The Hoffman Group’s Donald N. Hoffman on the Merger With EisnerAmper, Inflation, and Outsourced Accounting Services

The Hoffman Group’s Donald N. Hoffman on the Merger With EisnerAmper, Inflation, and Outsourced Accounting Services

Interview by Ricardo EstevesRicardo Esteves
Published: December 02, 2022
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Who is Donald N. Hoffman?

As the President of The Prosperity Consulting Group since 2000, Donald N. Hoffman has gained extensive experience as a financial advisor and business consultant, providing comprehensive wealth management solutions. He has been leading The Hoffman Group as a Managing Partner since 2017. He also played a key role in the company’s merger with EisnerAmper.

EisnerAmper has been on a merger roll as of late, adding Lindsay & Brownell, The Hoffman Group and Lurie into its ranks. This is a clear expansion, not only geographically into different areas of the United States, but also in terms of services and resources.

But what are these companies getting from the merger, aside of the obvious financial gains?

We reached out to Donald N. Hoffman, managing partner at The Hoffmann Group and now also partner at EisnerAmper, to get his thoughts about the merger, expanding the company’s services and how companies should be handling this difficult inflation period.

Spotlight: The Hoffman Group joined EisnerAmper last October. Can you tell us how this business decision will benefit both companies?

Donald N. Hoffman: This merger allows EisnerAmper to expand into the DC/MD/VA areas and enhance EisnerAmper service offerings through The Hoffman Group's expertise in construction, government contracting, manufacturing and distribution.

The merger will allow The Hoffman Group to offer its clients a more comprehensive array of services, new areas of expertise and access to more in-depth resources.

Being part of a larger organization will also provide more significant career development and growth opportunities for all our colleagues.

When was the idea of the merger realized and what was the reaction to EisnerAmper's proposition?

We started having general discussions about nine months ago while working together on some second opinions on various matters. The more we talked, the more we felt there was a natural fit in business philosophy, culture, caring about our people and providing excellent client service.

In my conversations with various EisnerAmper staff over the past few months, it immediately became apparent that the firm cares deeply for its employees. Everyone goes the extra mile to help one another get the best results for their clients.

I see a team mentality — whenever I reached out for assistance, the partners and associates would drop what they were doing to help.

I am also impressed by the firm's focus on family-owned businesses, an uncommon concentration for a firm of its size.

Can you tell us about your personal experience going through the merger and some of the key points you might have learned from the process?

I've done many mergers and acquisitions for clients, so I'm not sure I learned anything new. The critical point is ensuring that whatever you do in a merger will be great for your staff, their future and your clients.

The company you decide to merge with should share your core values, mission and culture.

It would be best if you spoke with your team to determine that they are comfortable with the company you will be merging with and the concepts surrounding the merger.

What are your expectations for The Hoffman Group moving forward?

I'm looking forward to enhancing our depth in staffing in this very challenging labor market and expanding our service offerings in areas in which we are not currently specializing.

I'm excited that we can offer more in-house services under the EisnerAmper brand while we grow the DC/MD/VA marketplace.

I'm also looking forward to the more significant career development opportunities we will offer our colleagues. They'll be able to expand their careers both professionally and geographically, with offices all over the U.S.

Our staff will be able to specialize in new areas and can tailor their careers to fit their interests and strengths.

The acquisition was finalized during a particularly challenging global inflation. What influence did it have on the course of the acquisition process?

It had no impact on the acquisition. Our firm had the best year in its history before the acquisition.

During challenging times, our clients need our assistance more than ever. We were moving forward with the merger from a position of strength.

With a market so volatile due to inflation, many businesses are facing financial challenges. Given your expertise, what can businesses do to keep themselves afloat?

Businesses need to monitor their pricing to be sure that as costs go up, they pass those costs on to customers. They also need to give staff members appropriate raises to keep up with the ever-changing environment.

If they do not do these two critical items, they'll find themselves having severe financial pain that could result in a severe downturn or even the demise of their business.

It's also imperative to understand your customers. You should track customer orders, backlog if it applies, and examine trends in your customer base.

For example, are your customers increasing the volume of units they're buying from you rather than just increasing the dollar amount they spend? Carefully look at trends to help you evaluate conversations you need to have with your customers and what potential cost-cutting you may need to do internally.

EisnerAmper logo in a white background
[Source: EisnerAmper]

Despite this inflation period, some businesses have been able to thrive akin to The Hoffman Group. What are the trends and opportunities you observed that companies should know?

Customers and clients understand that costs have gone up everywhere. The businesses that are thriving are typically manufacturers, distributors and companies that were rapidly able to pass cost increases onto their customers.

As a business owner, you must pass these costs on to ensure you survive periods of rapid inflation, like we're experiencing now.

Businesses need to have systems and processes in place to monitor not only their labor costs, but all costs related to their operations to have open communications with their customers in a timely manner, especially during an inflationary period.

At which point should businesses resort to outsourcing their accounting services and what criteria should businesses look for in an agency partner?

Outsourced accounting services are divided into two categories. The first is general bookkeeping and accounting, which are done on a daily and monthly basis and include producing financial statements, paying bills, billing clients and collecting accounts receivable.

The second type is outsourced CFO services, which looks at significant planning opportunities for businesses, growth of the business, operating efficiency and so forth. The latter could be outsourced when companies cannot find or afford the proper CFO for their business because these individuals’ compensation are quite expensive.

Outsourcing the former would again be a situation where you cannot find the appropriate internal personnel and you're comfortable paying a minimal monthly cost to fulfill the need.

When choosing an outsourced accounting agency, people should look for years of experience, references and expertise in their industry. You must also ensure they have consistent personnel to work on your outsourced project.

You should clearly understand how and when communication should take place and understand the internal controls and approval process for transactions.

 

Thank you for your time, Donald N. Hoffman! Best of luck to you and The Hoffman Group!

Keep up with The Hoffman Group on Linkedin and read about other successful businesses here.

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