Sierra Gold unexpectedly lost their contracted Chief Financial Officer some time ago during a period of significant operational expansion. The position was filled but turned over again, this time with an ERP software conversion planned and scheduled. A CFO was needed quickly on the first occasion, the second occasion was an opportune time to re-envision the CFO role given the changes in the company’s operations and future plans. Was it time to re-invent the finance and accounting function within the company? Was a full-time CFO needed, or might controller level functions be moved to a new controller position, relieving the need for a full-time CFO?
Morrison was originally referred to SGN by both their banker and their CPA audit and tax firm. Morrison’s role at Sierra Gold was to fill the needs for CFO and controller-level help at a critical time, and to help transform the accounting and finance function to meet future needs. Morrison’s consultants immediately stepped into the CFO and controller functions, while working to restructure the company’s accounting and finance department. Eventually, Morrison onboarded a full-time controller. Core CFO functions remained with Morrison on an outsource basis, including the annual budget process, managing lending relationships, and regular interface with key internal and external stakeholders.
Today, what began as a nearly full-time onsite presence by Morrison has evolved to a once-a-week presence. A robust internal accounting and finance function is now in place, anchored by a quality controller. Morrison continues to handle defined CFO level duties and provide additional support as needed, providing near constant on-call CFO availability. Normal staff turnover at Morrison in its years of service to SGN has been addressed seamlessly, preventing the turmoil previously experienced from unexpected departures.
About the client
Sierra Gold Nurseries (SGN) is a family owned commercial fruit and nut tree nursery, serving orchardists throughout the western United States since 1951. Based in northern California, SGN is run by brothers-in-law Brian Berg and Jack Poukish and their highly skilled team. Sierra Gold offers a wide array of fruit and nut trees for growers with numerous options for both rootstocks and scions (the producing top half of the tree) to best suit the orchardists’ climate, soil types, irrigation methods, disease and insect pressure, and other factors. SGN’s production process is vertically integrated, including a state-of-the-art tissue culture lab.