Erik Strang headshot

Meet Kirsten Corsaut – Oakpoint

 

Kirsten Corsaut has been with Oakpoint for exactly one year as of this publication and has already been promoted from Senior Accountant to our Controller position.

Before coming to Oakpoint, Kirsten worked in public accounting on a small-business team that worked exclusively with dental practices. “I started out answering phones, and by the time I left I was doing everything from basic bookkeeping, cash management, payroll processing, financial reporting, consulting, business plans, doctor meetings and tax preparation,” Kirsten Corsaut said. “When I left public accounting, I was personally working with about sixty different doctors.”

“One of the biggest things that I learned was how to talk to the doctors and find out what was really important to them,” she added. “I built some wonderful relationships in my time there and have actually maintained contact with several of the doctors and office managers that I worked with over the years.”

It was a big coincidence that one of those doctors happened to be someone who was in the process of partnering with Oakpoint!

“The first practice that Oakpoint partnered with had actually been my client for about five years prior to the partnership. It was great to have experience with that client already— it helped me fill in the gaps with things that happened historically,” Kirsten said. “When I was approached by a recruiter about the position, it was a no-brainer as I had already been helping our CFO, Erik Strang, with the transition for the last six months! My first phone interview was pretty much just us laughing about the irony, and I remember calling my husband afterward saying ‘I would be stupid not to pursue this.’”

“When we hired Kirsten in February 2020, I felt it would be a great fit for Oakpoint given her past experience working with sixty dentists and already working with Carolina Braces,” said Oakpoint CFO Erik Strang. “One year later, I can truly say it was a perfect fit.  Her ability to not only help us meet our financial reporting deadlines but more importantly help quickly dissect and identify operational improvements in our affiliated practices is a truly unique skill set.”

“When it came time to create a controller position to support our explosive growth, internally promoting Kirsten was an easy decision for our CEO Mick Janness and me,” Strang added.

The timing was perfect as Kirsten had just finished her master’s degree and was celebrating graduation. “I worked with Erik for about six months prior to help with the due diligence on the account so I already knew he was great to work with,” she said. “He was able to see that I had good turnaround at getting things accomplished before I even interviewed for the role.”

One year ago was Kirsten’s first day at Oakpoint and two weeks later everyone was sent home due to the pandemic. “March 12, 2020 was our last day in the office,” she said. “So, I was only in the office a very short time before working from home.”

Kirsten still appreciates the close-knit team she has joined, even when they are not in the office. Oakpoint’s HR director Lauren Brown is one of Kirsten’s closest friends.

“The company culture at Oakpoint is unparalleled to any place I have ever worked,” she said. “We have a very cohesive leadership team, and every big decision is made as a team and we are able to leverage our combined brain power to work through the big challenges together.”

In public accounting, Kirsten was restricted by billable hours, and was only responsible and expected to interpret the numbers for her doctors. Here at Oakpoint, she’s excited for the opportunity to interpret the numbers, explain the metrics, and actually help drive the necessary changes to increase growth.

“I spend a lot of my time working with the practices to determine what they truly need to achieve their goals. Many office managers have shared that their processes for managing accounts receivable or accounts payable are processes that they inherited from prior employees, and they are almost always very inefficient,” she said. “I love having the chance to work with our affiliate practices to make their positions easier and more stress-free!”

“I can also discuss what I am seeing and help implement rather than just be a person they pay to do their taxes,” she added. “I can be a part of their positive change.”

According to Kirsten, Oakpoint takes a unique approach to partnering with practices. “Rather than sweeping in and forcing changes and cutting costs, we take a deep dive assessment of the practice’s needs to determine what they really NEED to grow,” she said. “It isn’t always about cutting costs, it’s often about providing the knowledge and tools needed to improve inefficient processes, allowing the key practice members to focus more of their energy on patient care and growth.”

“I’ve seen a lot of smaller, doctor-owned DSOs pop up across the country over the last several years, but there is only so much sustainable growth that those doctors can achieve on their own,” she added. “Oakpoint offers an alternative, an opportunity to be a part of a bigger organization, while giving the doctors continued involvement in growth strategies, operational decisions and also an equity position— without the headache of having to personally manage a mass of practices.”

Kirsten received her undergraduate degree in psychology, but literally stumbled into public accounting where she remained for seven years prior to joining Oakpoint. She obtained her master’s degree in accounting in 2019.

“I spend a lot of time getting to know the team members of our partner practices— what makes them tick, how to ease their concerns about the stigma of corporate dentistry, and developing a working relationship based on trust. I get to use my understanding of the human mind, in addition to crunching the numbers!” she said. “I always told myself I would only leave public accounting if the right opportunity came up, because I really wanted to continue to utilize my industry knowledge.”

She has enjoyed partnering with teams that have robust leadership and working together to share ideas that can be used elsewhere in the company platform. “We have an awesome cohesive team here,” she said. “Everyone gets along so well.”