“With ProCFO Partners we’re looking at our services, looking at our margins, which is something we’ve never done before. It’s a relief to have that partner.”
President & CEO
Craig Buckstein is the President and CEO of Geneva Worldwide, a global leader in language and translation solutions. They provide interpretation, translation and transcription services in over 200 different languages for their clients and partners worldwide. And they’ve been doing it for over 118 years.
Founded in 1903 as an employment staffing firm, Craig is the third generation to direct the company, and it’s been under his stewardship that the focus on language services has taken deeper root.
“I think I’ve been in my 21 year internship that just kind of graduated,” Buckstein says of his tenure at the company. Growing up amidst the company he found the roles and responsibilities where he could offer the most value to the company – sometimes intentionally, sometimes by accident. Little projects launched at Geneva became major initiatives. “Internship turned CEO is the story of this,” Craig laughs.
Why Geneva Worldwide Engaged a Part-Time CFO
With an international client and employee contingent, and pressed with increasingly sophisticated and competitive transcription technologies, Geneva Worldwide has some unique financial functions. Like a lot of companies, to sort it all out, they’ve tried it all.
“I had a full-time CFO, I’ve had a few different versions of full-time CFOs, I’ve had assistant controllers and controllers,” Buckstein shares. “At the CFO level you’re paying a ridiculous amount of money. And I felt that the actual return was not there. I wanted the skill set of a CFO, but I didn’t need the full time attention.”
He reached out to his network and was introduced to Nelson Tepfer, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at ProCFO Partners. “I didn’t know this model existed,” Craig acknowledges. “I needed the right people to ask the right questions and follow up at the right times.”
The Value of ProCFO Partners to Geneva Worldwide
“With ProCFO Partners and with Mike, we’re looking into 2022, by division, by profitability, by each one of our subdivisions,” Allan reflects. “Where are we investing in the company that we shouldn’t be? That’s less profitable for us? And where are we investing in the company, that we should be investing a lot more?”
“Mike has helped us make those adjustments. We’re getting ahead, and we’re building out multi year projections, giving us the ability to really take the business to a totally different level.”
“Don’t wait. Just do it.”
When asked what advice he would give other business leaders slow to adopt a part-time CFO or considering if a relationship with ProCFO Partners could benefit them, Buckstein is to the point. “Just do it. You’re wasting time, you’re wasting money, you’re wasting effort. You’ve got someone who will professionally vet good, qualified people for you in a place that makes them happy.”
It’s a good illustration of the cost of not – how sometimes an effort to do-it-yourself, or “keep it in house”, or simply avoid costs and investments can actually stall growth and become more expensive in the long run. “Give it a try,” Craig advises. “Have some conversations. Don’t wait, just do it. You’re going to go out there and throw a dart. Leave it to the professionals.”