The IBS Longtimers: An Interview with Frank Carroll
Frank Carroll is the CFO of IBS and has been with the company for over 25 years. In that time he has played a vital role in helping IBS, shaping the company into the success that it is today. We sat down with Frank to learn more about his time with IBS, who he is outside of the office, and his favorite spooky Halloween activities.
What do you like to do outside of work? Do you have any favorite hobbies?
I really enjoy spending time outside, doing things like swimming and gardening. I’ve ran three Chicago marathons, too. I always like spending time with friends and family; in fact, I recently officiated my nephew’s wedding. I also visit my alma mater, University of Michigan, when I can. Last month, I attended a football game in the Big House.
How long have you been at IBS? Have you held any other positons at IBS?
My 26-year anniversary with IBS was is in December. I started out in accounting, and then, over time, took on more and more responsibility for other aspects of the company including HR/Benefits, Legal, and Finance, ultimately winding up in the position of CFO.
How has IBS changed the most since you started?
The biggest change I’ve seen is the growth in technology, both externally and internally. We’ve been able to take advantage of new technologies to make our jobs run smoother and more efficiently. For example, we no longer use the US Post Office for mailing invoices to clients or paychecks to employees. Consultants no longer have to turn in paper timesheets; they just enter their time online in the portal. We can do so much more now with all the automation we enjoy. Internet job boards and sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have changed the recruiting process. The way we do business has become so technology-centric. It’s still a people business reliant on strong relationships, but the technology makes it a whole lot easier to keep track of things.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while working at IBS and how did you overcome it?
Although emerging technology has helped improve our business, it’s also brought about some challenges. The industry has become much more competitive, so we have to work faster and harder to find talent and fill requirements. It’s also difficult to find certain types of IT talent domestically, so we’ve expanded our business by building a pool of resources in our offshore development center in India to fill in the gaps we cannot fill domestically.
What do you like best about what you do?
I love that I get to work with almost everyone in the company. I’ve been fortunate to get to know so many great people, a lot of whom I’ve worked with for a long time. I also like the variety of job tasks that comes with being CFO.
What’s your best memory of working at IBS?
Some of my favorite memories have been traveling overseas to our other offices. I’ve visited our operations in India about 15 times. We used to have a much larger office in the UK, and I had the opportunity to visit there several times as well. It’s been interesting to see how other countries do business and to see how cultures differ from one to the next. Other great memories have involved getting all the offices together for Kick Off meetings and Top Performer trips. While we cover a lot of business at these meetings, there is ample downtime to let loose a little and have fun with coworkers.
Most rewarding/frustrating parts about the job?
I’ve loved seeing how much success IBS has had over the years. Watching the way we’ve changed with the industry has been a neat experience, and I’m so proud to work at a place that can maintain so much success for nearly 35 years. We don’t just get the job done – we have fun doing it! The only thing frustrating about my job is that there are never enough hours in the day to do all the things I need to do. I’m sure I’m not alone.
What advice/words of wisdom would you give other IBS employees?
Take time to listen and understand, ultimately it will make your job a whole lot easier. Take advantage of all the talent surrounding you (in and outside the office) to learn what you need, to make the right decisions and get the job done.