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Only Controller Knows "Macola" Software

I am an independent CFO with a client how is contemplating selling 3 of his 4 divisions. He will continue to run the 4th, retained division. Here's the challenge. The company uses "Macola" software which has been customized in a variety of ways over several years. The controller is the "go to", key person with regards to Macola. In order to insure a smooth transition and post-sale continuity for the buyer, we are certain that the controller will need to stay with the buyer, who will undoubtedly want her under contract for at least a year or two. We plan to continue using Macola in our newly separate division, so our challenge is finding a new controller who can step into the lead position with our Macola software. Is Macola a popular program or are we going to have a difficult time finding a new controller with Macola experience? I wonder if a call to Robert Half might be warranted?

Answers

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

This begs to be asked........Have you asked the Controller what he/she wants or what his/her plans are?

I thought it was presumptous to assume (the way you worded your post) that we can force someone to work for someone. What if the Controller wants to work for the current owner and not the new owners (even with a guaranteed 1-2 yr contract)?

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Emerson is right..... that being said...

Years ago (and I mean years) Macola was to go-to program. It had the only real MRP system in the PC based landscape.

Now, one hardly hears of the program. That doesn't mean that its bad, just not as popular.

If you find a new controller, they should be able to pick up the software in short order.

As for having only one person on staff who is knowledgeable about a mission critical system such as the accounting system is a dangerous COOP issue.

Anonymous
(CFO) |

Emerson, I'm simply developing a contingency for a challenging scenario; that the buyer won't buy without the Controller in place, and that we'll be left without a key person. That's not just a possibility, it's highly likely in my opinion. Whatever the case, we'd like to be prepared. Wayne, I agree about the concentration risk. But as with many small companies (24M), the CEO rarely senses the "right time" to spend the money to hire a degreed backup to the Controller until the need is tangible and upon them. There's still probably time to hire an "assistant controller" and get him/her trained, but we're not ready to reveal the possible sale of the company to the staff just yet.
My question now is how many potential candidates are out there who might know Macola? Based on Wayne's response, it sounds like not many. Thanks.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

My point was (and as you have reiterated), there won't be any deal if the Controller says NO. Where the Controller will work (or wants to work) is NOT your decision to make. If your deal is highly dependent on something that is NOT your decision to make, then I would first make the determination what the Controller wants/plans. They are not fixed assets that you can throw in with a deal. I was focusing on the deal first...and not you being left without a key person AFTER a deal.

Dont tell the Controller he/she has a ton of leverage.

As far as Macola, I have read reviews and looks like it is the same as other "legacy" systems in the sense that it is easy to learn. Having a "customized" version might water down your need to be looking for "macola" experience.

Having said that, I would make use of the opportunity to pick a more "21st century" system as reviews (I have read) were on the feature scarce, simpleton nature.

Topic Expert
Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Hi Anon,

Macola has been owned by Exact software for some time and is still a player in the SMB market. If it works for your business today, then here is what I would suggest:

1. look for candidates who have had competence in your industry (i.e. do they know the accounting and costing nuances for example) and who have experience with Macola or any similar software.
2. don't limit your search for candidates who know Macola. Any monkey (and I say that deliberately) can be taught how to use Macola, GP, Epicor etc, etc. Hire the right type of person and if they need training on Macola, give it to them.
3. Two of my colleagues (one is a CPA) worked with Macola for years, selling, implementing and supporting it. Let me know if you'd like to chat with them.
4. If you are going thru this transition, I would hold off on swapping out ERPs until things settle down. Then take a strategic look at whether Macola meets your future needs or not.

Cheers
Len

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