A Conversation with Managing Partner Fran Brown
Fran has more than 30 years of experience providing audit and management consulting services to nonprofits and is a recognized industry thought leader. Below, he discusses working with nonprofits, the challenges and opportunities our clients face, and his vision for the firm.
CapinCrouse: How did you become interested in working with nonprofits?
Fran: After I graduated from Gordon College I joined a CPA firm in Boston that had a number of nonprofit clients, including churches, private schools, and a college. Right from the start, I found it rewarding to work with nonprofit clients and help them grow and achieve their mission.
And thanks to working with that college client during my first year out of college, I can say that I’ve worked on a higher education audit every year of my career!
CapinCrouse: What do you like best about working with nonprofits?
Fran: When you serve nonprofit organizations, you’re helping them help other people. When you work with a business owner or a high net-worth individual, many times you’re helping them help themselves. But when we help our nonprofit clients become more efficient, we’re helping them become more effective, which means they can serve more people and change more lives.
CapinCrouse: What would you say is the biggest challenge our clients are facing?
Fran: For many of our clients, the biggest challenge right now is competing with other nonprofits. There are just many nonprofit organizations doing similar things, often in the same community. That makes it harder to stand out and get people to give to you year after year.
CapinCrouse: What is the biggest opportunity our clients are facing?
Fran: One of the biggest opportunities for many nonprofits is to acquire or merge with smaller or even similar-sized organizations. This can create a healthier combined organization with improved operations and efficiencies. We’ve helped a number of clients navigate this process successfully.
CapinCrouse: What are you looking forward to most in your new role as managing partner?
Fran: I’m looking forward to taking the firm to the next level as a national CPA and consulting firm. There’s a lot of opportunity to grow while staying true to our roots of serving organizations whose outcomes are measured in lives changed. We firmly believe that the mission and success of our clients is more important than our own, and that has not and will not change.
CapinCrouse: What is your vision for the firm?
Fran: My vision is that in three to five years, CapinCrouse will be the premier national CPA and consulting firm for nonprofit organizations, continuing to expand the number of partners and senior managers who are recognized experts and thought leaders across the industry. There’s enormous potential for us to grow, but always with the focus of serving and empowering nonprofit clients to help them further their mission.