Last Updated: October 12th, 2020 at 10:10 am
Read Time: 3 Minutes
The Charlotte Business Journal has named POWERHOME SOLAR chief financial officer Juan Ramirez as 2020 CFO of the Year among large private Charlotte-area companies!
The Charlotte Business Journal’s 2020 CFO of the Year Award showcases the top margin of professionals in the Charlotte region whose performance stands out as financial leaders of their company. Ramirez is no stranger to this award, having been a finalist in 2019. The consistency shown by Ramirez and his team highlights how invaluable his financial leadership is to POWERHOME SOLAR.
Financial team thrives amid 6 straight record-breaking months
Ramirez and his financial team have been instrumental to the company’s increased growth and profitability. Ramirez has transformed his staff into one relying on better systems and processes since the start of 2019. These changes were instrumental, as the company’s revenue approached $200 million in 2019 — an increase of 80 percent year-over-year growth from 2018. Despite the onset of COVID-19, POWERHOME SOLAR has set company sales records in April, May, June, July, August and September. Additionally, POWERHOME SOLAR is on pace for a new revenue record in 2020. All of POWERHOME SOLAR’s financial work is completed by a staff of 6.5 people. This is indicative of the high level of automation that makes the department run as efficiently as possible.
“Our challenge was finding our way without a map when COVID-19 hit,” Ramirez says of his team’s biggest challenge this year. “We looked internally at our accounting and controls to ensure we were working optimally, and we also contacted our vendors to ensure adequate supplies were in stock for us to continue our work.
“Travel restrictions forced us to hold more meetings virtually, and myself and the four others on our executive team temporarily took ourselves off payroll to ensure cash flow would not be an issue. The record sales we’ve had since the pandemic have presented a good challenge and opportunity to hire additional employees and grow.”
Juan Ramirez provides direction for aspiring CFOs
POWERHOME SOLAR had its second consecutive successful external audit in 2020 (2019 financials), and the department spearheaded the successful conversion of accounting systems in 2019 from QuickBooks to NetSuite. With another successful audit in the books, Ramirez had a message for all aspiring CFOs.
“Ethics are among the most important things you need as a CFO, controller or auditor. When you have all the basic fundamental controls in place, that sets you up for success,” Ramirez explains. “It’s also important to make time to help others along the way. You want to grow the next level of leaders to ensure the future is in good hands.”
Ramirez credits his own success to having three strong women in his life.
“My grandmother Gloria pulled me out of Cuba, along with my mother Esther, to come to the U.S. as a young boy and start a new life here,” Ramirez says. “That gave me a chance to meet my wife, Beatriz, and start pursuing the American Dream. When I got started in my career and had low-level jobs, who pushed me and who did I want to impress with my career? It was those three. They’ve held me up in anything I’ve accomplished.”
Ramirez and his accounting team have previously earned bronze level recognition from the American Business Awards. Also, Ramirez earned gold recognition as Finance Executive of the Year as part of the 2019 Globee Awards. The success of Ramirez and his financial team has allowed the company to continue its pursuit of rapid growth. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement Juan!