Ipa Business ConsultantsTerrible experience

1

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.

Responses

  • Ga
    Garrett Goldwater Sep 23, 2008

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    Barry DeShazo Oct 03, 2008

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Bb
    bb1134 Feb 05, 2009

    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?"

    -1 Votes
  • Al
    Al Bachman Feb 17, 2009

    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!!!

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Al Bachman Feb 17, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Rick Jones Apr 01, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Sm
    Small Contractor Apr 09, 2009

    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

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    G. Rogers Apr 23, 2009

    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

    0 Votes
  • Su
    SuchADiva May 21, 2009

    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

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    Lori L Jun 16, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Almost Screwed Jul 03, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Fo
    former ipaiba client Jul 16, 2009

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

    0 Votes
  • Je
    JeffK Jul 28, 2009

    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!

    0 Votes
  • Pt
    ptm Aug 13, 2009

    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...

    0 Votes
  • Ga
    GARM Aug 15, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Gl
    Glad I never Aug 27, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Se
    sest Aug 29, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Ce
    CEO7 Sep 02, 2009

    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.

    1 Votes
  • Lo
    LookingForIPAInfo Sep 07, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    bag Sep 09, 2009

    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!

    0 Votes
  • Te
    TedBocaBoats Sep 10, 2009

    I have just finished my first telephone interview with Brian at IPA. Yeah, he seems pretty "high energy", but I like that! I have a strong work ethic, and I want to work with other people who want to work their tails off. Were I looking for a consultant to help my business improve, I'd want a guy with that "high enrgy" drive, too.
    I have an exceptionally varied background in business development, both with my own companies, and for other business owners. I know that I can help small to medium business people, but I'll tell you it's not easy to find a job where I can utilize these skills. And I get really frustrated with business owners who don't seem willing to change things when needed to save their company. Does that mean I'd get pushy trying to convince them? Yeah, I think probably so.
    I hope "lookingfor IPA info" and "bag" above will keep posting to this sight and let us all know how the training and the rest of the job go. I'm still trying to decide if I want to work here, but so far I think it's right up my alley.

    0 Votes
  • Ef
    EFL Sep 14, 2009

    Thank you all for your revealing comments, proof that the web still has some value. In researching IPA, I discovered this 2006 NY Times article about the company and its founder/president John Burgess: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/07/nyregion/07company.html?pagewanted=all . The sleaze factor here is is fairly shocking. Even Blago, the disgraced ex-gov of ILL, had to disassociate himself from Burgess. Read the article and judge whether IPA is the kind of organization you would be proud to work with.

    0 Votes
  • Di
    Distressedandsuspicious Oct 06, 2009

    Hey, call me smart for doing my diligence before working for these clowns. I have an interview scheduled for tomorrow and I wanted to do some research on the company. Guess what I found out about INTERNATIONAL PROFIT ASSOCIATES (IPA). They are a bunch of high-pressure crooks! They sent me an email regarding the "hiring process" as I am an out-of-work Sales Executive with over 15 years experience. Same thing as the other person's comments that they want me to pay for the trip to Chicago for my training? And they also state that I would get a 91% commission rate on my initial survey calls.WTF! Who in the legitimate world pays someone 91% commissions? TEHY MUST BE CROOKS to afford that kind of commission!

    They torture businesses by sending sets of theives to the unsuspecting companies and then by billing the companies (suckers) for thousands of dollars in travel expenses. Wow, I am so glad I read up on them... I will still keep my interview for tomorrow, just so I can embarass the interviewer with my own set of questions.

    P.S. I feel real sorry for those people who are going to work for a company that has over 208 complaints filed with the Illinois District Attorney. SH it people, read up on these guys!

    0 Votes
  • Fo
    FormerEmployeeOfIPA Oct 09, 2009

    I posted last under LookingForIPAInfo but can't seem to log back into this site.

    I quit the company. Part of the issue was the company apparently holds back commissions for 28 days. That is, you work 2 weeks, and get paid for that 2 weeks 4 weeks later. If you are not working for the company 4 weeks later, you forfeit all of your pay? Therefore, according to IPA, only 8 people in the company are not on commision, so if the company turns over each position once a year they get the last 4 weeks for each position without paying the person. Turnover each position twice a year, and they get 8 weeks free. Turnover 3 times, 12 weeks free. The implication, the company wants high turnover and initial hard work, then see you later. Or at least, that would be very profitable for them.

    In my first week I encountered two business owners who previously worked with IPA and I thought they were literally going to punch me. A third said he talked with an attorney to sue them for the tax advice they gave him - but apparently the attorney did not think they would win.

    Checking with others who started with me, it seems like my situtation is not unique. I was pretty surprised how many people know of the company, and how the impression is generally not favorable when they do? I did not want to get in any deeper and quit. I actually would have liked to give it a little more time, but not when I realized that whatever I did in my last 4 weeks I would not be paid for.

    0 Votes
  • Go
    gotwise Oct 15, 2009

    LookingForIPAInfo -- good luck to you in your endeavor with IPA. I could care less about what you think about the posts that others have contributed or in your ability to "grade" the spelling in their posts. In fact, you do sound like a perfect fit for the IPA mindless dribble and boilerplate crap that they try to sell to people. It sounds as if you have already fallen for their hype and crap. Did your instructor get the phony calls during the training session about another job that went the full hours and the huge bonus the consultant was receiving? Yes, I tried the IPA gig for a month or two and was actually on Al's rotation for a few runs. Let’s see how you feel in a month or two when you are forced into taking checks from people who simply cannot afford it, or when your “partner” some old ### who has been with ipa forever insists that you either “squeeze them for every last hour” or get sent home. Post again when you have been thrown out of several companies for being “lying thieves” or “from a company of con artists” before you even get to open your mouth. Out of my training class of 15 people, only two stayed with this company for more than 3 months—we all quit. And please don’t try the “well I guess you not a good consultant” routine as I and several others from that training class have been very successful as consultants. In fact, several of those consultants have commented that all they have to do for business is follow the ipa clowns around and walk in after they have been tossed out.

    0 Votes
  • Fi
    FindingItHardToLogIn Oct 16, 2009

    If I knew how to log in I would. I am LookingForIPAInfo also.

    You appear to be a bitter man gotwise. It is the inherent negativism in too many posts on too many boards in general that make it hard for readers to assess what is written. My second post is the one just prior to yours. Actually, it sounds like you contributed to the very things you seem to find disgusting - apparently, ripping people off for a month or two and being on "Al's rotation" (which I presume is saved for high producers?). I also presume you hung around long enough to get a few checks.

    I stayed with IPA for a week of training and one week in the field. I found it all to be very informative, but in fact, am unable to recommend this company to prospective customers or employees. Unfortunately for companies in general, finding good, reasonably priced, effective consultants is very hard - and I think that helps to contribute to IPA's ability to maintain itself. I doubt everything they do is bad, but I have a feeling that what is being sold is "steak and champagne" and what is being delivered is "a warm beer and a cold hamburger". In court or elsewhere I suspect the customer at best, can only prove he or she was promised meat and a drink, and the warm beer and cold hamburger meet the definition.

    In general, I would not recommend a person becoming an employee or a customer of this company. It appears to be an ongoing high pressure company, exerting pressure on employees and customers as well. Additionally, it appears IPA's profits are considered to be so important I fear devastating a small company is considered to be preferable to "not getting the sale".

    0 Votes
  • Cl
    clarkaim Oct 17, 2009

    I booked a flight to go to chicago this sunday, then I go on line and find all this. What is the straight dope, should i cancel the flight and get my money back?

    0 Votes
  • Ra
    Rabashock Oct 20, 2009

    I worked as a Senior Business Consultant for a couple of months. I have many years of experience as a successful consultant and know what it takes. IPA has some quite capable people. Some I met during training did not come off so capable. Likely their consulting does have positive effects on a certain number of clients. I believe that. But the sales tactics taken with potential clients are so reprehensible that I couldn't stay with the company after going out to a few clients. The one that turned my stomach was showing up for an appointment with a Project Manager and two consultants and the business owner didn't have a copy of any other the paperwork from the Analyst (really a salesman) the day before and he had no idea that he was pay $300 per hour for each of us plus travel expenses. When he heard this, he told us to leave. The Project Manager called in to IPA's Buffalo Grove office and was instructed to leave a bill for the business owner. This bill was for close to $10, 000 for no actual work being done. True enough the business owner was an idiot for signing the contract without really understanding it. But based on what I was told by the other consultant on this job, the Analyst will lie through their teeth to set up for the team to come in the next day. Also, the company will not stop such practices because they are bringing $10's of millions per year in almost pure profit on these one day blowouts. I'm not sure why charges haven't been brought against IPA executives for such practices. Possibly, it might have to do with the donations they make to key politicians. It's definitely a fraudulent rackeet and should be shut down or, at least, the criminal element of the company found and removed and let the honest consultants work and help businesses.

    0 Votes
  • No
    Not so naive Oct 26, 2009

    These bozos tried to work their way into our office last week. 2 visits and 7 phone calls later I felt like I should have provided lubricant. I never signed anything, gave any information, or even acted like I had even remote interest in their services.
    I find it really interesting that they just HAD to know if the business made at least $800, 000.00. Obviously I told him it was none of his business what we made. Don't get pushed into answering ANY questions from these guys. Their questions are designed to trick you into revealing information about your company. Rude doesn't even begin to cover it with these guys. Today I think I really pissed the guy off when I told him I'd have to be dead for him to set foot in these doors. But I did tell him good luck with his business...

    If you work for these clowns I hope you can respect yourself in the morning. With what this country is currently going through, to think that there's a company out there like this is incredible. Do us all a favor and set yourselves on fire. You'll keep the rest of us warm when we can't afford our heating bill due to your crap.

    0 Votes
  • Mj
    MJTA Oct 27, 2009

    Every comment aabout IPA are correct. I worked for them for two weeks as an analyst (one week training + one week on the field). In one week I travelled to 4 different cities and almost kicked out of all clients...what a depressing experience. There is no doubt that they cross the line to being shady. Here some high lights of their ruthlessness:

    1) All anaysists are supposed to contact only their survey director and they will beat you to death unless you get a contract. No emails, all contacts are over the phone only.
    2) You are sitting in an airport waiting for the call from IPA to find out where you are going tomorrow (Ir could be FL or WA). You will have to stay in Super6 Motels to minimize out of pocekt expenses. Remeber the sales person told the client the day before, "we just happen to have an anlyst in the area...it is your lucky time."
    3) The survey directors, are totally ruthless and they will treat you like an elementary school kids
    4) Now about the poor clients - No matter how good they are you are supposed to convince they will go out of business in a short time and make them feel horrible.
    5) Out of the 20 or so from our batch of trainees, the trainer said, only 2 will survive more than two months!!
    6) Names of people who worl their are secret and they will not let you talk to anyone!!

    STTAY AWAY FROM IPA...CLIENTS, ANALYSTS OR CONSULTANTS...MJ

    0 Votes
  • Al
    AlmostscammedbyIPA Nov 03, 2009

    A question for "Looking for IPAInfo": do you still work there?

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    LookingForIPAInfoAgain Nov 04, 2009

    I AM LOOKING FOR IPA INFO

    I AM LOOKING FOR IPA INFO.

    First, there should be some simple way to log into this site, but what it is I don't know. So I am not even sure what my name will be this time.

    As explained above, I stayed for one week of training and left after one week in the field. I communicated with others in my training group, and I believe it is safe to say the consensus, very quickly, was many of the very negative comments are probably accurate. I did not want to inflict pain on business owners seemingly, charging a lot and giving them very little, therefore, I bailed very quickly. I believe, although I have not yet confirmed it, that many or most of our training group has or or will also quit.

    Unfortunately, the concept of, and the need for what the IPA is selling appears to be great. That they don't deliver, and seemingly, don't really care, is sad.

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  • Co
    COO Jan 26, 2010

    I spent my career in turnarounds in corporations and small/entrepreneurial companies. I joined IPA to get away from the B.S. & politics inherent in organizations. I've been in a number of surveys, and can tell you experience is no different than that of when I was hired as an employee, other than a focus on getting the owner to confront the reality of their situation promptly. As far as the work product and price of the services go, it's a lot less expensive to purchase the tools - if you are committed to using them - than it is to hire a manager or executive and contend with the extended period of time it typically takes for that person to come up to speed, hire/fire to develop the tools, and then to continue to drive the improvement.

    Several of my surveys involved returning to prior client locations. As a former COO and VP of operations, supply chain, and a former treasurer and controller, I looked at the tools implemented by IPA. The tools are not unlike those I have personally implemented in the different situations I have been in. As far as the clientele go? They are all over the map; some need a tune-up, some are doing well, and many need major or reconstructive surgery.

    If you go to any company message board - try Yahoo finance, and look up a company - you will find many complaints. I not suggesting, by this comment, that there aren't some legitimate complaints against IPA, but on the other hand, the company has been in 150, 000+ businesses, and has been around 19 years. If they were that bad, they would have failed. Not only that, blanket characterization of an entire company? Unjust, ridiculous. One need look no further than the mirror in their home to find failure, inconsistency, and counterintuitive and incongruent behaviors and outcomes. I'm not blindly "IPA all the way", but I am realistic about the situation. If there wasn't a market or need for what is offered, then their wouldn't be three-to-five major players in this space, and a whole host of smaller, regional firms - basically doing the same thing.

    Businesses I have surveyed include partnerships where it was clear malfeasance was present; businesses where precipitous sales declines have occurred and owners had their head in the sand ignoring the need to act; fundamental communication breakdowns where small companies were functioning in "silos" and addressing key issues figuring prominently in the future prospects of the business to survive, and others too numerous to mention.

    My frame of reference is based in a career of pre-bankruptcy or bankruptcy-avoidance turnarounds - a point long after a company like IPA or one of its competitors should have been called in. I have seen owners liquidate assets, families fall apart, divorces, attorneys, collapse and execution of cross-collateralization agreements and catastrophic consenquences resultant from inaction.

    My point? Balance is lacking in this thread of communication. Those folks that were contacted by IPA or attended training sent their resumes in, and attended the training on their own initiative. Business owners have to agree to a survey. Both groups are capable of saying "no", or hanging up the phone. As for Burgess? Never met him, never knew about his past until it was brought up in the IPA training. Take a look at the pedigrees of our political leaders, and he looks like a boy scout. Take a look at some of your family members, and he looks pretty human. As a former COO, if you had any idea of what goes on in boardrooms, or the deals executives make to attain bonus and stock option awards, or the high risk decisions many small- up to and including very-large businesses make regarding taxes, OSHA, EPA, and other statutory and regulatory matters, I think you'd see it a little different, and without all the drama.

    The fact of the matter is, many businesses are in denial, and the survey reveals information that has value, and the tools, if IPA is engaged, are those business not only do use, but should use.

    0 Votes
  • Bc
    bc489020 Jan 27, 2010

    I worked many years as a telemarketer (we called them business coordinators) for IPA-IBA. I sat in John Burgess's office (the owner) and spoke with him on a personal basis. I have attended their year end gala celebration (in Chicago, not Vegas)...a celebration of success, many times. IPA employees some of the most dedicated, talented, and ethical bcs, field reps, analysts and consultants in the business. They AGGRESIVELY market their services and by doing so have grown to become the leader in management consulting services for small to medium sized companies in the US and Canada. I was regarded as a top performer and so worked with other top performers within the company. It takes work. It's not easy. IPA has helped thousands of small businesses. Many businesses use IPA on several occasions...but! No company is perfect. To my knowledge, IPA makes no such claim. Due to a series of illnesses I no longer work with /for IPA but before you say no to them entirely, judge for yourself. Don't be manipulated by an overly aggressive sales rep. Don't agree to that which makes you feel uncomfortable. Simply ask yourself what your biggest challenges are in the business and if you know how to fix them. If you don't, you MAY benefit from a third party helping you. It's up to you. Good luck.

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  • Be
    Belinda K. Jan 27, 2010

    To: COO

    Thank you for that very rational comment. I have just been reading all these postings and you are right, I guess they do lack balance.

    I was just with them recently for a couple of weeks also. The training and then a week in the field. I completed two surveys. I was also not comfortable with the high pressure and deceitful sales practices they engage in. However the reason I didn't return to the field was out of pocket expenses. The whole expense reimbursement policy was totally misrepresented to me and having been out of work for some time I didn't have the cash flow to go back the next week and be fronting hundreds and hundreds of dollars for hotels and car rentals, let alone having to take a loss of a couple hundred a week for the car rentals.

    I submitted my expense claim when I told the SSD that I couldn't continue, which was last Monday. He never had the courtesy to respond to my email and I have not received any reimbursement from their payroll dept.

    Perhaps you can tell me: as far as you know, will they honor their agreement and reimburse me for the air ticket to Chicago, the mileage on the rental cars and the per diem, or am I holding my breath for nothing? Perhaps you have a contact name for me in the payroll department?

    Any feedback you can give me would be appreciated. Best of luck to you in your career with them; unfortunately it wasn't a good fit for me.

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  • Ke
    Ken99 Feb 23, 2010

    To COO:

    As a former COO, how do you feel about making around $30 (9% to 10% of the hourly fee charged for your services) and fronting for a months time your business expenses?

    As a business owner, I had a hard time justifying this especially when you deduct a significant amount of travel time.

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  • Ra
    Rabashocka Feb 26, 2010

    Though there are good consultants with IPA and clients that do benefit, their sales operation is deceitful and unethical. As a consultant, I went on four straight opening consults where the potential client did not have the resources nor cash flow no matter how you twist it. IPA definitely has ways to twist the cash flow to make it seem that the bill can be paid. On two of the above referenced appointments, the salesmen who had been in the business on the previous two days had not left the paperwork signed by the potential client. Three of the four potential clients did not understand that they were paying $300 per consultant per hour. Two of the four ask us to leave right away. Both received bills for that first day. One bill was for over $8, 000 for three of us and he received no services. I have not proof on this but my understanding is that IPA is rather aggressive chasing up their moneys.

    On each of the above four, I was assigned to do practically nothing other than put together a cash flow chart which was used to determine where money could come from to pay for the consulting. The cash flow did have the side benefit for the potential client(I say potential because the first day and half there is really a sales cycle not a consulting cycle no matter how IPA twists it) of getting them to face the facts about their business.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    Lord Nelson Mar 10, 2010

    I completed training and am in the second week of my first assignment as an SBC (senior business consultant). The customer - the business owner - is using us for his 3rd time (2001, 2009, and now 2010), and he is happy with each experience. This is no bull ###. I am here alone, working my tail off to improve his company using all of the knowledge and skill that I can muster. It really is like the movie "Up In the Air."

    I am an MBA with 11 years of work experience, several times as a general manager. Do I like the $27-$30 per hour pay rate (when you divide it out)? No, of course not. But hey, that was told to me upfront, and it was my choice. So far, their pay is my only complaint. As for expenses, in training they tell us to keep our own copies of rental car and hotel expenses in the event of miscommunication or resubmittal. And after your first 4-weeks, you are paid on a bi-weekly schedule.

    I know for certain that my efforts with this company will greatly enhance their sales, sales management, and marketing. The $45, 000 that this owner will pay will be GREATLY overshadowed by the benefits derived from my reorganization of their sales division and their accounts receivable practices.

    And think about the other, top-shelf consulting firms, like Bain & Co, Accenture, Cap Gem, and the like. Do you think that their fees are lower? Do you think their 20-something consultants offer something that is not "boiler plated" from MBA textbooks? Of course not. Their fees are higher, yet their creativity and experience is less than ours. You can't get them to return your calls if you are a small-to-mid sized company. So, I say stand up for the small business consultants! We'll whip you into shape :)

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  • Jo
    John Crammer Mar 23, 2010

    I worked for this company for a few months. Simply put they make a lot of money deceiving business owners. You can manipulate the software that is used to create spreadsheets to give the business owner the impression they are on the verge of BK. My PM was a total punk. You make a call from the business owners office so the PM can coach you through difficult situations. I "sold" a guy on IPA's services and he told me the only way he could pay was to get a loan on his truck. He was flat broke. My PM told me to just get the money and they would take care of the rest. Next day I went back into this guy's business and I thought he was going to clobber me. He was furious. His daughter pulled up IPA which is now called ROI, and found numerous complaints. He told me " You were going to have me get a loan on the last thing I owned to make a buck". It was at that point I knew I needed to quit working for this company. To be a consultant is one thing. But to bascially lie to people on a software program is another. I did very well my first couple months. Traveled a lot. Got a lot of "Go's". But in the end my conscience got the better of me and I walked away.

    Business owners: read books on accounting, sales, marketing. It isn't that hard. Set a course and make your path. You didn't start your business to fail. Go slow, make sound decisions. You will never have to hire IPA or George May. Both companies are run by crooks.

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  • Ih
    IhateChicago Mar 25, 2010

    Avoid working for this outfit at any & all cost! Beyond pathetic. 100% commission (this is the part that won't feed ANY family). I attended the 1 week of training in Buffalo Grove because I had the time to scope it out. No quality leads and nobody knows what the @#$% we were trying to sell, nor is it any sort of household name. Given that, WAY too much time hitting the road vs. landing clients. Besides, theyre from Chicago, Obongo's hometown where corruption is king.
    -Pat

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