Consultant Spotlight: Carl Osborn

Meet one of our Assistant Controllers, Carl Osborn! Carl has been a valuable part of Kranz Consulting since May. His years of experience and passion for finance has allowed Kranz and our clients to not only succeed, but thrive. Get to know him better below!

Hometown: Maidenhead, England

Alma Mater: London School of Economics

Favorite things to do outside of the office: I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, drinking coffee, making craft cocktails and playing music.

How has your background impacted your experience as a consultant? I’ve spent most of my career working for small tech companies and have worn several hats. This gives me tremendous insight into the needs and challenges faced by our Emerging Growth clients.

What’s a typical workday like for you? No workday is like any other. Our clients have a variety of needs, and I thrive on being able to support them as needed.

As part of a team that works 100% virtually, what technology or collaboration tools do you use to make your work life easier? Being successful in a virtual environment requires excellent communication. I rely heavily on Microsoft Teams and Slack, but the foundation for me is ensuring that my calendar is up to date so that colleagues know when they can reach me.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day? It’s important to me that my work makes an impact. It’s very easy in the accounting world to feel like our work is hidden behind the scenes, but in reality, Businesses cannot function (at least not in the long run) without sound accounting practices. I enjoy knowing that my work helps ensure that businesses are able to thrive.

What kind of work have you been doing? Since arriving at Kranz, I’ve primarily focused on monthly closes, quarterly filings, historical accounting cleanup and purchase accounting.

Linking data to finance and accounting, explain environments that have had lack of reporting infrastructure/inefficiencies and how have you brought organization and solutions-implementation:  Great entrepreneurs and strategic leaders are rarely also great administrators. I’ve often found that companies that are on the verge of major growth or a significant M&A event have significant deficiencies with their accounting and financial reporting. When resources are scarce, most CEOs would prefer to hire a new developer or salesperson over an accountant so it’s natural that the accounting is neglected. In these situations, there are usually some easy wins, such as implementing an AP system (e.g., to automate the approval process and to ensure vendors are paid timely. Or implementing proper GAAP accounting which can sometimes be a heavy lift but serves as a great foundation for an acquisition or future IPO.

What’s your process? When walking into a new company or client, the first and most important thing is to understand the priorities of the client and why I’ve been brought in. In some cases there is a very specific driver such as an upcoming audit or an acquisition event, but it’s also often the case that the client knows that they need accounting help but aren’t sure exactly what their real deficiencies or areas of risk are. Either way, at this early stage I get to put on my detective hat and familiarize myself with the existing processes (or lack thereof) which often includes a deep dive into the General Ledger to better understand the underlying transactions. Once the areas of strength and weakness have been identified, I’m able to determine the appropriate solutions and then present them to management so that a plan can be developed with special attention paid to the big impact items and easy wins.