“There’s always a story…
“… And the numbers don’t lie!”
A conversation with Patty Lawrence
Patty bursts out laughing as she says it, and it’s easy to see why. She is explaining how she injects fun and humor into accounting for her clients, which at first seems rather improbable.
“I add some fun to it, because, honestly, accounting? But here’s the thing: when I look at the books, there’s always a story. And the numbers don’t lie! I reveal the story to my clients so they are back in control and know exactly what to do – and why.”
At first it seems like a magic trick. How does Patty actually do it? She does not just calculate the numbers… she gets them to reveal what they have to say, or, as she puts it —
“I torture numbers!”
Like an engineer running a machine at max load, Patty puts the financials through all kinds of demanding tests.
“I’m a data guru; I just love spreadsheets,” she notes with a laugh. With each new metric she tests, a piece of the story about the company’s performance falls into place.
The results seem like magic.
“I’ve gotten used to clients gasping and asking, ‘But how did you know that?’ when I tell them what I’ve discovered.” Then she walks them step-by-step through their data and tells the story as she reads it from the data.
It’s the story that makes the numbers interesting. It’s the story that helps owners understand and feel in control of their finances and results. And it’s a story that Patty tells with utter frankness – even when it is a hard truth.
“I’m a stickler for honesty and fairness. One of my clients had some guys on the payroll who weren’t doing any work. One was the very first guy he’d hired. But there weren’t any jobs coming in, so this employee had nothing to do. He’s a laborer, so he’s only pulling money in when he’s at a job site actually working.
“My client was trying to be fair by keeping old-timers on the payroll, but I asked him, ‘Is this fair to you? Do you really want to dip into your line of credit to pay people who aren’t doing anything?’ That clarity made it easier for him to act in the best interest of the whole organization.”
It’s times like that when you know: Patty’s got your back.
She’s fiercely protective of her clients’ interests, even when it means challenging them.
So where does this superpower come from?
You can find clues in her past, all the way back in her high school summer, working in her father’s business.
Patty’s father had a well-drilling business. He was also a dowser, someone who locates groundwater with a divining rod. He placed the rod in Patty’s hands… she looked for water… and… nothing. She had to work her magic someplace else – and that place was in her father’s office.
Everywhere she looked, Patty found a problem to be solved. Soon, though still in high school, she was creating the procedures manuals for follow-up and filing, and her father and his administrative assistant actually used them, too!
It was Classic Patty: focusing her creativity on finding permanent solutions to complex problems.
From her first accounting class in high school, Patty knew she’d found the professional outlet for her problem-solving skills. She graduated with a B.S. in Accounting, and, as the Director of Finance at a $2 billion company, she led the team that integrated a newly-acquired business unit – including the implementation of SAP in 7 manufacturing locations (6 domestic and 1 international) in just over 2 months.
Today, together with her partners at TurboExecs, Patty works with results-oriented small and medium business owners who are struggling with financial chaos, such as out-of-control growth, sudden terrifying decline in revenues or profits, or people problems that are having a negative impact on the business.
She reveals the “story behind the numbers” with financial tools and systems that quickly skyrocket productivity and remove barriers to growth and profitability. As a result, her clients typically increase the bottom line by at least 15% and feel in control of their finances and results.
Patty holds a B.Sc. in accounting and earned her Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation in 1991. She is a graduate of Leadership Lancaster and has served on the Finance/Audit/Compliance Committee for St. Joseph Health Ministries. Currently she serves on the Finance Committee at her church and is Vice Chairman of the Board at Hempfield Area Recreation Commission. She is also a Lecturer at Penn State Harrisburg for their Entrepreneur Business Series – finance & accounting section.
In her free time, Patty enjoys playing competitive tennis. Her husband and two sons hope she’ll renew her old passion for baking again soon.
In the midst of chaos, the TurboExecs get things back on track and put you in the driver’s seat. With more management horsepower for your business – when you need it.