Donnie Shelton doesn’t mince words. When talking about his company’s accounting practices prior to hiring PCO Bookkeepers about a decade ago he says, “Our books were kind of a mess.”
At the time Triangle Pest Control was doing about $1 million in annual revenue, Shelton says.
“We were struggling to keep things clean,” he says. His company was working with a local bookkeeper who lacked experience with pest control operators (PCOs).
“He did what he thought was right, but it wasn’t what we needed,” Shelton says. ““It was kind of like ‘garbage in, garbage out.’”
Eventually, Shelton realized he needed an accountant with experience in the pest control industry, but he also knew he couldn’t afford to hire one in-house, so he turned to Dan Gordon, CPA, and his firm, PCO Bookkeepers.
Shelton was familiar with Gordon, former CFO of Viking Pest Control and PCO himself, from an educational CD course Gordon and several colleagues used to sell. By the content of the course, Shelton was confident Gordon knew his stuff, and the outsourcing model would allow him to tap Gordon’s expertise without hiring a full-time CFO with industry experience.
“In terms of what you’re paying for with their outsourcing model – you’re not going to get that kind of experience elsewhere,” Shelton says.
Today, Triangle Pest Control is a $6 million firm headquartered in Holly Springs, N.C., with five additional branches in North Carolina and Colorado.
A primary benefit of working with PCO Bookkeepers, Shelton says, is having an industry-specific, standardized profit & loss statement. He likes to be able to speak with other pest management professionals about critical operating ratios and know that he is speaking the same language as them.
“The ratios don’t mean anything unless your P&L is standardized,” Shelton says. “It’s nice because I knew PCO Bookkeepers worked with a lot of pest control companies, so they would set up our chart of accounts properly.”
Having a properly structured P&L, an accurate chart of accounts and good accounting systems has helped Triangle move in the direction of becoming a data-driven company over the last decade.
“Those things are necessary to track your numbers and know what’s going on in your businesses,” Shelton says. “A lot of business owners don’t have good numbers and so they make bad decisions based on their emotions. I don’t pray to the data gods, but data does help me make good decision over the long term.”
Triangle Pest Control
Holly Springs, N.C.
Owner: Donnie Shelton
Size: Approximately $6 million
Best advice: “One nugget of advice from Dan and his team would more than pay for their services three times over,” Shelton says. “One idea can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. To me, it’s kind of a no brainer to work with PCO Bookkeepers.”