Finance Monthly - Global Awards 2021

FINANCE MONTHLY GLOBAL AWARDS 2021 73 Exit Planning Adviser of the Year USA About Bill Kruse Bill Kruse embarked on his exit planning journey after witnessing many of his clients closing or transitioning their businesses and feeling dissatisfied with the way that the situations were handled. Bill himself often believed that they could have made more money off of the transaction or been more fulfilled by leaving had their desire to leave the business been addressed earlier or with more attention to detail. Bill holds his Master’s of Science, Accounting and Taxation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and along with his CPA, is a certified Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA). He worked for leading international firms like KPMG and Ernst & Young in tax, audit, mergers and acquisitions, and outsourcing before joining Hauk, Fasani, Ramsey & Co. in 2000. Bill became the managing partner of Hauk Kruse & Associates (HKA) in 2009. Bill’s decision to become CEPA certified has allowed the business to expand past standard tax and advisory services into a place that allows for a synergistic confluence of estate planning and business structuring working side by side, rather than one after the other. Because of Bill, Hauk Kruse lives by the concept of the family practice, and as such treats its clients as family that we care about beyond a traditional business relationship. We examine our clients’ businesses as our own and encourage them to think about the future in context of their personal lives, as well. Furthermore, when we take on new business clients, we immediately begin training them to think about succession as part of their business plan, no matter how young the business is. Our exit planning program involves a three-pronged approach revolving around structure, cash flow and personal goal setting. We believe that understanding structure is the key to building the future that lasts, leaving the business owner with the assurance that his or her legacy is there to stay. In turn, understanding the structure of a deal will help retain more cash for the seller after the transition, allowing them to meet their personal goals outside of their company. Hauk Kruse accommodates for exit planning across its range of services and advisory calls, but especially as a part of our platinum level CFO services and business planning sessions-- two products that Bill has designed and led through the firm. Over the years, we encourage our business owners to set their goals early, implement KPIs, efficient accounting methods, and start estate planning right now. In preparing for succession as a part of the everyday working of the business, we are often able to transform business profitability from one multiple to a higher one while the owner is still actively part of the business. From that perspective, exit planning is as much about the present as it is about the future. A good exit plan is the solid foundation of a good business plan. To Bill, exit planning is about understanding what a transition means to the owner selling their business and structuring it so that the ideal transition is possible. To the client, exit planning can mean selling a portion of the business, leaving entirely, or transitioning over a period of time. Understanding the owner’s intention is key to accommodating for success. Similarly, if you don’t take the time to understand the owner, it is impossible to guarantee success at the end. Managing Member, Hauk Kruse & Associates T: (314) 993-4285 | E: | Bill Kru e

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