Controller - Kropf Industries, Inc.
Alma Mater: Indiana University South Bend
Company: Kropf Industries, Inc.
Industry: Recreational Vehicles
Size: $15-$20 million in revenues and 60-65 employees in Goshen
Why I became a CPA: I always wanted to be an important part of our family business. Becoming a CPA has provided me with a wealth of knowledge that has allowed me to achieve that day in and day out. I am a trusted advisor to my father and uncle, which allows them to make key financial decisions and it has helped their business grow!
The coolest thing about what I do: The diversity of work from day to day. Working in a small family business, you are asked to wear a lot of hats. Part of the day might be spent working with payroll and then quickly switching to help quality control on the production line.
INCPAS involvement: For the past four years, INCPAS has taken the time to bring a group of high school students from around the area to tour our facility. I love this opportunity to be able to talk with the kids about what my career path has been, what my typical day looks like, and showing them that becoming a CPA can open an endless number of doors in their careers. I think they are truly amazed at all the different industries you can work in, job titles you can have, and what you can become by differentiating yourself as a CPA.
5:30 A.M.: My alarm goes off. Snooze button. Three minutes later, my alarm goes off again and I know if I hit the snooze button again, I’m not a popular person with my wife, Angie. I get my morning shower in, get ready, and try to sneak out of the house without waking any of our three children or two dogs.
6 A.M.: Arrive to the office and get my morning coffee. The first hour of my day is a time I use to go over a lot of the small odds and ends tasks that can really bog down the day if they aren’t taken care of. This entails going through emails, printing off accounts payable invoices, or making sure funding for park trailers have been funded or approved.
6:30 A.M.: Get the “water cooler” talk out of the way. Talk to my dad and uncle about the previous evening sporting events. There has been some pretty frustrating talks this year about our Colts!
7:20 A.M.: One of my favorite parts of the day. I run home (which is two minutes from work) and take the kids, Cooper and Kennadi, to school quick (also two minutes from work). It is a joy to be able to give them a little pep talk in the morning and hear what their little minds are pondering.
7:30 A.M.: Twice a day I go out onto the production line to do a portion of the quality control. We have multiple levels of quality control throughout the production process. I go through each park trailer and look for imperfections on trim work, cabinet doors, counter tops, or something not being built to what the production order states. This process helps eliminate rework, provides a quality product, and keeps warranty costs down.
8 A.M.: Start looking ahead on next week’s production schedule to see what park trailers are coming off the production line that need invoiced. Usually I invoice 9-10 park trailers a week which takes a while considering the amount of line items per invoice. The invoice process also consists of getting the dealer packet ready, title made, and financing approved.
8:20 A.M.: Take a brief moment to review the accounts payable invoices that came in the mail before entry.
8:30 A.M.: While going through the mail, there were some checks for park trailers that were delivered C.O.D. and parts checks. Recorded the payments received and made out the deposit slip to be run into the local bank.
10 A.M.: With year-end approaching, payroll always seems to take a bit longer. I try to help our employees with questions on tax withholdings, HSA amounts, 401K, and any other money management areas. While I’m doing our weekly payroll, I try to set-up scenarios for the employee to see that by making small adjustments to their paycheck now, it may make a big impact on their financial futures. This is one area of being a CPA that I find very rewarding helping others with their financial goals.
11:30 A.M.:-12:30 P.M.: Lunch with Angie and 2-year-old son, Conrad. Another one of the perks to my job is getting to see them every day!
1 P.M.: Quick check to see how Tiger Woods was doing on his return to the golf world!
1:15 P.M.: Review and record month-end inventory levels.
1:30 P.M.: Second round of quality control for the day.
2:10 P.M.: Pick up the kids from school. Which ironic enough, I forgot about them today trying to write down what I did throughout my day! Parent fail!
3:30 P.M.:-4 P.M.: We have our weekly meeting with the owners, sales staff, production managers, engineers and purchasing department to go over the weekly production orders. This is a valuable time we go over the orders to make sure everyone is on the same page on how each unit is to be built. All of our park trailers are custom built so more questions arise during the production process.
4 P.M.: At the end of each week I review our accounts payable. I go through and make sure to take discounts, make sure everything is current, and write checks to be mailed at before the end of the day.
5 P.M.: Finally, the work day has come to a close and I head home to spend some quality time with my family. I’m very lucky to have a wife who is a wonderful cook and has meals prepared when I get home. Dinner is a bit chaotic with a 2-, 5- and 7-year-old, but I wouldn’t want it any other way because I know I’ll miss them being young!
6 P.M.: Angie takes Kennadi to dance practice with Conrad, and I head to play basketball in our church league with Cooper. I find that every year my team keeps getting older and the competition seems to keep getting younger. We are undefeated so far, though, so I’ll say we are like a fine wine!
7:30 P.M.: Cooper and Kennadi do their nightly golf putting practice - a father can dream can’t he! Cooper competed in the Drive, Chip and Putt Competition last year and is working hard to improve on the upcoming golf season.
7:45 P.M.: It is time to get the kids to bed. This is the part of the day that I truly underestimated when becoming a parent. How hard is it to bathe, brush some little teeth and read a bedtime story to three kids? HARD! Once Angie and I finally think we have them all tucked in for the night, one of them has one last question that can’t wait until morning.
8:15 P.M.: Relax and have some good conversation with Angie. We are in the process of building a house, so this is really the only opportunity we get to make some decisions on the project.
9:30 P.M.: Take my bulldog, Chubbs, on his nightly walk. I take him on his walk after the sun goes down because he overheats easily. I have wanted a bulldog since I’ve been a little boy.
Finally, last year we got one. I love him to death, but no one ever told me how high maintenance a bulldog is.
10 P.M.: Set my alarm for the next day and head to bed!