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Asher: My name is Asher Kazmann. I'm the president of Locke Solutions.

Mackenzie: My name is Mackenzie Hengst, and I'm the assistant controller for Locke.

Asher: So we're a precast concrete company. We're a little different than most. We do a lot of design work on the front end, which is a little different in this industry. So, we're in this little niche of very customized, engineered, precast concrete products, and so we are a manufacturing facility at heart.

But yeah, we provide product for the industrial markets here in the greater Houston and Gulf region. We deal with a lot of the petrochemical facilities and a lot of the airports and marine ports and commercial activity going on here. We're in a great place in Houston, TX in general, for this construction market.

We are at our, actually, it's our new facility. So, we built this two years ago now, and we have been in business for seven years. In this facility, we--our entire team is here from sales to engineering to accounting. The whole team is under this one roof right now. Behind me is actually part of our manufacturing facility, so back there we actually fabricate all of our reinforcing. We have all of our molds in place that we cast our concrete in, and everything is done right outside, right behind us.

How has your engagement with PKF Texas been?

Mackenzie: So, we started working with PKF a little over two years ago. I think the original plan for them was for help on just a certain small areas when we were building our new building, but they've come across to be a help all across the board in all of our accounting practices here at Locke.

I work mostly with Sam. There a couple other team members that help us with the review, but I deal with Sam almost on a weekly basis. Sam has helped us a lot adopt new policies and ways in looking at our financials and opening up a lot of different things in us, so they help us on a monthly basis, quarterly basis and then a yearly basis as well.

I love working with Sam. He's taught me a lot over the course of the last two years. I've really been getting into the accounting role. And he's taught me a lot. He pushes me in a challenging way so that I don't call him and ask him all the time and he reminds me that I know what I'm doing. But he's always helping us find a better, more efficient way to run the business from a financial standpoint and challenging us to open up our ideas to new concepts, new processes that would help streamline and make things more efficient here at Locke.

Over the course of the last two years, we've grown tremendously, in a way that I don't even think we were ready for, and with his help, he's made this growing process not so stressful. It's been a crazy ride over the last two years, and without his help, I have no idea where Asher and I would be right now.

Asher: There's a lot of challenges with growing. The growing pains are real, and it's nice to have somebody, like Sam, to come in and help us, reassure us that yes, things are going in the right direction, even though sometimes it doesn't feel that way.

Why did you choose PKF Texas?

Asher: PKF's got a great reputation, obviously, and I was referred to from a friend that I trusted and had a chance to talk to Byron and felt very good about the company in general.

We were going through a transition, building a new facility, with a separate entity, and we knew that there was going to be a lot of accounting and financial transactions that we're going to have to deal with. And that was kind of, for me, one of the main reasons of getting started with PKF is to make sure we understood what we were doing, especially as we've dealt with this growth. There's a lot more transactions and things that we just want to make sure that we were doing it the correct way.

How is working with the review team?

Mackenzie: They are super helpful, and they always are explaining everything in depth of what they need. It's an interesting process, because you think by--this will be our third one, and I think we've got it all under control. But something new always comes up. But they're super easy to work with, they're super helpful, and, I guess, they make the long process pretty easy.

Any advice for small businesses?

Asher: If I had any advice to give, I think, again, the small businesses--it's so important to have certain resources in place, and from a financial and accounting side, it's one of the big ones. I think it's easy for companies to try to do it all on their own, and they don't realize the changing regulations and the things that they need to pay attention to.

So, being there only a few years ago, feeling like we can handle this on our own, you don't realize what you're missing without having a resource, like PKF, like Sam, to come in and give you that guidance. So, I think that's the biggest piece of advice I could give to somebody that's in a similar situation that we've been in.

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