Booms, busts and finance upheavals: RoseRyan’s CEO looks back on 20 years

When I cofounded RoseRyan (then known as Macias & Ryan) in September 1993, the Internet was just taking off. The word “global” had a different connotation. Cell phones (if you even had one) were the size of bricks. The “cloud” was in the sky. In many ways, it was a simpler time for accounting and finance.

In the 20 years since, we have weathered two economic downturns and countless changes in accounting rules, governance and oversight. Corporate abuses gave us Sarbanes-Oxley, AS2 and AS5, the PCAOB and the Dodd-Frank Act. Business changed, and continues to change, at exponential rates of speed. We have a truly global economy, blazing technology advancements and exciting new ways of doing business.

This all means that the staid and boring world of accounting has become anything but. We have addressed changes with far-reaching implications in the areas of stock-based compensation, accounting for derivatives, business combinations, fair value measurements, codification and accounting for leases, and we’re now facing brand-new ways to look at recognizing revenue. (FASB promises it will be final any day now.…)

CFOs and their teams have had to step up their game. In addition to understanding and implementing new and complex accounting principles, they are rightfully taking on a more strategic role as leaders in the business. No longer are CFOs expected to be just the keepers of historical financial statements and budgets; they also need to understand their business and market trends, and strategically and systematically increase the value of their company. Not easy tasks, but certainly challenging and exciting in today’s dynamic market.

While the finance needs of Bay Area companies have changed, the fundamentals of RoseRyan’s business have not. As in 1993, in 2013 we are dedicated to attracting and retaining top-notch professionals, and to providing an environment where our consultants are challenged but also able to enjoy a personal life. This allows us to provide exceptional finance and accounting solutions to our clients, giving them the right people with the right skills at the right time.

No matter what the level of their assignment, every RoseRyan consultant rolls up their sleeves to get the job done—and they look beyond the cubicle to provide best practices, advice and objective opinions derived from their years of experience. We call ourselves “gurus” because we strive to be leaders and mentors for our clients and one another.

We’ve worked with more than 700 clients at RoseRyan, and they have made for an exciting 20 years. It has been a great time to work with companies in the technology and life sciences industries, participating in the myriad of changes that have taken place and watching companies go up and down—and sideways. What’s most exciting is that we are often with clients through their corporate life cycle. For example, I started with one client as CFO when they were in an incubator. We shepherded them through two-plus years of fast growth as their outsourced accounting department. We later helped them with revenue recognition issues, stock-based compensation and audit support. Finally, as they neared their exit, we helped with financial forecasting, due diligence and integration with the eventual acquirer. We were with the company for over eight years, and it was rewarding to understand their business, walk with them through the ups and downs, and celebrate their successes.

RoseRyan would not be where it is today without our amazing clients or our consultant gurus. I am very proud of all of them, and I am pleased that RoseRyan helps both clients and our employees thrive. They are a huge part of why I think the Bay Area is a great place to work, to learn, to live. I give heartfelt thanks to all who have made the past 20 years possible. We’re looking forward to the next two decades!

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