A much loved "curmudgeon" in the remodeling industry, Steve Maltzman, CPA and partner in SMA Consulting, in Redlands, Calif., helped at the national level to integrate remodeling accounting into the builders association. His death this past weekend was a terrible loss to family, friends, colleagues, and remodelers everywhere. Below are some thoughts from a few of those remodelers:
Steve was a friend with an easy smile, a nonjudgmental guy, both professionally and socially. He could bring the subject matter down to the least common denominator without missing a beat and then bring it right back up for the sophisticated in the audience. I shared the podium with him at the IBS a couple of times and the Remodeling Show twice as a give and take -- he the theory, me the practical numbers that made sense for a remodeler.
He was very involved across the NAHB, serving on the Business Management and Information Technology committee either as a member, sub committee chair, task force member, or speaker at trade shows. He authored quite a few articles in his time, I believe even a book. He was very involved in the Cost of Doing Business Survey, especially helping launch the Remodeler version back in '89 or so, and continued for many of the five or six that were produced.
He (and I) were like Don Quixote when we offered to integrate remodeling Chart of Account entries into the NAHB Chart of Accounts and Job Costing Sub accounts. That was 1993 maybe and every 3 years he went to bat for us in the rewrites eventually merging in a commercial component in the late 1990s. He was the chief accountant for the 20 club program and shared the Remodeler 20 club's interest in getting its own accounts and set-up and reports. He held that post till 2007, some 15 years or so of stewardship of the accounting records and results.
Steve worked with me as a subject matter expert on a book I had written, Business Accounting and Job Cost, part of the curric for CGR and CGB, CGA. We worked together on committees. He was a fascinating guy. a very good CPA but very down to earth and able to communicate with the contractor side. He was able to make some pretty good converts to proper monitoring by virtue of speaking the language.
I know monitoring isn’t one of my favorite activities, but Steve made the whole aspect of keeping track of your company a lot more digestible. He’s going to be missed. His seminars were almost always sell outs. He made a huge difference in the industry.
--Mike Weiss, educational leader, chair of NAHB Home Builders Institute and veteran remodeler.
Steve and his firm opened a lot of eyes in terms of systems and financial benchmarks to many remodelers/builders -- myself included. Our group also took SMA's sales training, which is a very natural style (more engagement/client focused). I really owe much of my survival through Michigan's slogging economic woes for the past several years to Steve and his firm's involvement in the NAHB 20 clubs.
I don't know the circumstances of his passing, but like all good consultants, SMA was always vigilant in reminding us to have balance in our work and personal lives. You never know what might happen.