BUSINESS PLANNING with PROGRESSIVE MANAGEMENT INC by Howard Lipset, CPAAn interview with Howard Lipset

I was recently interviewed for Richard Noll’s Legal Newsletter. My interview is part of a four-page newsletter that he mails out, and I was very honored to be interviewed. I would like to share it with you.

What benefits does Progressive Management provide to its clients?

We live in a world where package bookkeeping software is everywhere. Understanding that too many people think they are saving money by buying and using those programs, I submit that they are setting themselves up for a disaster. Consider the time and energy required to learn those programs. Consider that there is still only 24 hours in a day. Consider that most small business owners can only write checks with those programs, thereby immediately eliminating many of the desired results; good records from which financial decisions can be made and cost efficiencies. No one gets rich saving overhead. By saving overhead, they are stealing the time needed to make the business succeed.

What Progressive Management provides its clients is a knowledge of their business, developing a personal relationship with them; the experience to put it all together to see when problems are occurring; the ability to guide them towards corrections; and the desire to protect them from the predators in the Cyber world as well as the business world.

At what point in the development of a company should it retain your services?

DAY ONE. Why do most new businesses fail in the first year? Because of the inadequacies of their financial planning! Generally, they are undercapitalized. Their view is that they will be an overnight success. One highly-successful start up that I worked with from the beginning had zero gross income for the first 12 months. It took that long to put the pieces in place, and even then, they did not turn a profit until 18 months later. But, we had planned for this. They had the necessary capital in place to survive. And they could stick with their plan. Ultimately, they sold the business with a multi-million dollar valuation.

Should a company use your services if they already have a bookkeeper and accountant that they work with during the year?

No, and yes. If the business owner has relationships that they trust and that they are comfortable with, they have no reason to switch. Obviously, if they have a bookkeeper, we would be in direct conflict with them. On the other hand, we have worked well in the past with accounting firms who want to do audits and financial statements.

What is the most important advice you want to impart upon potential clients?

Establish a plan and execute it. If things are not working, find out what is wrong and adjust the plan accordingly. Rely on the professionals you have hired, and do not withhold information from them. You went into business with a vision. In order to succeed, that vision requires you to look way down the road. But every now and then, check to make sure your feet are planted firmly in the ground.


Howard Lipset, CPAHoward Lipset, CPA
Progressive Management, Inc.
(516) 883-2962

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