The Washington Post had a fascinating interview with Washington and Lee alumnus Alex Castelli not long ago. Alex, a member of the Class of 1986, currently heads the 50-person growth-markets practice in the Tysons Corner, Va., office of the Reznick Group, a top 20 national accounting, tax and business advisory firm. He also is a visiting assistant professor of accounting at W&L, teaching an auditing course in the Williams School during Spring Term. And one more thing: he’s the parent of a current W&L junior, who is also named Alex and who is a defensive lineman for the Generals’ football team, just as his father was.
But back to the Washington Post. Thomas Heath, a business columnist, interviewed Alex about the financial and accounting best practices for entrepreneurial and growing companies. Alex was a logical choice to discuss the topic. After spending three years with Price Waterhouse following his W&L graduation, Alex was controller for a family-owned business, Locker Rooms Inc., which sold sportswear with team logos.
So Alex has a special appreciation for entrepreneurs. As he told Heath, “It’s not a 9-to-5 job. And not everybody hits a home run.”
What does Alex recommend for companies that want to achieve financial success? Here are the nine tips he cited in the Post column:
- Be proactive on financial matters.
- Don’t forget your accounting department.
- Stick to your idea.
- Be good to your investors.
- Borrow money while times are good.
- Know when to delegate on the financial side.
- Interview accountants and lawyers as if you’re hiring employees.
- Know when to sell.
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