Kaiser Consulting was one of the exceptions to the rule after the recession struck in 2008-it kept growing.

Kaiser Consulting was one of the exceptions to the rule after the recession struck in 2008-it kept growing.

Lori Kaiser, the founder and CEO of the accounting and business consulting service in Powell, credits the location and resources available in the Columbus Region as an important catalyst that allowed the company to grow even through several years of widespread economic difficulties. From 2007 to 2009, the company grew from 10 employees to 20. It has since doubled that number.

The continuous and consistent growth of all business in the region helped create a ripple effect that benefitted other organizations too, including her company, Kaiser says.

"The Columbus Region has many great things to offer companies, including a highly trained workforce, low cost structure, great infrastructure and a welcoming business community," Kaiser says. "People here are open to partnering and sharing their experiences with newcomers."

The firm adopted its moniker, Kaiser Consulting, and hired its first employee in 2004, but Kaiser, a CPA, first began consulting in 1992 after she left public accounting. The company specializes in audit preparation, internal control review and recommendations, compliance audits, controller and business analysis, IT audits, security testing, risk and policy reviews and financial analytic services.

Professional certifications represented by its employees include:

CPA – Certified Public Accountant

CSOXP – SOX Pro-level Certification

CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor

CGMA – Chartered Global Management Accountant

The company prides itself on long-term client relationships, minimal staff turnover and the availability of consistent staffing for projects. The company focuses on providing custom-designed solutions geared toward improving the bottom line of its clients, while making a client's business practices as efficient and profitable as possible.

Many of the firm's customers, including some located in Canada and Mexico, are in need of an external auditor who must remain independent from the organization. Others are simply seeking in-depth experience. Kaiser's team of experts, including some who are bilingual, are experienced in accounting, audits and information and technology services.

An important lesson Kaiser has learned over the years to ensure that her business will thrive and grow is also a simple lesson-be attentive.

"All clients are different," she says. "I have learned to listen to their problems and tailor a solution to meet their needs and not try to sell them a 'canned' solution."

A primary key to attracting business is the company's ability to supply experienced people on projects so they "can hit the ground running" and maintain consistency throughout the life of a project, Kaiser says.

"The second is that we have always offered a flexible staffing solution," she says. "Some client projects are small and others are large, so we 'right size' the staffing and clients only pay for the time they use."

Hiring and retaining people is a critical ingredient to help ensure the continued success of the company, Kaiser says.

Accounting can be a field that overemphasizes a work schedule over personal time if employees want to advance their careers. With that understanding, Kaiser works with her employees to develop a schedule that fits their needs.

"This helps us with the retention of consultants, and our clients appreciate having this continuity," Kaiser says.

Keeping her employees on board and happy will also be important for shaping the future for the firm's business, she says.

"We are developing the next generation of management and leaders and we continue to hire the best people to serve our clients and solve their problems efficiently," Kaiser says.

TC Brown is a freelance writer.