(Even though most websites are filled with self-promotion.)
Every page on this website strives hard to show you why your time on this site brings great and powerful benefits to you and your business. However, some readers want to know why we think we’re worthy of your time. So, we added this page for those who asked.
Our Brag sheet
For readers who want to know…
If we’ve made the case and you’re ready to receive the boundless benefits that we promise, then click here to return to our main page. The rest of this page is about me. Yes, it’s about our history, our achievements, and our experience. But, be warned, it’s about me.
So, if you want to know more about how we got to where we are, READ ON.
Our journey would chill the bones of most accountants and
Make entrepreneurs as excited
As a kid opening presents on Christmas morning
So, read on if you dare…
Richard A Melancon, CPA (yes, that’s me, not the company) received a Degree in Management in 1980 only twenty years after the internet began (i.e., 20 A.I.). I then went on to finish the MBA and then eventually completed the degree in Accounting.
An MBA before the Accounting degree? Isn’t that Backwards?
Well, yes, if you want to learn how to follow the rules that someone else creates without adding your own creative solutions to the process. However, what I found is that I could not have planned a better training path (although it was really not designed that way).
The Management degree is all about corporate goals.
The Management courses from my first degree focused on the big picture so that exceptions are resolved early before they turn into problems. I learned that good managers create a process, train good staff, and then get out of the way of progress until the market requires an adjustment.
The MBA is all about the financial health of the business.
Have any questions about loans, selling stock on the public market, or keeping cash in the business? The MBA is all about the money. Not the products, not the service, not the marketing. Just “Show Me the Money” concepts.
Accounting was a real eye-opener.
From the first day to the last day, I felt like a fish out of water in my accounting classes. You see, I worked hard and earned high grades, but I kept asking questions that seemed strange to my professors. Here are some of my questions and their typical answers. You be the judge.
(Q) How do you find good employees?
(A) Pay them a salary and charge it to an expense, not Cost of Goods Sold.
(Q) How do you select high quality inventory products?
(A) Always use a Purchase Order to keep a paper trail of the transaction.
(Q) How do you decide between in-house delivery trucks or common carrier delivery?
(A) Freight is billed on the customer invoice and charged to Cost of Goods Sold, so it has minimal impact on Gross Margin.
As you can see, timing is everything. I asked good questions at the wrong time, so there was confusion and frustration. What a tremendous life lesson!
Starting My Own Firm
In 1985, only 25 Years After-the-Internet (25 A.I.) I started my accounting career at Peat Marwick, Mitchell, CPAs, one of the Big Eight accounting firms worldwide (What can I say, a lot happened when the new century arrived.) The Big Eight is now the Big 4 and they have all changed names. From this firm (now KPMG), I learned about:
- Accounting Rules
- Internal Controls
- Computer Security
- Operational Workflow
- Desktop Computers
- Accounting Software
- Inventory Control
- And much, much more
This was an amazing experience. I worked with people who graduated at the top of their class who could quote the tax code from memory. They knew accounting rules that I had never thought about. We worked with the full range of companies:
- New start-ups
- Companies that wanted to sell to other countries
- Foreign currency transactions, and
- Companies that relied on government contracts to stay in business
This was real “life at the top” of industry and it gave me a bird’s eye view that I couldn’t have experienced in any other job. I worked with industry leaders living the high life, and I saw what happens when business follows the wrong track.
In 1989, I started my own Firm of Richard A Melancon, APAC in New Orleans, Louisiana. Yes, my briefcase is a bit worn and faded by crossing the century barrier. However, as the owner of my own business, I learned lessons that I could not have discovered as an employee. I learned:
- Payroll must be paid on time
- Rent comes every month, without fail
- Clients want the service they were promised
- Cash does not arrive just because an invoice was mailed to the client
Over the years, I learned many other lessons from clients, continuing professional education courses (CPAs must complete at least 40 hours of training each year), and just plain living life. I learned that age can be an ally or limitation. I chose the former, so I celebrate the anniversary of my 40th birthday each year so I can look forward to many more years of success and learning. The lessons keep coming, so we may as well learn from the experience.
For example, in 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma showed the entire Gulf Coast that:
- We are all at risk
- Preparation and planning must be action words, not brochure copy
- If you are true to your word, customers will help you stay in business
Hurricane Sandy repeated these lessons for the Eastern Seaboard. (The amazing part is that the city-wide challenges following Sandy for New Yorkers and Jersey Shore folks were the same challenges that Gulf Coast residents felt after the 2005 hurricanes.)
The first lesson is: When you lose the community infrastructure, there is a long recovery road, and only the stable businesses survive.
The second lesson is: Your business is one piece of a larger picture. You rely on others, and you succeed only when your community supports your efforts.
The third lesson is: People who lack integrity will fill a temporary void, but companies with integrity will survive throughout the long-term.
The fourth lesson is: Your Company survives or dies based on your efforts and the attitudes of your staff. Run a good shop, and every one can prosper. Run a shoddy office, and no amount of community support will make you successful.
In 2009, I joined the National Speaker’s Association. This group of professional speakers showed me that there are people outside of the accounting profession who also value integrity, knowledge, and sharing. They instilled in me that:
Professional Speakers are in the business of sharing knowledge
In a way that helps others improve their lives.
This philosophy matched my own experience as a CPA because my entire career has been focused on helping other business owners maximize their business potential. So today, I bring to the marketplace a new concept called Integrity-Based Leadership to use in building and running a business. This concept brings together all of the experience, skills, observations, and lessons that I have learned since last century so that you can benefit from my observations.
To end this long and self-serving list of accomplishments, here is my story in a nutshell.
Hire me, and you get all of the following in one package.
- Richard A Melancon. Not a first year trainee, not a junior partner, and definitely not a manager out to build a name for myself by asking you to take a risk only my recommendations. You will decide and take action based on solid reasons and good judgment
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA). My license is my statement of qualifications for financial analysis. In addition, CPAs are trained to think clearly, to build strategies, and to focus on measureable outcomes
- Certified Global Management Accountant (CGMA) shows my understanding of the daily management issues for an international company or a company that is ready to “Go Global”
- Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) is all about technology. Have questions about computer security, internet access risk, new software, disaster recovery planning? This license shows that I can speak to the techies, computer vendors, and web developers for you or with you
- Professional Member of the National Speakers Association (Member, NSA) so that when I meet your staff, they get engaging, meaningful, impactful information that is useful immediately. Your meetings should never be boring, and the right Speaker sets the pace
- Author of Three Books which shows my commitment to my words, actions, and recommendations. If I’m not ready for clients like you to judge my ideas, then I don’t deserve to be your trusted advisor
- Consultant to other CPAs because my ideas are different than their experience
- Diverse thinking built on common values to help you create innovation and great ideas
- Seminar Leader & Course Writer for the New Orleans Small Business Development Center and TruFund Financial Services so that I stay alert to the questions and the thinking of new business owners. One accounting professor stated her surprise at my ability to present a two-hour accounting seminar without using the words “Debit or Credit.” (That’s when I knew that I could communicate my concepts in a way that business owners could learn)
- Confidential Advisor to 400+ business owners, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from San Diego to Baltimore and many frequent flyer miles in between. You can share your thoughts, fears and excitement without my judgment, envy, or arrogance. However, once you ask, you will get my opinion, my insight, and my recommendations
If you’re ready to take your company to the next level, click here to learn more about why you should hire us.