Maria Bickham Buck
Senior Financial Professional Project Ninja
Proven Controller helping companies translate their business goals and ideas into operational realities
PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: Results-oriented senior financial professional project ninja with over 20 years of demonstrated success in comprehensive progressive accounting and financial operations management. Articulate communicator skilled in preparing impeccable reports, tracking and communicating project progress, and strengthening relationships. Proven trainer of multidisciplinary teams in line with aggressive performance metrics. Extensive exposure to multi-company multi-cultural globally matrixed operations with an extremely heavy background in construction contracting from a variety of perspectives (chemical plant, oil & gas, commercial/industrial, marine/maritime), with fortes in project management and six sigma continuous process improvement.
CORE COMPETENCIES/AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Cost Control & Management
Financial & Managerial/Operational Accounting and Reporting
Microsoft Office, Advanced Excel
Full life cycle Contract & Project Administration, Execution & Management
Budgeting & Forecasting
Problem Analysis & Resolution
Financial Analysis & Performance Appraisal
Customized System Design & Utilization Maximization
Continuous Policy, Procedure, Systems & Internal Controls Improvement
TECHNICAL SKILLS/SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS (NOT ALL-INCLUSIVE)
Orr tax, Ultra tax, Fast Tax, Turbo Tax, Am tax, E-smart Tax
Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, PowerPoint); Super Office
Great Plains, Dynamics, Microsoft Navision, Dynamics Axapta, QuickBooks/QuickBooks Pro, Quicken, JD Edwards, Microsoft Money, Peachtree, MAS 90, Ac Pac BPI, Solomon, CYMA, AS400, Creative Solutions, Ace Write-up, MYOB, Ceridian, Sage Timberline Construction
Harvard Graphics, Desktop Publishing, PageMaker, BNA, File Cabinet, CCH Pro-FX, Cognos TM1
Microsoft Project, Time fox, Intuit Quick base, the Construction/Field Link, About Time, Google Docs
LA Colo, LLC [DBA: Colo Railroad Builders], Houston, TX 03/2015-Present
Oversaw all aspects of financial, accounting, cost control, job cost, cash and fixed asset management, reporting, budgeting & forecasting, projections and performance analysis for individual projects and for companies. Performed month and year-end closings/GAAP-compliant financial reporting, preparation and presentation of related management standardized and ad-hoc reporting. Managed multiple-state compliance and registration portfolio. 5 direct reports.
Automated Bill Payment and standardized allocation and journal entry processes saving the accounting department about 30 to 40 hours a month.
Achieved reduced cycle time by reorganizing and decentralizing the entire accounting process based on logical functionality and designing an organizational structure to step up to the plate and meet the challenges head on.
Developed and trained employees, implemented cross-training, refined processes, and automated standard functions in order to bring increased efficiencies and maximized utilization developing an organizational structure adequate to meet the department’s goals and objectives.
Improved cash flows through the establishment of standardized receivables collections and accounts payable procedures. Reduced average days out by 30 days+, cut late customer payments in half, and eliminated late fees and delinquencies on accounts payable saving the company $10,000/month minimum.
Property Facelift Services, LLC C.P. Enterprises, Inc. 06/2009-03/2015
A-1 Lone Star Construction, Houston, TX
CFO Controller Project Controller
Oversaw all aspects of financial, accounting, cost control, cash management, reporting, budgeting & forecasting, projections and performance analysis for individual projects and for companies. Performed month and year-end closings/GAAP-compliant financial reporting, preparation and presentation of related management standardized and ad-hoc reporting.
Accelerated the month-end close to the tenth calendar day of every month by providing accurate financial reports and initiating an income and expense flux analysis for the first working day
Automated standard costing and bidding specification outlines to enhance proposal and negotiation efforts, identify all performance costs and expenses, and improve project profitability.
Achieved reduced cycle time to same day invoice submission zero errors through comprehensive customized project tracking system and maximized software utilization.
Designed specific reporting tools to create “exception” reports for cost overruns triggering review to identify potential change order and contract revision situations.
TDW Offshore Services, LLC Houston, TX 04/2006-06/2009
Chief Accountant Project Controller - Offshore Americas
Oversaw all aspects of financial accounting including A/P, A/R, Collections, Budgeting, G/L and reconciliations, heavy I/C, Purchasing, Fixed Assets/Capex, Forecasting & P/R functions. Directed cost control and management efforts for the Offshore America’s division and local Shared Services units.
Coordinated planning, budgeting, and periodic forecasting by meeting with individual department heads to understand their needs. Increased use of reports and decision maker attention to variances.
Prepared audit and reviewed audit work papers for internal and external audits. Participated in ISO 9000 certification activities. Passed 100% of audits.
Developed financial controls that successfully scaled as the division grew. Noticed a weakness in calculated bonus and expense reimbursement; recommended quickly-adopted change
Designed and implemented local Shared Services allocations and setup related I/C schematics. Reduced I/C confirmation time through successful systems migration, conversion, and integration.
Tax Fifth Avenue, Angleton & Brazoria, TX 11/1997-04/2006
Contract CFO Controller Systems Designer Consultant
Small business full-cycle bookkeeping & accounting including A/R, A/P, G/L, budgeting, job & project costing, monthly & annual closings and cost reduction efforts for a variety of companies. Individual & the full spectrum of business tax preparation, quarterly & interim tax estimates and projections, and liaison with regulatory bodies (IRS, State, and Local) as needed. Customized of computerized accounting and costing systems, follow-up training and debugging. Supervised staff from 6-15 employees; provided training in accounting and bookkeeping, state and federal tax, G/L and account reconciliation, closing the books, and systems enhancement
Uncovered and helped to quantify, prove and prosecute fraud and embezzlement activity for Microcheck Systems, Inc. (the primary software vendor for the national school lunch program). Subsequently designed and implemented a solid system of internal controls to prevent reoccurrence.
Main Client: Hawicz & Stait, Inc, Houston, TX
Contract CFO/Controller/Project Controller.
Performed the full realm of general and project accounting
Automated progress billing system that reduced billing errors and effectively captured reimbursable expenses.
Main Client: Royal Landmark Structure, LLC, Houston, TX
Contract Corporate Controller/CFO/Project Controller.
Designed from ground-up and oversaw all books providing initial and interim training to on-site accounting staff and providing periodic checkups, oversaw all monthly financial and tax reporting
Automated and maintained a multi-state reporting system that satisfied all-50 states regulatory requirements, reduced related errors, failure-to-files, and penalties.
Main Client: Medi Clinic, Inc. Houston, TX
Comprehensive oversight of the accounting and financial functions for a multiple-unit chain medical practice specializing in emergency & acute care, surgery, health education, information, and general family practice. Supervised, trained, evaluated, and mentored related personnel composing the financial team. Coordinated & performed monthly close and consolidation. Facilitated internal management and external stakeholder interim and ad-hoc reporting. Conducted periodic review, financial analysis and performance appraisals of individual unit and aggregate corporate results. Oversaw audit and tax schedule design and preparation.
Implementation and continuous refinement of systems, internal controls, policy and procedures, and continuous process improvement initiatives.
Main Client: Rio Marine, Inc./Liquid Transfer Corporation, Houston, TX
Contract Corporate Controller
Oversaw and coordinated the accounting functions, trained and supervised related personnel, managed monthly financial activity; monthly close; management, tax, and class/project reporting.
Worked single point of contact for Purchasing with Accounting; automated preparation of “shadow system” reports and employed methodology to maximize cost savings
Implemented a new core accounting system, which captured the budgeting/forecasting, financial measurement and reporting, and results analysis and performance evaluation phases
Automated invoicing/billing to reduce invoice re-work rate by 75%; automated collections efforts to significantly reduce days sales out and allow for a smoother more predictable cash flow
Manzoor Hasan, CPA (part-time internship), Clear Lake, TX 07/1993-11/1997
Performed general accounting, all levels of tax preparation (individual, partnership, corporate, payroll, property), business plan preparation, consulting and systems implementations for this Medical Practice Management specialized CPA firm.
Assisted w/ the oversight and consolidation of multi-chain hospital conglomerate which included St. Josephs, Brazosport Memorial, Texas Children’s, & Memorial Hermann).
Assisted w/ oversight and consolidation of multiple unit emergency room chain SEPA (Southeast Emergency Physicians Associates).
Instrumental in research, development, and drafting of business plan for first PSA test venture.
Bookkeeping, payroll, and consulting services for numerous physicians, dentists and clinic operations.
Sparta Enterprises Corporation, Kemah, TX 07/1995-11/1997
Chief Accountant Controller Office Manager Safety & Project Coordinator
Oversaw full-cycle comprehensive bookkeeping & accounting oversight for 3 corporations, interim and year-end tax preparation.
Successfully learned entire OSHA code and became Corporate Safety Coordinator overnight
Formulated and published related policies and ensured compliance with all applicable HSE and training specifications to salvage existing Exxon, Apache Oil, & Amerada Hess contracts
Initiated design, continuous assessment, and implementation of streamlined systems, work procedures, and processes
Introduced automated tools, programs, and systems to enhance efficiency and improve the bidding, contract negotiations, and proposal submission processes
Adjunct accounting professor at San Jacinto & Brazosport Colleges for a year.
M.S. in Accounting
University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX
B.S. in Accounting
University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX
Associates of Elective Studies
Brazosport College, Lake Jackson, TX
Master’s Certificates in Applied Project Management & Six Sigma Green Belt Continuous Process Improvement
Villanova University, Villanova, PA