Going Up with Jack Cotton

SVA Professional Services’ broad-yet-focused approach to delivering measurable results pays off for its clients

SVA_COTTON_JJack Cotton joined SVA Professional Services as a senior staff accountant 38 years ago—just two years after SVA’s founding. In 1999, he became CEO and has run the company ever since. SVA provides effective business solutions across a spectrum of industries, including health care, manufacturing and distribution, nonprofit, real estate, and hospitality. As the company adds sales and business development to its core competencies, Cotton encourages employees to develop expertise in specialized fields. Here, he offers three key differences between SVA and its competition.

Measurable Results 

It’s not enough to provide a raft of ideas about improving business performance—obtaining measurable results is the key.

Cotton: When people set out to work with a consulting firm, they expect to get plenty of ideas—but not necessarily concrete results. They’ve become accustomed to hearing “this ought to happen.” But we don’t just toss around ideas. We develop detailed, comprehensive recommendations that have a single goal: providing you with measurable results. Whether it’s in accounting, tax, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, wealth management, information technologies, or other services, we propose practical ways to help you and your business achieve the goals that are important to your individual company. And that’s what separates us from the competition: results, not words.

Let me give you just a few of the many examples. We helped a family dental practice increase its hygiene production by 48 percent, and its overall production increase by 20 percent. A catering company boosted revenue by 200 percent and streamlined its costs, following our coaching and education. And we increased a distributor’s revenue by $700,000 after we discovered overbilled charges. That’s what I mean by measurable results.


SVA’s emphasis on staying ahead of the curve keeps clients ahead of the curve, too.

Cotton: Information processing never stands still—today’s hot solution is tomorrow’s “has-been.” It doesn’t make good business sense for single companies to continue to invest and reinvest. Staying current is one of our key commitments. In fact, even while we’re deep in the recession, we continued to invest in technology solutions. That’s why we can
anticipate our clients’ needs and design co-ordinated systems that harvest and organize the business intelligence they need.

Imagine having a customized hub that pulls together data from payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, sales, inventory, expense reports—just about any internal information—and produces a daily report that gives you the overall picture, and lets you drill down for more data when needed. We can do that—and a lot more.

Need proof? We developed flexible, integrated solutions for a publishing company that improved inventory accuracy to 99.9 percent, and gave them better control over their general ledger, payables, receivables, inventory, analytical accounting, fixed assets, and cash flow.

Diversified Services 

SVA offers a lot more than tax-preparation services, which allows it to bring a coordinated approach to the most complex situations.

Cotton: Business owners have complex financial concerns—tax prep, wealth management, retirement planning, asset management, succession planning—and each affects the others. It becomes even more complex when there are several owners. You could spend a lot of time and energy working with separate firms, but none of them would give you an accurate “big picture” perspective. And where would that leave you?

SVA is much more than a group of CPAs, JDs, CFPs, and ABVs. We’ll provide a diversified team of specialists who have substantial expertise in their respective fields, and talk to each other all the time. You won’t have to worry about key data being overlooked or misinterpreted, because everyone’s on the same page. And, at the end of the year, we’ll present you with a dashboard report that brings it all together. You’ll end up spending less time thinking about your money—and more time making it.