Business Tips • 40 minutes

War Stories From a Finance Leader: The Messy Side of Accounting in the Trades

December 19, 2023

Episode Overview

It wasn’t a pretty sight in the trenches of business accounting during COVID-19. Jawad Olabi saw it firsthand. He was on the front line of overseeing devastating layoffs at one large global firm. 

Now that the world has returned to semi-normalcy, Olabi is a managing partner at ServicePro CFO. These days, he uses his corporate finance expertise to help contractors manage their books, negotiate services and create strong, healthy balance sheets.  

Olabi believes that accounting is a support function that can solve client-facing problems–and not just be an optimizer for internal processes. 

“When you get to be the business owner, you actually get to see the impact in your community, the impact with your clients,” he says. “And that, for me, is really, really interesting and exciting.”

Cautiously factoring in global and national business scenarios, Olabi sees a continued recovery in the future of the home-trades industry. 

“I'm optimistic that 2024 is at par or slightly better than we are right now and that, hopefully, we see more of a robust recovery by 2025,” he says.

Olabi wants business owners to know that smart accounting practices should be part–not the singular focus–of a company’s fiscal plan. 

“Accounting is an interesting tool, but it's just a tool,” he says. “There's no such thing as silver bullets. There's no such thing as one thing that's going to answer all your questions.”

Pragmatic integration of accounting and customer service are crucial. 

For example, Olabi says: “People need to focus on going back to the old tried-and-true service model of trying to repair, and not replace, as a mechanism to engage.”

That’s the bottom line.

Jawad Olabi recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel on the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Olabi’s thoughts on:

  • [11:35] The good, the bad, and the ugly of private equity

  • [22:06] Economic projections for the 2024 market

  • [29:07] How contractors can get ahead of financial trends

  • [32:55] Advantages local contractors have over private equity

  • [36:00] If private equity will still be viable in the near future

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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About ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help home service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business.

Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business?

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About the Show

Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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