Gateway Research Park is a not-for-profit joint venture between two North Carolina universities. Executive Director John Merrill has been there from the start of this unique collaboration — and so has Gilliam Bell Moser. In fact, Merrill tapped the firm to design the organization’s very first accounting system and internal controls.
“Leading this start-up, I needed to be comfortable that everything was set up properly,” Merrill explained. “Gilliam Bell Moser gave me the ability to grow this organization without looking over my shoulder to be sure everything was done right. I was totally confident in their work.”
Since those early days, Gilliam Bell Moser has assisted Merrill and his staff with a variety of ongoing advice and accounting work. For example, as a not-for-profit organization that receives government funding, Gateway University Research Park is subject to a “yellow book” audit and must adhere to strict accounting and transparency standards. Gilliam Bell Moser helps the organization get “audit ready” every year. In addition, the firm has assisted with cost accounting for two new facilities, one renovation and modifications to other buildings — a total of 190,000 square feet of new space.
But for Merrill, the relationship with Gilliam Bell Moser comes down to people. “They’re a really strong firm, staffed with smart, capable people,” he said. “As we’ve grown, the relationship has grown. The proof of their success is our success.”