Premium Associate Member Spotlight: Maner Costerisan

This article appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Faced with supply chain issues, the talent crisis and rampant inflation, many manufacturers are leaving no stone unturned in the quest to innovate to keep ahead of changes that impact the industry. And some are finding surprisingly effective solutions may be available from a source that is not often top-of-mind for problem solving or strategic planning — their CPA firm.

Understanding your finances and having insight into key metrics are instrumental in navigating change and identifying areas for improvement. Your internal accounting team can provide reports but Maner Costerisan in Lansing has been developing custom, real-time, detailed dashboards for their clients to integrate critical business data that is spread across their organization.

One Skill Everyone Should Have

The ability to actively listen; being able to actively listen to someone else allows one to truly understand how one can help.

“A custom dashboard provides clear visibility into things like your labor rate for the past month, collections from customers and so on. It’s easier to plan ahead when you know exactly where you stand,” says Dave Nielsen, CPA and Principal at Maner Costerisan.

Founded more than 100 years ago as a tax and accounting assurance firm, Maner has evolved into a full-service accounting, technology and business consulting firm.

Nielsen is Maner’s team expert for the manufacturing industry and says consulting from an outside source can provide a unique perspective for companies, especially now with so many merging, selling and growing. His team meets with their clients’ key decisionmakers who ask, “How can we grow the value of the business? Is a significant customer loss a risk? We’re at 10 million, how do we get to 20 million?”

The Best Advice I Ever Got

Choose a job where you never have to work a day in your life. The second-best piece of advice: “luck is the residue of design.”

There are a variety of ways in which outside services can support employers beyond traditional accounting, auditing and business consulting. Acquiring and retaining talent is the No. 1 challenge facing nearly all manufacturers currently, and Maner provides unique support in the areas of executive transition and talent placement for internal accounting staff.

“If a client’s CFO resigns, we have people that can fill that gap to keep them on track until they find a permanent replacement, or we can support in that role for the long-term,” Nielsen says.

To help ensure Maner has a sufficient talent pool available for their own staffing needs, which includes having people available for outsourcing to their clients, they have a proactive HR and recruiting department.

As a member of their Career Development committee, Nielsen plays a critical role in helping guide the professional development of Maner’s staff.

Best Part of My Job

Helping other people achieve their goals.

“Our recruiting department meets with students on campus and works with professors to bring students in for Career Days, so they can get a feel for what it’s like to be a CPA, or work at a manufacturing facility or here’s what you might encounter working with this kind of customer,” says Nielsen.

Maner also provides internship opportunities through mid-Michigan colleges, offering about eight internships each summer and eight more each winter for students who want to take a semester off from school.

Today’s challenges require manufacturers to adapt in ways they hadn’t considered before, and turning to outside resources to discover what solutions are available is definitely worth exploring.

Premium Associate MemberManer Costerisan is an MMA Premium Associate Member and has been an MMA member company since October 1976. Visit online: