Distinctive Home Improvements:

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When twin brothers Randy and Rick Ruzanski started their remodeling firm 12 years ago, one of the two of them or Randy's fiancée took care of all the paperwork.

April 01, 2003

 

Rick and Randy Ruzanski

 

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When twin brothers Randy and Rick Ruzanski started their remodeling firm 12 years ago, one of the two of them or Randy's fiancée took care of all the paperwork. Now, Distinctive Home Improvements employs 20 people full time, eight of them in the office.

While still in the field on a daily basis, the Ruzanskis started outsourcing financial tasks to a certified public accountant who was also a neighbor. The man worked at an accounting firm and helped them on a freelance basis. "We were working for wages and didn't know much about the business," says Randy Ruzanski. "We weren't getting any consulting advice." Once they realized the company needed more help with strategy and operations, the Ruzanskis looked for a new accountant. They found Steve Kolber of Friedman, Goldberg, Mintz & Kallergis LLC while remodeling his house.

"Our gut feeling was that he trusted us to build his project, and we did that, and we executed. We felt that in return we were not going to be shortchanged," says Randy. "At the point we were at, we needed to make a drastic change. There was no investigative work that we did." During six or seven years of working with Distinctive Home Improvements, FGMK has helped the company structure individual client job files, create profit-and-loss statements and build work-in-progress reports.

Using an outside firm for accounting help and business consulting has helped Distinctive Home Improvements grow and stabilize to the point that the Ruzanskis are pulling back on its services. Office manager Kathy Mocaby now understands how to create WIP and P&L reports and wants to be able to run them at any time. Formal meetings twice a year with FGMK plus frequent e-mails and phone calls keep the partnership running smoothly.

"Like any relationship, you almost wish they would tell you more. If we keep asking, they usually keep telling us," says Randy. "Of course, they charge you for that."

The expense, he says, continues to be worthwhile. "Because we outsourced this, it's one less responsibility that I have to deal with, and I can concentrate on running my business."

To help Mocaby the same way, the company outsourced payroll about three years ago to a local office of the national firm Paychex.

"We call in the hours, and they make the checks, and they’re messengered over. Kathy still needs to reconcile it," Randy says. Paychex offers employees a direct deposit option and facilitates 401(k) deductions. The firm also creates quarterly reports and annual W-2 reports for Distinctive Home Improvements.

"It was just a no-brainer for us," says Randy. "It's much easier for us to pay somebody else to do that. Otherwise, I probably would have had to get someone else to do that. Right now I have an office manager who is able to handle all the work."

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