Stephen Masterson CPA, CGMA
I’m Stephen Masterson, founder of SM + Co, here to talk about how and why I created this company. I spent 17 years moving up the ranks in the Big 4 and Global 7 accounting firms as a public accountant, an audit partner, and a consulting partner. I then made the move into industry, and spent the next 10 years in C-level positions across finance, operations, and risk management.
What I found upon my arrival in industry surprised me. While technically competent, the auditors and consultants working for me had little experience in solving industry-specific matters and advising on emerging issues. They were either auditors or auditors repurposed as consultants who may have been good at auditing, but not on advising. Alternatively, they were management professionals converted from industry who were good at executing the work, but not consulting.
When I first thought about founding SM + Co, I envisioned an entirely different kind of firm – one that served clients using seasoned professionals with first-hand experience from a range of targeted disciplines. I required these professionals to have at least 10 years’ experience from public accounting and at least 10 years as C-level executives (or equivalent) in industry. And, last but not least, they had to truly understand how accounting, corporate governance, finance, operations, regulatory compliance, technology, and treasury all intersected. These qualities define my core team, able and willing to get things done for clients – not just advise clients on what they "should" do.
My team members are people I wanted to work with in industry, and we are all ready to roll up our sleeves, dig into the details, and execute the work to the highest level.