Russ:  This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.  I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Kirsten Strieck, a shareholder and Director of Operations and Client Services at Joint Venture Strategic Advisors.  Welcome back to the Playbook, Kirsten.

Kirsten:  Thanks, Russ.

Russ:  You bet.  I assume in this joint venture advisory work that you guys do that there has to be an audit involved somewhere.

Kirsten:  We do many types of audits.  We do operating and capital expense audits, which are related to the joint operating agreement.  We do production revenue royalty audits.  We provide measurement audits, vendor audits, payout statement audits, final statement of adjustment audits and many more.

Russ:  So in every one of the assessments that you do, do you do all of those audits or is it kind of customized by the arrangement?

Kirsten:  It’s very customized to whatever the client’s looking at auditing, or we can go in and we can suggest an audit plan for them.

Russ:  Okay, very interesting, thanks a lot.

Kirsten:  Thank you.

Russ:  You bet.  For more about JVSA, visit JVSA.com.  This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ: The is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Kirsten Strieck, a shareholder and Director of Operations & Client Services at Joint Venture Strategic Advisors. Welcome to the Playbook, Kirsten.

Kirsten: Thank you, Russ.

Russ: You bet.  Tell us about Strategic Advisors.

Kirsten: We are a specialty joint venture consulting firm that provides any joint venture services to the energy industry, but also to other industries that have an agreement and partners. Continue Reading Working with Joint Venture Agreements

Russ:  This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.  I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Brian Baumler, a Senior Vice President with Joint Ventures Strategic Advisors and an Audit Director with PKF Texas.  Brian welcome to the Playbook.

Brian:  Thank you very much Russ, really appreciate it.

Russ:  You bet.  So our topic today is Joint Ventures.  PKF has been in that business for quite some time, right?

Brian:  Absolutely.  Being here in Houston, Texas a lot of joint venture activities take place in energy so being in the energy capital of the world you’ve got to have the Joint Ventures Strategic Advisor Services.

Russ:  Okay, and that Joint Venture Strategic Advisor Services is kind of an upgraded version of what you guys have been doing historically, right?

Brian:  You could say that.  We started getting more heavily involved in it just a few years ago and we now have a group of over 30 people that are assisting us with those types of services right now in Houston.

Russ:  So I’m real curious, I see and know, maybe have been in a joint venture or two myself over time, but when you’re coming in as an advisor do you show up and you’re automatically working for both sides?

Brian:  Well that’s an interesting question.  The reality is we’re engaged by one party but we can represent both sides of the joint venture.  If it just so happens that the way we execute upon what we’re doing we’re actually representing both sides because the benefits of whatever comes out of those joint ventures does that in both parts.

Russ:  Real interesting.  So strategic advisors on joint ventures, you’re coming in there and they’re not really merged, they’re just sort of partnering on an initiative.

Brian:  That’s exactly correct; they’re mutually executing under arrangement to pursue an investment interest jointly and hopefully have a good result.

Russ:  Okay, but it seems to me that has more of a chance of going off the track than a real merger; is that right?

Brian:  Well the reality is you want to make sure that whoever the operator is is the partner who’s really responsible for executing under all the activities that they mutually agreed to in the beginning, and at the end of the day you’re just trying to make sure everybody stays honest.

Russ:  Okay, well I want to have you back and talk about this a little more, is that okay with you?

Brian:  Absolutely.

Russ:  All right.  For more about joint ventures services visit JVSA.com.  This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Brian Baumler, a Senior Vice President with Joint Venture Strategic Advisors and an Audit Director with PKF Texas. Brian, welcome back to the Playbook.

Brian: Thank you very much, Russ. How are you doing today?

Russ: Doing great. So, when it comes to strategic advisor services, we talked about audit services, management services, what else is there?

Brian: Well, another facet of the business, which kind of makes sense when you have joint ventures, often times you’re bringing a number of vendors together and help to provide that service and to manage that joint venture.  Another subset of the service we provide is actually vendor compliance. Vendor compliance is very important because a lot of the components that cannot be done by the operator of those joint ventures have to be farmed out to vendors.

Russ: These are vendors that were brought in by both parties to the joint venture, right?

Brian: They can be.

Russ: And sometimes Party A brought theirs in but Party B doesn’t know about their vendor relationships and might need to know about them?

Brian: Well, a lot of times when the joint ventures come together everybody kind of jointly agrees on the moving components of those arrangements, and in some cases, that may be true but for the most part I think everybody agrees to those vendors and of course the terms of the arrangements that are actually coming together into those projects.

Russ: Do you all have an easy way to review all of that information and then come back and tell everyone what you have?

Brian: That’s a great question. We actually have a software that we use that has, it’s a database and it actually provides a lot of analytics and it looks for anomalies within the core terms of arrangements, looking for errors. It could be errors in billing. It’s also intended to be used to measure overbilling when things become outside the boundaries of AFE, which is the Authorization For Expenditure.

Russ: Really interesting. Ok, once again, I appreciate your kind of filling out the picture for joint ventures.

Brian: Thank you very much.

Russ: For more about joint ventures services visit jvsa.com. This has been another Thought Leader Production, brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ:  This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.  I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Brian Baumler, Senior Vice President with Joint Venture Strategic Advisors and an audit director with PKF Texas; Brian, welcome back to the Playbook.

Brian:  Thanks so much Russ, really appreciate being here.

Russ:  You bet.  So on this advising of joint ventures, you mentioned earlier that you mostly come in for the non-operating partner because they kind of want to check out the operating partner, right?

Brian:  Absolutely, that’s typically what happens.

Russ:  So when you come in and do it are you really only looking at it from their perspective and not the operating partners?

Brian:  That’s a great question.  Most often they are our engagement client so we’re looking out for their best interest, but a lot of times the findings that we do find benefit really all parties.  Definitely, if we have findings the other non-operating partners do participate in those findings, but secondarily there can be examples where it benefits all parties.  A really good example of that was one of our joint venture clients where we discovered that there were certain taxes that weren’t being imposed by their vendors and because of that, there were jurisdictions that didn’t have those taxes in place.  So because of that, they were able to get refunds that benefitted all parties to the arrangement.

Russ:  Wow win/win.

Brian:  Absolutely.

Russ:  If you come in and you’re representing a non-operating partner does the operating partner sometimes also engage an outside service to help them?

Brian:  Well when we’re actually performing under the right of joint venture audit most operators – not all, but most operators – have teams of people that help with that service if you will from the perspective of making sure that we’re taken care of because the last thing I think they would want is to be there any longer than we need to and of course we want those audits to be efficient.

Russ:  Great.  Well, I really appreciate this.

Brian:  Absolutely, thank you so much.

Russ:  You bet.  For more about joint venture services visit JVSA.com.  This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Mike Devonshire, COO of JVSA. Welcome back to the Playbook Mike.

Mike: Thanks for having me again.

Russ: You bet. So last time we were talking you were talking about all the capabilities of JVSA and you mentioned joint venture audits.

Mike: Yep.

Russ: What is a joint venture audit? Why do joint ventures need to be audited?

Mike: Absolutely, so a joint venture audit is really a compliance audit. Companies have entered into a joint venture agreement but have responsibilities of both parties. Our role is to come in as a third party, an independent, and make sure both parties are living up to the terms of that agreement, primarily from a financial point of view. At the end of the day we just want to ensure both parties are getting what they paid for from their joint venture.

Russ: Okay, so does every joint venture that JVSA is involved in, as part of the terms and conditions does it say we’re going to come in and audit?

Mike: Absolutely. Every joint venture should have a joint venture audit provision. We make sure our clients get those in there and we want to make sure they can follow up on that in an appropriate manner. So if we think there’s a good opportunity to audit we’ll suggest that to them and help them out with executing that.

Russ: Okay, kind of interesting. I would love to see the report card. I mean obviously you guys have done but do you get into very significant detail in an audit?

Mike: Oh absolutely. I mean it depends on the audit but we’ve had findings that are in the millions of dollars where it’s not an intentional error, it’s just a matter of interpretation. Is the contract being followed properly and we can help our client make that argument that hey, this is what we signed up for, here’s what we’re getting, let’s resolve the difference.

Russ: Okay, so are they scheduled ahead of time or is there a point in time where one of the members say hey we need an audit?

Mike: Most audits have a bit of an audit window, for 2 years they have the right to audit, so we’ll work with our clients to make sure they’re not losing their audit rights for a previous year and then help them plan which of their partners they might want to take a look at and help make sure they get those scheduled within their audit right window and then get the audit done.

Russ: Okay, anybody doing a joint venture outside of your world I mean, would you highly recommend that they have an audit stipulation in there?

Mike: Absolutely, there’s no harm in it. And again, it’s not about finding right and wrong, it’s just being sure the agreement you signed up for is correctly followed because that’s at the end of the day what business is about is living up to your expectations of your partners and your promises.

Russ: Okay, great. Mike thanks again for spending time with us on the Playbook.

Mike: Thanks for having us.

Russ: You bet. To learn more about JVSA visit JVSA.com. This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Mike Devonshire, COO of Joint Venture Strategic Advisors, also known as JVSA. Welcome to the Playbook Mike.

Mike: Thanks for having us Russ.

Russ: You bet. So we’ve discussed JVSA a couple of times here with Kenneth Guidry but share your perspective; what us JVSA?

Mike: Absolutely. JVSA is a firm that specializes in helping companies manage their joint ventures; whether that’s setting them up, managing them or more specifically auditing them we like to think that we can help any company that’s involved in a joint venture through any aspect of that venture.

Russ: Really cool. So JVSA could be a little complicated if the cultures, the companies didn’t actually match up. How do you make that happen?

Mike: Absolutely. Well we’ve got lots of experience and that’s the biggest thing. We’ve seen all sorts of joint ventures and we’ve been involved in all stages of them so there’s really not a lot we haven’t seen before and not a lot we haven’t helped our client’s with in the past.

Russ: How many joint ventures have you been involved in?

Mike: In the last 6 months alone we’ve probably gone through 30 or 40 of them where we’ve helped our clients through them and we’ve added value in every situation I’d be confident to say.

Russ: My goodness. I guess some of them don’t last long though too, right?

Mike: That happens and our rule really is to help companies make informed decisions. They’ve entered into an agreement, we’re there to help them make sure they’re living up to that agreement on both sides and help them manage that going forward and if that’s being more efficient or that’s terminating it, that’s what we’re here to help with.

Russ: Okay, real cool. All right, so you mentioned audits a while ago; I want to follow up on another session of the Entrepreneur’s Playbook and get into audits, is that okay with you?

Mike: That’s a great, I’d be happy to talk about that.

Russ: All right, well thanks a lot for spending some time with us.

Mike: Thanks Russ.

Russ: You bet. To learn more about JVSAs visit JVSA.com. This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

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Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Handbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host. I’m here once again with Kenneth Guidry, President of PKF Texas; welcome back to the Playbook Kenneth.

Kenneth: Always good to be here Russ.

Russ: You bet. So last time I was here I heard stories about this a couple of times, real exciting, the new JVSA which stands for what?

Kenneth: Joint Venture Strategic Advisors.

Russ: Okay, but weren’t you doing joint venture advising and auditing before this?

Kenneth: Yeah, we’ve had a long history of service to the energy industry and this service has a long standing history in that industry in particular. We’ve seen an increase in the opportunities that are coming our way, hearing about the level of activity – the level of investment in the drilling and exploration programs that we started to see more opportunities come our way. JVSA was really purposefully founded by ourselves, by Catalyst, our PKF North America affiliate firm in Calgary in the principles of JVMI that has a 20 year history of targeted services for this purpose, joint venture, auditing joint venture management; really an opportunity for us to add some great talent to our mix and approach the market in a much more targeted way.

Russ: Cool, I guess you sort of have your foot in Calgary too, I mean that was probably happening anyway.

Kenneth: We’ve got a great relationship, again a long standing history through our PKF International relationship to service cross border operations; the opportunity to work reference from Calgary is bringing together two of the premier energy markets in North America.

Russ: Great. To learn more about JVSA visit JVSA.com. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Kenneth Guidry, President of PKF Texas. Kenneth, welcome to your playbook.

Kenneth: Good to be here Russ.

Russ: You bet. So I recently had the opportunity to interview you for The BusinessMakers Show and we talked about JVSA; tell us about that, what is JVSA?

Kenneth: Well JVSA stands for Joint Venture Strategic Advisors and it is a newly formed entity, collaboration and affiliation with our PKF North America affiliated firm located in Calgary – the firm’s name is Catalyst – along with one of their long-standing relationships – JBMI – and its principals and specialists, focused don services to the energy industry, specifically around joint venture auditing and management.

Russ: Oh, wow, okay so that’s probably a hot item these days I would assume.

Kenneth: There’s been an unprecedented amount of spending in drilling programs over the last several years. That’s been the target of this entity – of the historical services of JBMI – we intend to continue that tradition with this team of specialists and experts but also expand on that to other industries. Kind of agnostic in that respect as long as they have multiple parties to an agreement around a joint venture relationship that it is an opportunity for us.

Russ: Okay, really cool; appreciate you sharing that with us.

Kenneth: My pleasure, thank you.

Russ: You bet, you bet. And to learn more about the JVSA visit JVSA.com. This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.