Fayetteville’s Aaron Stahl is always up for an adventure.
The 38-year old chief executive officer of P3 Cost Analysts has used his Northwest Arkansas home base as a springboard to travel the world, while also saving corporate clients money with his business.
“The easiest way to think about what we do is to compare it to forensic accounting,” Stahl says. “We’re looking for errors, overcharges, and opportunities for savings.”
Stahl says the 12-week process involves looking at expenses like utility bills, telecom and waste among others for businesses both big and small.
“If we find opportunities for savings we present these to our clients for approval,” Stahl says. “Once approved we work to implement those savings on our clients’ behalf.”
All that “forensic accounting” done on behalf of those businesses is free.“Only after they are saving money do we begin to share in the savings,” Stahl adds.
“We found an incorrectly applied fee on a telecom bill for one of our clients,” he says of a school system they were working with. “We identified the error that even the telecom provider thought was correct. After much follow up and hard work we were able to get that error credited back to when it started, 12 years prior, and that resulted in a $150,000 refund for our clients.”
“That’s one specific example obviously” and “where we find, identify, and deliver savings can run the gamut. … It’s strictly financial consulting and applying over 150 years of industry expertise on our client’s behalf.”
P3 Cost Analysts started as a waste consulting company and in 2018 grew after Stahl acquired Cost Analysts Inc., a Greensboro, N.C. company that worked as an auditing firm for telecom and utilities.
That led to P3 having offices in Northwest Arkansas and North Carolina.
“Our waste auditing division is also housed here,” Stahl says of the Northwest Arkansas office. “Our Greensboro office is where we do our franchise training and also houses our telecom/utility auditors.”
The business now has 20 employees who generated $2.75 million in revenue last year and there’s steady growth ahead as Stahl expects revenues to top $30 million, or more, in five years.
The reason, Stahl thinks, is that his company fills a need.
“Almost every business needs help in these categories,” he says. “That’s evidenced by the fact that we find savings on 9 out of every 10 clients we work with.”
To get there though, it requires a bit of a sea change in corporate thinking.
“Historically, many business leaders were reluctant to engage third party experts,” he says, “Admitting you didn’t have all the expertise ‘in house’ was almost an admission of failure. That mindset is changing, and business leaders are more open to focusing on their core business and bringing in other experts to help them elsewhere.”
The result, Stahl says, is, “that means the cost reduction industry is only going to continue growing. We see every single business one day having a cost reduction company on hand, just like you would your accountant or attorney.”
Stahl, who grew up in Mountain Home, then went to college at the University of Arkansas and, essentially, globe-trotting adventures aside, hasn’t left Northwest Arkansas since.
But getting out of town has a different meaning for a person who is also a pilot and that’s not all.
“I’m a flight instructor and have traveled to over 40 countries around the world,” Stahl says and, indeed, his company’s website has photos of him running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain to flying high over the Alaskan countryside..
When asked what he does when not working, Stahl’s response was simple and succinct.“I’m going on adventures.”