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Accounting Insights

We Are Accounting Insights

Accounting Insights is a Minneapolis-based management accounting & consulting firm.

We develop and deliver financial information and analysis that enables you to make fact-based management decisions.

Accounting Insights specializes in reducing complex financial circumstances into simple predictive models that can be manipulated to examine different alternatives.

Stephen D. Colton is Accounting Insights' founder and principal consultant.


Accounting Insights is both an old company and a new company. The following paragraphs explain.

Accounting Insights was initially organized in 1995 when its founder, Stephen D. Colton, left the middle-management ranks of Honeywell to pursue his dream of independent consulting. The new firm provided freelance management accounting services to small and medium-sized Minnesota businesses. In addition, the firm often provided economic and management insights in support of the policy analysis and advocacy work of Roger D. Colton and the Boston-based firm Fisher Sheehan & Colton, Public Finance & General Economics.

In 1997, Accounting Insights merged with the consulting practice of Peter M. Lenhardt to form Lenhardt & Colton, LLC. It was a good fit and for seven years, Lenhardt & Colton helped organizations, large and small, public and private, to understand and manage their processes, process costs and outcomes. During this period, Stephen Colton continued to support and collaborate with Fisher Sheehan and Colton.

In the spring of 2004, the Lenhardt & Colton partners realized they had vastly different ideas on the direction the firm should pursue. After much discussion and soul-searching, Peter Lenhardt and Stephen Colton decided to pursue independent paths. In June 2004, Lenhardt & Colton was amicably dissolved and Accounting Insights was re-born.

Our Company Values

Every customer and every project is different. However, at Accounting Insights we adhere to a foundation of values that guides us in all our undertakings. It is important for you to know and understand these core beliefs, as they are the true underpinning of Accounting Insights' work.

Accountants often deliver too much data in too much detail. Information is too often developed at a level of complexity far beyond what is actually needed to make a decision. Tangled webs of spreadsheets are not only expensive to maintain but they too often obscure critical information rather than reveal it.

Stephen Colton and Accounting Insights have an unyielding commitment to simplicity. We help our clients keep their eyes firmly fixed on the actual information requirements of the end decision. Peter Drucker said, “Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose.”* We use simple measurements and straight-forward models to develop data that is relevant and purposeful.

* Peter F. Drucker, The New Realities: In Government and Politics; In Economics and Business; In Society and World View,
First Perennial Edition, Harper & Row, New York, 1990, pp. 207 - 220.

Collaboration & Teamwork
The best solutions come from working together. Even with all of the knowledge and experience that Accounting Insights brings to a project, we need your people for your project to be successful. Your people contribute a day-to-day, insider knowledge of the organization that is often vital to the project. We understand that we must leverage that knowledge and experience to deliver optimum value.

Effective collaboration and teamwork demands strong relationships, mutual respect, and good communication. These skills are as important to Accounting Insights as the technical accounting and computer skills.

Continuous Learning & Improvement
Stephen Colton passionately believes in continuous learning. It is critical for professionals to stay up-to-date with changing technology and practices. But it is not enought to simply stay current with new developments. Colton believes professionals must systematically expand their knowledge base to thrive in today's competitive enviroment.

As a firm, Accounting Insights relentlessly pursues continuous improvement and excellence in its internal processes as well as the products and services it delivers to its clients, Our mantra is to never be satisfied; things can always be improved.

Continued Service after Project Completion
There are always loose ends that emerge after the formal "completion" of any project. With Accounting Insights, that's not a concern. We are always available for that "one last phone call" and that "one more question." We are always available to help you tie-up those pesky loose ends. It’s how we do business.

We seek a long-term relationship with our clients. We want not only to complete today's project but also to become your trusted source for future management accounting assistance. It’s important for clients to know that their relationship with Accounting Insights continues even after the clock on a specific project has run out.

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