CFO: Stan Grise

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009 12:00 am  

Large Businesses
Stan Grise
Munro & Co. Inc.
Hot Springs

Stan Grise has been chief financial officer for shoe manufacturer Munro & Co. Inc. for 23 years, a period that corresponds with vast improvements in computerized accounting programs.

As a result, hands-on accounting is now "almost none" of his job, and the information technology function that used to occupy a great deal of time has also been dramatically reduced.

"I used to be constantly working on setting IT priorities and programming and constantly wondering whether to change software, constantly having hardware failures," Grise said, sounding not at all nostalgic.

"I do today with one accounting person what we used to do 25 years ago with four. And that's because we're so much more automated, and because of the power of the computer."

So if he isn't accounting and isn't working on IT, what does Stan Grise do? He's a volunteer for the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, a past president of the Garland County United Way, and has served on the boards of the Hot Springs YMCA, the Hot Springs Country Club and St. Joseph's Mercy Medical Center.

And at the office, "the single biggest part of my job is risk management," he said. "Basically, I am continually monitoring the risks within the company, starting with financial risks. And then it goes from there into all the other kinds of risks."

Munro self-insures its employee health care plan, so that's a significant risk to be managed. Grise also stays on top of risks such as business failures by vendors or customers and typical risk-management functions like property and casualty insurance. He is also in close contact with Munro & Co.'s bankers, "making sure that the bank is comfortable with the company and that the company is comfortable with the bank." Corporate finance, Grise said, is another exercise in managing risk.

And staying comfortable with the finances is a big, big job for a company that has bucked the odds to become one of the last American shoe manufacturers standing.



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