued to work for the company on a consulting basis for 2 more years. The unusual background, including providing construction industry ERP software solutions as well as nearly 20 years acquiring, growing, operating and ultimately selling a large subcontracting business, gives Gary a unique perspective on the operations of a construction company. Gary holds master plumbing and gas fitter licenses in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Stephen Crawford

Project Coordinator

Stephen possesses nearly a decade of extensive financial, operational, and leadership expertise spanning diverse professional sectors, primarily centered on construction, development, and construction management. Before joining Ascent Consulting, he spent five years as a CPA at Ernst & Young. He then made significant contributions to an electrical construction company in an internal consulting capacity. Subsequently, he pursued multiple freelance roles, including a pivotal position as a Fractional Chief Transformation Officer (CTO).

Throughout his career, Stephen adeptly guided companies through various rapid growth phases, overseeing crucial financial matters, driving strategic growth initiatives, and managing back-office functions. He holds a BBA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from The University of Georgia.

Zachary Hickman

Project Coordinator

Zachary brings 10+ years of project management experience as an owners representative for clients and from the developer side of the business.

He began his career as an assistant project manager with a masonry subcontractor in Florida, before moving to Atlanta.

Daphene Koch

Consultant

Daphene’s construction experience began working in her family’s mechanical construction company.

Next, she worked for a large EPC firm on projects in Texas and Malaysia. With over 15 years of construction industry experience on commercial and industrial projects. Her roles have included project manager, safety manager, construction services leader, and pipefitters helper.

While a professor at Purdue University in the School of Construction Management, she worked as a consultant to help construction companies improve processes, project management, workforce development to name a few. She has a BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University and resides in Indiana.

Hakeem Slaughter

Marketing Coordinator

Hakeem is a brand designer with over 10 years of experience. He has been a freelancer for about 9 years working with many different clients and industries under the following subjects: brand design, graphic design, web design, and social media marketing.

 

During that time freelancing, he also worked at many companies as a graphic and web designer. As well as taught disciplines of Art and Design to students varying from middle school age to college. As mentioned, he has a “jack of all trades” range but is quite proficient at WordPress and uses that knowledge to design cutting edge websites!

 

Hakeem specializes in branding, design, and creativity and is bringing his talents, skills, and passion to take Ascent Consulting to a new level!

Aimee Collier

Project Coordinator

Aimee joins Ascent as a Project Coordinator supporting our Senior and Procore Consultants. With construction industry experience both in-field and back-of-house (ranging from project site coordination to contract management to software administration), she brings a holistic perspective of the day-to-day challenges faced by our clients. Her varied professional roles include software implementation and training, technical content creation and design, and coordinating across teams to bring projects to successful completion. She is excited to direct her passion for people and processes toward our customers.