DRIVING THE NUMBERS:
A look at the trucking industry’s financial landscape
CFO Spotlight: Getting to Know Edgar McGonigal,
Chief Financial Officer, Bestway Express and 2nd Vice Chair
for the ATA’s National Accounting and Finance Council
Tell us a bit about yourself to kicks
I am a native Hoosier, a graduate of
Indiana University at Indianapolis and
moved to Florida in 2004.
How did you get your start at Bestway
and what led you to a career in the
trucking industry? Prior to joining
Bestway what kind of trucking
background did you have?
I started with a public accounting firm
in 1975 that eventually became Bailey,
Williams, McGonigal & Knowles. As
a firm we specialized in the trucking
industry so I became involved in many
industry trade groups serving in a
number of leadership positions. We
merged with Katz, Sapper & Miller in
1998 and I left to move to Florida in
2004. When Bestway’s long time CFO
left in 2013 they called and asked me
to come on board. I was the outside
accountant for Bestway when the
company was started. The McCormick
family has a long history in the trucking
industry and I had a long history with
the family. They were our firm’s first
trucking company client in 1946
(before my time.) I enjoy the family, the
people, the work and the industry so I
was glad to get back involved.
What are your guiding principles as
the CFO of Bestway Express and how
do you rely on those to help you and
your staff meet company goals and
I think it is as simple as the golden rule –
always do the right thing and treat people
the way you want to be treated.
In your opinion, what are two metrics
a trucking industry CFO should be
First, I would say miles run. Assuming you
have bid the freight correctly, miles run
are the biggest indicator of generating
enough revenue to turn a profit. Second
would be driver turnover. If you don’t
have the drivers to haul the freight you
can’t run the miles.
As companies are preparing to file their
first returns under the new federal tax
law, how do you think the changes
will impact the trucking industry, and
specifically for Bestway?
Much like the old days with investment
credit, the new depreciation rules
incentivize us to accelerate equipment
purchases. However it is important to
make sure you have the need first for the
equipment and that you don’t overbuy
your capacity to utilize the equipment.
As an industry we all have the desire to
grow but when we are overly optimistic
about our growth prospects with our
equipment purchases then we are placed
in a position where we need to
put that equipment to use. The resulting
competition suppresses freight rates to
the point that profitability is difficult.
With the ever-growing threat of cyber
related crimes, what has Bestway done
to guard against malware, ransomware,
or even hacking of computer systems
to access payroll data or customer
In the past we outsourced our IT and we
have brought it in-house to better monitor
and continue to beef up our systems.
What are the biggest challenges and
obstacles facing Bestway now and in
the coming years?
First drivers, second drivers and third
drivers. Being able to attract and retain
drivers with the right compensation and
benefit package is key to our ability to
book the freight.
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