Eric Lanz is a Certified Public Accountant currently working as a consultant for numerous, multi-million dollar organizations as well as managing his own firm, Lanz Consulting Solutions. Previously, he held vice president and senior vice president positions where he worked on projects that exceeded hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue streams.
Mr. Lanz went to the University of Louisville where he studied accounting. His dedication enabled him to graduate with the highest honors and earn the title of Louis Grief Outstanding Senior in Accounting. After 23 years of experience, he has witnessed some of the major changes in this industry like the Big 8 narrowing down to the Big 4 largest accounting firms (one of which he used to work for), the passage of the Sarbanes Oxley Act in 2002, and the new tax code released recently.
Although accounting was an undeniable passion and enabled Eric Lanz to begin a fruitful career, he soon shifted towards areas of finance and mergers & acquisitions. With his background in auditing and financial reporting, he was able to utilize the knowledge of the four financial statements to recognize the implications that projects will have on the long-term forecasts and resources.
Other prominent positions he held include a 401K committee chairman, IT consultant, experienced manager, regional director, and more. Combining the education Eric Lanz obtained in Kentucky with the endless list of career achievements makes Mr. Lanz one of the most well-rounded businessmen out there. Presently, he resides in Lebanon, Kentucky with his wife and two children.
What was the hardest part of your career?
I have to admit, passing the CPA exam was not a lot of fun. I think the sheer amount of information I had to know was borderline insane. Also, when I was in school, there were no internet courses, and the classwork was not necessarily aligned to aid someone in taking this notorious test. Most of the things I had to study came from hardcopy, classroom seminars, and thousand-page books. I think that was one of my hardest and biggest achievements.
What is one of the tools you have used throughout your career?
ERP Systems. After I had a chance to work in multiple upper-management roles, I got familiar with a lot of resources that help streamline an organization’s operations. Although the goal of any given business is to maximize revenues while minimizing costs, there are dozens of things that go into that process. Those include finance departments that might do some budgeting and forecasting, tax implications, GAAP principles, human resource employees that will get the best workforce, payroll, and so on. Out of all the tools I tried, a well-rounded ERP software managing efficient processes is the best at creating one seamless operation and removing bottlenecks.
What was the most interesting project you worked on?
I have worked on a lot of unique projects and picking a single one is virtually impossible. I will say, however, writing HR policies and establishing bonus/incentive programs was one of the things I never thought I would be exposed to. Nonetheless, it was a fun experience, and it helped me connect with employees from other departments. I also enjoy working at Lanz Consulting Solutions as it is my own business.
How did your background in accounting facilitate your success with mergers & acquisitions?
I always say that accounting is the bottom line of business in general. I mean, people who go to college to become a CPA nowadays have to get 150 credit hours. Such a requirement will force them to study management, marketing, finance, information and accounting systems, taxation, and so much more. My audit and business valuation experience enabled me to learn how every aspect of business operates. Focusing on mergers & acquisitions was a natural progression and not uncharted territory.
What are some other things you have done that may not be tied to your area of expertise?
I wrote a few marketing and sales plans that were successful. It may seem like those have nothing to do with a CPA’s job description but, as I mentioned, accounting does not discriminate against any entrepreneurship-related duty.
Are you a supporter of trends like lean manufacturing?
Absolutely. Besides the concept of reducing our waste, I am an advocate for teaching people what lean production actually is. I think that one of the most mind-boggling facts is that most upper-level managers and directors are not too familiar with it. Usually, when I talk to people, they seem reluctant to consider trends like this. As soon as I explain that the concept is based on an overall betterment of waste management that will not sacrifice production, they fall in love with the idea. So, I am looking forward to a time when lean will become the norm.