If you've spent enough time in a hospital, you may know which elevators are slow and whether the Jell-o is any good.
Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C
Shareholder, ASA, CBA, CFE, CFF, ABV
If you've spent enough time in a hospital, you may know which elevators are slow and whether the Jell-o is any good. Jim Lloyd can tell you what the whole building is worth. That can be particularly important in certain circumstances – like when another hospital wants to buy it and the two can’t agree on a price.
“What I do is I value companies,” he says. “I also help resolve a lot of business disputes. It's hard to put my job into an elevator speech, but that’s pretty close.”
In the non-elevator speech, Jim would tell you that he handles valuation and litigation support services, specializing in healthcare, for one of the Southeast’s largest firms. Being modest, he may leave out that Pershing Yoakley was ranked in the nation’s top 25 for healthcare management advice. Not only that, he holds enough credentials to make your head spin – CPA, ASA, CBA, CFE, CFF and ABV, which stands for “Accredited in Business Valuation.” (That last one is extra important, because Jim doesn’t just hold the ABV credential; he chairs the AICPA committee that awards it.) Plus he has published dozens of articles in industry publications. And given countless presentations on the details of valuation and financial analysis. And testified as an expert in federal, state and local courts and arbitration proceedings across the country.
So while you may prefer to draw your own conclusions on gelatin desserts, when it comes to this other stuff, trust Jim.
“Valuation has been really good for me,” he says. “People look to CPAs to do a lot of different things.”
That’s actually what go Jim into this practice – people looking to a CPA for something new. It started back when he was more on the tax side of accounting, after some time he spent as an auditor. In his tax business he was doing a lot of estate planning, which of course frequently involves determining the precise value of things. (You can also get into valuation by working on divorce cases, Jim says.) The company needed someone who could do more valuation work, and Jim was clearly good at it. “The situation was a combination of volunteering and getting volunteered for it,” he remembers. Luckily, with Jim’s attention to detail and drive to get things right, the fit was perfect.
Valuation, and particularly litigation support, isn’t for everyone, though. Jim knows colleagues who “ventured in, and right away said, ‘no more of that.’” Apparently some people don’t like having others try to poke holes in their work and prove them wrong. But it comes with the territory. “You can’t let it get under your skin,” Jim advises.
One advantage of being on the consulting side, he says, is the pay. “The salary is generally a little higher than what you might see in tax or audit,” he explains, especially if you’re at a place that really values this discipline. (Pershing Yoakley does – their consulting practice is bigger than audit and tax put together.)
Travel is another perk. “Mostly one-nighters,” reports Jim, and about three or four times per month. He says that’s pretty typical in the consulting business. It also results, necessarily, in regular changes of scenery. “We do a lot of projects,” he says. “People like it because it's not repetitive; it's not mundane. Someone on my staff may spend the first part of this week working on a surgery center evaluation, and work on a forensic accounting assignment or a divorce case by Thursday.”
So if you’re tack-sharp, thick-skinned, prone to wander and find the higher salary alluring, what next? Jim has a recommendation.
“Join a firm that provides valuation and litigation support services,” he says. “And try to get assigned to those projects.” You might even take a shot at working for Jim – his firm does seem to want recent grads over more experienced candidates.
“We've had better luck just hiring top students,” Jim says. “Getting them in here, showing them how we do things and giving them the right tools and resources and training.” Before you know it, they’re performing a needs analysis while modeling future hospital profits and determining the value of an outpatient care facility. And just like Jim, they know the value of a smart career choice.
8am: Head Start
I like to arrive early, before most others get into the office. That gives me a chance to plan out the week without any interruptions.
9am: Review Report - 2 hours
I get the day underway by going through a valuation report for a client. Have we taken everything into account? Have we properly accounted for everything we took into account? Every detail counts.
10am: Team Meeting - 2 hours
Before lunch, I get together and meet with one of my project teams to discus a litigation project. These are serious business – if I’m going to be on the stand during a trial, I want to make sure I know every detail of the case beforehand.
Grabbing a bite with a co-worker is always fun. It’s a good chance to get another perspective on what’s going on around the office.
1pm: Getting Back
By now in the day I’ve got a backlog of phone calls and emails to return – some perhaps even from over the weekend. It’s good to take the time to respond to each one thoughtfully.
2pm: Final Prep
My flight leaves this evening, and I’ve got to head to the airport for a client meeting at 3. The hour preceding is for making sure all parts of the presentation are flowing smoothly.
3pm: I'm Off
Out the door, off to the airport. I’ve got the check-in/security/boarding process down to a science, but it’s still a good idea to get there with plenty of time.
4pm: My Second Office
An airport terminal works in a pinch if you need to return phone calls and emails, which I usually do.