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Unless otherwise noted, David Wahby will be presenting each program. Please contact seminar sponsor for complete details and enrollment information.

   
Date / Location  Understanding Finance for the Professional Engineer

Dec 11-12, 2014 / Philadelphia, PA

January 22-23, 2015 / Seattle, WA

March 19-20, 2015 / Orlando, FL

 

 

 

 

Sponsored by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
1-800-548-2723
www.asce.org
Financial Management: http://www.asce.org/conted/seminars

Purpose and Background
It is not uncommon for engineering firm principals, project managers and technical staff to become confused and handcuffed when confronted with firm financial matters. After all, you were trained as an engineer, not as an accountant. This program is designed to peel away the layers of mystery and provide you with the necessary basics—specifically as they pertain to engineering firm management. You will return to your office energized by new found financial skills, increased confidence, and a set of simple, yet powerful, tools and procedures you will use day in and day out to understand and manage your firm.

Day One
We will explore the ins and outs of the income statement, company budgeting and the financial aspects of project management.

  • Learn the difference between cash-basis versus accrual-basis revenue and expense recognition methods (and when, and when not, to use each method).
  • Understand gross revenue, net service revenue, direct expenses and reimbursements. Learn how overhead is determined and how it applies to individual projects.
  • Come to grips with establishing a company budget. Become proficient in extracting and then using key financial measurements such as the effective multiplier, breakeven overhead rate, target billing multiplier and labor utilization percentage.
  • Find out how to create a no nonsense financial instrument dashboard for your firm that will allow you to efficiently, effectively and confidently follow and manage your practice.
  • Find out why traditional profit center accounting by department or office—all the rage at larger firms – is generally a bad idea. Discover new ways to increase cash flow—the lifeblood of any organization.

Day Two
We will delve into the intricacies of the balance sheet, concepts of firm valuation and ownership transition.

  • Learn how to extract and use key balance sheet indicators such as current ratio, debt to worth and working capital.
  • Become comfortable with accounting terms such as leverage, capitalization, off balance sheet financing and liquidity.
  • Discover how and when you should just say "no" to your bank when they require the shareholders to personally guarantee loans made to the company.
  • Examine various concepts for determining firm value and why a firm can be worth more or less depending on choices made years before you ever attempt to sell.
  • Learn why ownership transition is very much more than just moving dollars around—that’s the easy part.
  • Go through the pros and cons of an inside sale versus a sale to outsiders.
   
Date / Location  Financial Management: Cutting through the Clutter

Feb 19-20, 2015 / Elkhart Lk, WI

Sponsor - ACEC Wisconsin

Many engineering and architectural firm principals, senior staff and project managers are often confused and handcuffed by financial information. After all, they were trained as architects and designers, not accountants. This program is designed to show firm principals and managers, in a simple and straightforward way, what to really look for and, more importantly, how to put financial information to work to advance the performance of the organization.

In a clear and concise manner, this program explores critical financial operating skills all firm principals and project managers should possess, and demonstrates a number of simple, yet powerful, tools and procedures for using this enhanced knowledge. Many firms generate loads of financial data, but have difficulty putting that information productively to work. This session demonstrates how to cut through all the clutter and convert an engineering and architectural firm’s basic financial information into three simple tools, that when used together as a system, allow principals and project managers to not only understand financial information, but to use it day in and day out to more effectively manage the firm and individual projects with success and confidence.

Participants will master three crucial ratios for successful firm financial management. They will learn how to more precisely price contracts, set fees and improve cash flow. They will develop skills for setting and reacting to firm financial goals and objectives. Participants will leave the session with a set of new financial tools and procedures to implement immediately upon their return to their office.

  • Overhead
  • Utilization
  • Cash Flow
  • Revenue Recognition
  • Profit Management
  • Fee Setting
   
Date / Location 60-90 Minute Breakout Sessions

Call to book this event

SESSION ONE
Future Perfect—Ten Rules to Sustain Your Firm’s Success
What separates highly successful engineering firms from those who merely get by? What’s the difference between good and great? How will ongoing political, social and economic upheavals and turmoil change how you practice?

SESSION TWO
Revenue and Expenses—The Three Keys to Unlocking Financial Knowledge
Engineers are trained as engineers, not accountants. Many firms generate loads of monthly financial data, but have difficulty in putting that information to productive use at the firm. If you can’t use it, what’s the use in the time and expense to produce it?

SESSION THREE
Assets and Liabilities and Owner’s Equity—Understand Your Firm’s Value
Learn how to extract and use key balance sheet indicators such as current ratio, debt to worth and working capital. Become comfortable with accounting terms such as leverage, capitalization, off balance sheet financing and liquidity. Discover how and when you should just say "no" to your bank when they require the shareholders to personally guarantee loans made to the company.

SESSION FOUR
The Engaged Employee—Unleash Their Potential
In a high-touch service business such as ours the difference between your firm’s performance and the next, in the eyes of the client, often comes down to the attitude and mindset of the individual members of your firm doing the client’s work. How much energy and excitement does your staff exude when dealing with clients and even other employees? Do your people have a spark in their eye, or are they simply dragging themselves from one day to the next?

   
Date / Location  

TBA

Practice Management Cost and Operations
The ABC’s of firm financial management

Enhanced Human Resource Management
Best practices for developing and retaining the quality of staff needed for firm long term success

The Value of Your Practice
What might your firm be worth and how best to go about extracting that value
 

   
Date / Location Future Perfect— Ten Rules to Sustain Your Firm’s Success

TBA

What separates highly successful engineering firms from those who merely get by? What’s the difference between good and great? How will ongoing political, social and economic upheavals and turmoil change how your practice?

Join us as we explore the ten key attributes and characteristics all firms must develop in order to thrive in today’s profoundly changed, and tomorrow’s sure to change even more, world. Take home ideas and suggestions to help you avoid distractions and focus your firm’s management efforts to those activities and practices that truly make a positive difference.
 

   
Date / Location Energizing Your Staff – HR Management

TBA

In a high-touch service business such as ours the difference between your firm’s performance and the next, in the eyes of the client, often comes down to the attitude and mindset of the individual members of your firm doing the client’s work. How much energy and excitement does your staff exude when dealing with clients and even other employees? Do your people have a spark in their eye, or are they simply dragging themselves from one day to the next?

A key success factor for any professional service firm is the ability to attract, motivate and retain the best and brightest staff possible. To do this, it’s vitally important to understand what makes people tick and to then create an environment at your firm rich in opportunities to engage and motivate your staff.

People have all sorts of needs ranging from the most basic requirements for food, clothing, shelter and security; to higher order needs for self-fulfillment, substance and meaning in their lives. Join us as we explore practical management practices and tactics you can use at your firm to help your firm meet these requirements in a way that not only benefits your staff, but propels the firm toward achieving its goals as an organization. In the long-run, you simply cannot do one without the other.

In this fast paced session we will explore recognition and reward initiatives, the critical role of principals and managers in maintaining a highly motivated staff, key non-financial practices along with the how-to of developing an incentive compensation plan at your firm.
 

   
Date / Location Understanding & Automating Finance & Project Accounting Systems

TBA

David Wahby and Michael Ingardia, two veteran A-E industry consultants, have teamed together to offer a comprehensive 2-day seminar on financial and project accounting systems.

Understanding the business side of your firm is as important as understanding the people side. Firms must be profitable to invest in new technologies, pursue new opportunities, retain and attract employees, offer attractive benefits, and provide a reasonable return to owners. Firms that aren’t profitable don’t stay in business.

You will learn to:

  • read and understand the subtle messages contained in financial your income statement & balance sheets
  • calculate firm overhead and how it applies to project budgets • establish company budgets, goals and objectives
  • create a simple “financial dashboard” of key ratios to efficiently & confidently manage your practice
  • understand the “critical success factors” to better manage a design firm
  • deal better and more boldly with your bank
  • manage and improve your company’s cash flow
  • understand and enhance the ultimate value of your firm
  • estimate and budget design services projects, especially multi-phase & multi-discipline projects
  • understand design services agreements & contracting fee types
  • more quickly identify and invoice for project “Scope Creep”
  • better budget and manage subconsultants, including pay-when-paid
  • reduce or eliminate duplicate data entry due to “Islands of Automations”
  • use accounting applications to reduce professional liability premiums
  • use accounting applications to more accurately & efficiently invoice clients
  • understand the differences between the numerous “off-the-shelf accounting packages”
   
 
Wahby and Associates