United States

Case study: True Value


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True Value Company is one of the world’s largest retailerowned wholesale hardware cooperatives with approximately 4,500 independent retailer locations worldwide. The cooperative supports its retailers through 13 regional distribution centers and 2,300 associates. As one of the most recognizable brands in home-improvement retailing, True Value Company operates under the store identities of True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply. 

Background and approach

After receiving audit services from a Big Four provider for a number of years, True Value Company’s audit committee decided it was time to go out for a bid to explore other service providers. RSM US LLP was one of the firms involved in the extensive proposal process, and in the end, won the engagement to complete True Value’s audit. That was three years ago, and since then True Value and RSM have continued to build a strong working relationship.

What’s been the hallmark of this successful relationship? According to Deb O’Connor, senior vice president and CFO for True Value, communication and responsiveness are at the top of her list.

"We’ve found that consistent communication and transparency are essential, particularly during the audit process," said Deb. "RSM’s well-established and measured approach has been invaluable to the True Value team. No rushing and no missteps."

Shari Kathe, partner with RSM and audit engagement leader, agrees. "It’s always easier to work through challenges if we’ve had open and thorough communication through the entire engagement. Our team is dedicated to understanding our clients, and we also know the value of maintaining a consistent team throughout an engagement, with less turnover. That helps us maintain a history and a deep und understanding of the specific issues our client might have."

Shari indicates in serving True Value, RSM’s knowledge of the retail industry and experience in distribution, logistics and cooperative administration aided the team in optimally serving the client. According to her, this experience enabled the team to anticipate needs and successfully positioned RSM to serve as a true business advisor to the client.

The other differentiator Deb has experienced in working with RSM is the team’s quick response time when questions have arisen or additional expertise was needed. "RSM is the first non-Big Four firm with whom I’ve partnered. I appreciate their commitment to providing sound guidance along with direct access to their network of professionals and experts."


  • Completed on-time audit and report deliverables since 2013
  • Delivered quarterly review early for fall audit committee meeting
  • Provided tax cooperative guidance

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