BEC looking bright as five-year plan installed

By Eleanor Guerrero
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Teri Wallis gives BEC a bright forecast.

Photo by Eleanor Guerrero

Teri Wallis of Terilyn Wallis Consulting gave Beartooth Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BEC) Board some things to think about in changing their whole setup for reporting their financial activities. They are changing from the RUS (governmental) setup to one that is more flexible and able to meet BEC’s needs according to Wallis.

For example, said Wallis, “You have a five year plan. Why not think beyond ’23?” She suggests a ten-year plan. “It doesn’t mean we can’t take a different look at what’s happening. It’s perfect to get to ’23, but why not go beyond?”

She said each year the plan could be adjusted to give more accuracy but still provide some long term view. “Each year we can just clean up what our assumptions are and just update that.” She said there had to be some assumptions “so we could go forward.”

That way each year they could look back and say, “What were we thinking? Or give ourselves a pat on the back!”

Most importantly, she said that any lenders could always ask for a ten year forecast. “We have to have it in place.” They would have the basics used by all the industry of “debt, depreciation, work plan retirement” and more.

It should not require a whole overhaul of current financial reporting. “Brad (BEC Accountant, Brad Prophet) showed us an excellent spreadsheet. We can set it up close to that with our new model.”

Wallis was happy to report, “Equity is growing quickly.” She noted, “You were in recovery. You had a financial situation that needed all your attention. You’ve worked through that and put it behind you,” she praised the board. Equity growing “is no small feat!”

She said few cooperatives could boast of such accomplishments.

The future, said Wallis, “shows really strong, healthy equity. It’s positive and its’ growing.”

“We’re at a positive stage. We can strategize about what do you want Beartooth to look like?”

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