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Ipa Business Consultants / Terrible experience

1 United States Review updated:
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The IPA system is unethical! I spent $2k on a laptop, flight tickets, etc..., to go to IPA training for a week. They said the Biz Analyst (BA) does not sale anything. The BA sales consulting services. They BA will ask biz owner questions that nobody would know, just so the BA can gain credibility and make the owner feel stupid. The BA calls the research staff in front of the owner, but there is no research staff. The BA is calling the boss and talking to the boss as one that would talk to a subordinate, so the BA looks as though he/she has power. IPA hires anybody to be a BA. You do not need a financial background to work for IPA. There were people there with little to no financial statement analysis experience. 80% of the new employees quit in 6 months. The job burns them out with long hours, like 5am-10pm. They only pay .30 cents on the mile for your car or a rent-a-car that you use. They say that this .30 cents will workout, but I doubt it. They will also say that they have a 99% satisfaction rate. They will tell you the Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints divided by number of client's serviced equals 1%. This is not how you measure satisfaction. It should be calculated by the number of complaining phone calls to IPA divided by number of client's serviced. I would guess this is 50%. I never asked. Many dissatisfied biz owners will not bother to call the BBB. So if you are considering working with or for IPA-IBA, I would reconsider.

Va
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Comments

  • Ga
      23rd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I also attended the training, but left after the first day. It was clear to anyone with experience that they are engaged in deceptive practices designed to increase their revenue, not the "clients". A boiler room prospecting operation, combined with unethical (probably fraudulent) business practices, enables them to continue to masquerade as consultants. I truly believe they are defrauding the public.

  • Ba
      3rd of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree that IPA is a slaezy company and thrive on fear and deception. The owner is a crooked as a three dollar bill. I attended the training for the vacation and it was clear to me they were practicing major deception based on the peoople who attended the training with me and the way they went about conducting the training. Hell, even the senior business analysts are high pressure salespersons themselves. My advice, stay as far away from these scam artists as you possibly can.

  • Bb
      5th of Feb, 2009
    -1 Votes

    If you can get a phone interview with them, ask difficult questions. They get madder and madder. It was actually quite fun getting "Brian" mad over the phone.

    The question that really got him mad was "what is your turnover rate?"

  • Al
      17th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am a current employee of IPA/IBA; I started with IPA some years ago because I wanted to consult to small to medium companies. I wanted to get down to the grass roots of American business and provide them with key elements that would make them successful in today’s market place. During my first six months with IPA, I was moved up very quickly to the rank of project manager. This is out of the norm for IPA; an individual wishing to become a Project Manager has to be a Senior Business Consultant for a full year before they can be considered project manager material. Over the past few years with IPA I found that to be successful and to stay busy, I had to change my values and personality. I did not like the way I had to manipulate my personal values to deal with clients and stay in good standing with the powers to be that run the company in Buffalo Grove. The business consulting side of IPA has to work closely with its first cousin, ITA the tax side of the company. Most projects are a combination of tax and business consulting, both having their own cost structure and management structure that oversees the delivery process. As a rule, the business consultants and Project Managers handle the overall delivery of a client program called a “Project Plan”. While tax is a major cost to the overall client, the client is actually working with two companies, the business consultant who is on site and working with the client to change their daily business routines and the tax side working in Chicago to develop the client tax strategy.

    It is my belief and observation from being part of the business consulting side of IPA and working on hundreds of client projects as a “Senior Business Consultant” and “Project Manager” that the basic model we use to conduct business with clients is doomed to failure before we even get to the client. I will try and explain so that future clients and consultants wishing to join IPA will have some idea of what to expect. The business model used by IPA is one of very high pressure and direct sales with little to no time to back out of the deal. The client is contacted by a “Boiler Room” sales person who is located at the home office, they are very professional and caring, the client is convinced to let a local analyst come by and meet to conduct a review and provide the client with a plan to fix their business. The analyst will work with the client all day; sometimes the company is so large that the analyst will take two days to conduct the review. The analyst will convince the client that they need immediate help; they will tell you that IPA has consultants that have people trained to help with your particular business and that they will fix your business. They will tell you that your business can afford the cost of the project and that the Project Team will be on site the next day and the Project Manager will fix your business. The analyst will convince you to sign a basic contract for a set number of hours; the contract commits the client to all expenses and time for the project team that will be on site the next day. In a period of less than twenty four hours, the client has been pressured into signing a contract and having a project team of two to five staff members from IPA /ITA show up in suites and ties to fix your business.

    The client is now on the hook for all expenses and travel cost for the entire project team. The project manager will bring with him one to three consultants as well as a tax consultant if the analyst sold a tax package. The very minute you the client, let any member of the project team come into your business, you are responsible for 100% of the cost the project team has incurred to get to your location. This means that the client already owes a bill to IPA for the first day: Lets break that down – the client signed a contract for so many hours based on an hourly rate plus all expenses. The first day will usually cost the client an average of $8, 500.00 to 16, 000.00 based on the number of consultants assigned to the project. Bottom line, IPA is going to take $8, 000.00 to 25, 000.00 each week away from your bottom line / cash flow. The truth is that if a client had that kind of extra cash to pay IPA, the client could turn the business around with a few basic tools.

    Rules to deal with IPA:

    1.) Never Ever meet with an IPA analyst on Thursday or Friday.
    2.) Don’t sign any contract that commits you to any expenses prior to you meeting with the project PM – if you feel the project team can help your business, and then sign the contract.
    3.) Don’t sign a contact that commits you to any more hours than one week (50 hours).
    4.) Once the project starts, you are contractually able to end the project on any day you choose, so there is no reason to sign a contact that has hundreds of hours up front.
    5.) Take three days to think about the project; don’t be pressured into rushing the start date.
    6. NEVER POST DATE ANY CHECKS OR GIVE A CREDIT CARD NUMBER OR BANK ACCOUNT TO IPA / ITA!!!

  • Al
      17th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am trying to compile a list of people who have worked for IPA as a Senior Business Consultant - would like to track the precentage of jobs and collected revenue that you helped generate for IPA. IPA is in a constant state of hriing, they have consultants on the beach and yet they hold training classes. They are a very unprofessional company that takes advantage of small clients who are bluffed and tricked into signing long term contracts that legally committ them to debit they can not pay. The client receives little to nothing for their monie. Do not sign a contact with this company.

  • Ri
      1st of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Al,

    I agree with you on most of what you wrote with the exception that the Analyst CANNOT sell a job for less than 110 hours. That is the minimum allowable contract for consulting services.

    I joined IPA near the end of 2008 & have had nothing but frustration as a Senior Business Analyst. I took the job because the job market was miserable and yes... I was sold by Brian & Kerri. I refused to pay for my airline tickets & was going to walk away & they picked up the tab for that, which led me to believe that they were a reputable company.

    I was skeptical during training but was lured in by the talk of Analysts making $200-$300K a year on a regular basis. I will be leaving the company soon and I am in the process of filing a complaint with the Department of labor & the Illinois Attorney General's office for unfair labor practices.

    IPA is now allowing the clients to post-date checks for payment of consulting services... a practice, I have been told, that has gone on for a little while. Recently, IPA changed the way they pay the analysts. The analysts, who are only paid the commission we earn by selling consulting services to the client (even though you are told that this is not a sales position...bs), now have to wait for these post-dated checks to clear the bank before we are paid. I currently have over $200, 000 that I have sold since January 1st that I havene't been paid on (roughly $20k in commission) and I can't leave the company because they have this ridiculos policy that if you leave, any unpaid commission owed to you is forfeited. So, I am basically being held hostage until I can get the Department of Labor to shed some light on the legality of this policy.

    What IPA is doing to its employees equates to a General Contractor (to use an example) getting the go-ahead on a state construction job to build a school. The GC knows the state pays slowly but keeps this to himself. After the employees start work on the project, he changes the policy and informs his employees that they will only be paid 1) when the state pays him 2) if the checks clear the bank. If 1 & 2 don't happen... too bad, so sad... you worked for free... oh and by the way... if you leave before the end of the project... you don't get squat.

    Anyhow... the practices they use are shady. On the surface, it looks like a solid & reputable company but once you dig past the shiny veneer, you learn more (like the sales people absolutely, straight-up, bold faced lying to customers about what services IPA provides... what the analysts will do when they get there etc etc etc) about the truth. But... I guess you can only polish a turd so much. How in the world they ever got to be a $250M company in 2005 is beyond me.

  • Sm
      9th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am the owner of a small construction who was scammed by IPA, They did the whole schitck on me the visit, the Anaylist, and the 200 hours plus expenses, enough to basicaly drain me financially. Yes they did teach me about how a business functions but the cost was outragious and I was nieve enough to pay IPA tens of thousands of dollars to learn what one good night school course or a good book could tell you.
    They are ruthless and I believe the function of the anaylist is to go through your books to see exactly how much IPA can drain you for and get the contract signed.
    Don't sign a contract, ask around, BEWARE.
    Most business owners are probably too embarrased, as was I, to talk about falling into this trap. Please stay away.
    Brian

  • Gr
      23rd of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Al Bachman:

    Regarding your last statement below:
    "IPA is in a constant state of hriing, they have consultants on the beach and yet they hold training classes. They are a very unprofessional company that takes advantage of small clients who are bluffed and tricked into signing long term contracts that legally committ them to debit they can not pay. The client receives little to nothing for their monie. Do not sign a contact with this company."

    I understand you still work for IPA as a Consulting Services Director, is that true? If not please advise where you work, as it would seem that as a high level IPA employee you could not make such statements?

    G. Rogers (previous SBC)
    Indiana

  • Su
      21st of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    G. Rogers-

    Clearly the gentleman who wrote the messages signed Al Bachman thought it would be an amusing signature- but I am certain that those messages were not written by Al Bachman.

    You are correct that Mr. Bachman is currently employed by IPA as a Consulting Services director, or he was as of May 15th. I know this because May 15th is the date when one of his consultants called him from our office so that I could speak to him directly and confirm that they would not be cashing our post-dated checks totaling over $16, 000 until we were able to increase our company's cash position.

    However, the first check was cashed, and when we contacted IPA this week to tell them that they would need to hold off depositing the other 2 checks, Mr. Bachman did not return our call. Our Project Manager, when contacted, also promised to call us back, and failed to do so.

    Some online research today turned up a press release by the Attorney General for the state of Illinois, stating that the AG had filed a lawsuit against IPA. If anyone is interested in the details, here is a link: http://www.ag.state.il.us/pressroom/2009_04/20090422.html

  • Lo
      16th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Sincere thanks to G. Rogers for that link. I have been researching IPA (International Profit Associates) since an associate fell to the same hard-sell and rapid-fire tactics with IPA running up a $50k bill in less than 30 days with the same old promises of increased profit to offset their fees. Mr. B is not a novice to business consulting services, and therefore had reasonable expectations and trusted IPA to deliver on their promises, he gets the help he needs, they get paid, everybody's happy. Their deliverables consisted of a one-inch binder with generic boilerplate forms and nothing of the marketing plan for increasing business as discussed with his IPA reps. That helpful link to the Illinois Attorney General

    http://www.ag.state.il.us/pressroom/2009_04/20090422.html

    Feel free to contact me with your story. We had a difficult time finding complaints on IPA with general searches, but we'd like to organize a group of consumers to further raise awareness, make sure all complaints are filed with the proper agencies and let the courts decide.

  • Al
      3rd of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Thanks to all with the input. I applied to the company. However, I then researched and found this site. I immediately emailed them to say that I am no longer interested in working for them and to not contact me...ever.

  • Fo
      16th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Al bachman is probably the biggest douche bag piece of ### I have ever met!!!

  • Je
      28th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    This company contacted me to discuss bringing me on as a Business Consultant. A man named Jeff Slywka was the contact. I found him to be everything like the reviews I had read about this company. He doesn't return calls, even when he has asked you to call him. He doesn't appear to be honorable in the way he is doing business. During the interview I asked him if they had any type of year end event honoring their top sales people. He started to dance around the question, and said they had an event is Las Vegas. When I probed further & further, because he was evading the question and answer, he finally said the event in Las Vegas was for anyone that wanted to attend and not hosted by the company. This is basically what I got in the whole interview. Talking in circles from him! When I probed about receiving commissions for sales, I did not get a straight answer & still don't know how or when they'd be paid. Stay away from this company!

  • Pt
      13th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Jeffk, I found that Jeff Slywka answered all my questions, when I asked about how I was going to get paid he was straightforward and did not pull me in circles. About the Las Vegas trip for top sales reps, well first of all why would ask a question like that in an interview, it makes no sense. To be honest it truly shows that you are in this for the money and the perks that come along with this company, in my eyes you need to earn the perks before receiving them.

    In this world we are all going through hard times so in my eyes it is not a time to be greedy and file a complaint about a company that you do not even work for. I think you are mad at this company because you where not offered a job with them. Look I do not even work for them, but in my line of experience I will say that I do not know of a company that does not have complaints filed against them for something they did wrong. After reading all the comments posted I would assume that most of you would complain about anything to find a free ride or loop whole.

    If everything was true about this company then explain why many people are very happy working for them, and for the rest of those who are complaining about this company makes me wonder if you sit around all day to find things to complain about or you are trying to find an excuse for your own actions and failures that led you to this conclusion...

  • Ga
      15th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I too quit a so-so job in hopes of getting a very good job. I have a MBA and do not consider myself stupid but boy did I get dupped. I knew after the first day that the whole concept was a sham and stayed the week only so I could get reimbursed for my airline ticket. Please, don't walk--run as fast as you can away from anyone that contacts you about "working" for this company. The only people that are successful with this company are those that have no morals and don't care who they con into accepting their services.

  • Gl
      27th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Well I've got to admit, I didn't believe anything I read about IPA. Until I had my close encounter. I've honestly never dealt with such rudeness from a company before. It was insulting, rude, arrogant. The moment I stated what I believe and thought I was called ignorant, stupid. . . Just all kinds of terrible things.

    They eventually hung up on me.

  • Se
      29th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I just had an consultant in my biz yesterday, keeping me for 2 days busy answering stupid questions, that should lead you to see how incompetent you are as a business owner. I didn't sign the contract but issued the check for $600 so I can get rid of him. The check was for his expenses and 'services'.
    Can I recall that check so thay can't cash it or will I be sued for that?
    After reading all the above, I am just glad I Googled them and saw this site just in time to say 'no'.
    But I want my money back.

  • Ce
      2nd of Sep, 2009
    +1 Votes

    JeffK, I complement you on the questions you asked Jeff Slywak of IPA during your interview, i.e. "if they had any type of year end event honoring their top sales people" (from your post 35 days prior to this one I'm posting now). Not only does it convey that you plan to be a "top salesperson" but it is exactly the kind of question which reveals the culture of a company. His answer (or lack of one) showed you what you needed to know.

    An IPA recruiting manager contacted me regarding applying to become a Senior Business Consultant. In an attempt to hear both sides of the story, I am going to ask her to take a look at the posts on this site and give me a response. I'll post again after I get a I hear, or don't hear back.

  • Lo
      7th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am starting with this company today. I read various posts here before going through training and starting. Reading the above posts, I find a person who does not seem to know enough English to differentiate between "sale" and "sell" (i.e. the BA does not sale anything as opposed to the BA does not sell anything, and then, the BA sales consulting services). So, I am compelled to disregard that person as rather illiterate.

    The next post is someone who attended the training program and left in one day. I stayed all 5 and really need to disregard this poster also. That they have telemarketers dedicated solely to making appointments is something I saw as desirable. However, in general, I have never heard anyone proclaim "hey I just got a great call from a telemarketer". Telemarketing is used by a lot of companies because it works, but in general, NOBODY likes getting calls from them.

    Its amazing also that after one day of training one of the above individuals was able to determine the company's consultants employ deceptive practices, etc. Please tell us how you determined that?

    It looks like two people figured the company was a scam in one day or so because the company does or does not have a year end meeting, etc.?

    Very unfortunately, the lack of intelligent posts on this site resulted in my pretty much disregarding the posts. I am actually writing this to see if it will in fact be posted. It will help me to determine whether this site is legitimate. I hope I am not wrong in starting with this company, but frankly, the poor writing and communication on this site by posters has resulted in my having to disregard it. I guess what I am saying is thanks for nothing, and probably, a lot of you need to go back to scholl to git you GED cause ya sem dum as a post. (Creating bogus posts with current company employee names - get a life.)

    Anyway, my decision has been made and I will find out for myself with no help from most of you unfortunately.

  • Ba
      9th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    my husband is about to go to training next week. has anyone actually known of someone who works for this compnay, enjoys their work, and makes an income that is able to support a family?? HELP!

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