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J. Scott Stafford, CPA

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Bio

Meet Scott

Scott provides audit, accounting and consulting services to not-for-profit organizations and businesses in a variety of industries, including real estate, construction, and manufacturing and distribution.

He has more than 20 years of experience, including roles at Ernst & Young and BDO USA, where he specialized in providing assurance services to middle-market private and public businesses. Additionally, he led Sarbanes-Oxley internal control audits and capital market transaction client service teams that executed $198 million in initial public equity offerings and $2.3 billion in private and public debt offerings.

Scott is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He received an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from the University of North Texas.

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Experience

Professional History

Associations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants

Education

  • University of North Texas

Experience

  • Travis Wolff, LLP
  • Nicholas Montgomery LLP
  • BDO LLP
  • Kroll & Stafford
  • Ernst & Young LLP
Q&A
Q. How has your professional experience shaped your thinking about your area of expertise?
Companies continue to face demanding capital markets, tough economic conditions and a changing financial reporting landscape. Together these factors make it more challenging for them to achieve growth goals and targets.

My extensive experience with capital market transactions helps clients address capital needs, as well as implement financial reporting updates to ensure they stay in front of ongoing changes in the reporting environment. I routinely update my clients on relevant financial reporting changes as they are issued, and assist them in understanding and implementing the changes. This includes financial reporting process improvement and best practice recommendations.

I have spent the majority of my career with regional and local accounting firms, working collaboratively with my clients. Sitting next to them, instead of across from them, enables me to deliver value beyond the audit or assurance reports. I make sure every client feels like my only client.
Q. What was your favorite client engagement, and why?
Several years ago, I was providing audit and assurance services to a national distribution company. Early in the relationship, they decided to take the company public. I worked closely with them throughout their IPO, including trips to New York to assist them with the offering document drafting. The initial IPO was very successful, and over the next few years, I assisted them with several public debt offerings, significant strategic business combinations and a company-wide ERP implementation. It was both exciting and gratifying to help them through this significant growth period.
Q. How does entrepreneurial experience play a role in your guidance to clients?
My experience both as an entrepreneur and in working closely with owner-operated businesses informs all of my thinking about the needs of my clients. It allows me to recognize an opportunity and leverage my network to deliver value to my clients. For example, businesses often use large institutional lenders as a source of debt, yet lenders of that size do not always provide quality services to smaller companies.
Q. What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned over your career?
Conduct your business with a solid set of core values and use those values as a filter in your decision making. This approach will inevitably lead to the right course of action in all matters, as well as the success of your clients and the firm.
Q. What are some of the big areas for improvement you see with new clients?
Entrepreneurs are good at what they do but can struggle in operational aspects that are outside their expertise, such as capital structure or financial reporting. Related to financial reporting, most clients are good at “bookkeeping” but struggle in applying complex GAAP guidance or dealing with the accounting for nonrecurring transactions. It is in these areas that I often see opportunity for improvement.
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