Joseph Pompo has never sat across from a customer and presented their options on the selling price, monthly payment and financing terms for a car purchase. As the director of finance for a 26-store dealership group, that may seem like a problem. But Pompo has an automotive retail superpower — solving problems with Excel spreadsheets.
This skill, inherited from years as a certified public accountant, has served Pompo and Fuccillo Automotive Group well.
Pompo, who also is director of reinsurance and taxation, said he used his accounting and payroll background to discover a multiyear fraud scheme from a long-serving third-party agency, earning the store millions of dollars in a settlement. He also restructured the retailer’s approach to the department.
And during the darkest months of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the group’s 23 New York stores (the three others are in Florida), Pompo helped design an incentive program using the group’s Paycheck Protection Program stimulus money to boost morale and performance.
Only two years into his automotive retail career, Pompo said he is just getting started.
Pompo wears many hats at Fuccillo in Syracuse, N.Y. His role in a nutshell? To ensure the business can focus on its core competencies.
Pompo, the second youngest of five boys, admired his father’s ability to support his family on an accountant’s salary. Pompo followed his passion for lacrosse to the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he earned his bachelor’s in accounting in 2011. He earned his MBA and passed the certified public accountant exam in 2012.
Pompo took a position at PwC in Buffalo, N.Y., and spent two years auditing large corporations. In 2014, he moved home to Syracuse to work at the family firm. He primarily sorted the financials at small businesses. The job was no small task — Pompo filed tax returns and helped local businesses budget for success, occasionally acting as a de facto CFO.
But Pompo’s heart wasn’t in it, and Fuccillo was hiring a director of taxation and finance. Pompo took a chance on a new role.
“It was back to my desire to be on a team,” he said.
Looking through the dealership group’s books, Pompo discovered its service contract profits didn’t add up with the number of contracts sold. Pompo contacted the third-party agency, with which the group had a 20-year working relationship. At every turn, he was stonewalled.
“There’s a term in auditing known as the fraud triangle. The corners of the triangle are pressure, opportunity and rationalization,” he said. “With as much money at play as there was, I was not willing to let that go.”
Once Pompo acquired the reports he needed, he determined the group was overcharged for services by the third-party administrator. The company settled with the dealership group for $3.5 million. Separately, the dealership group on June 11 sued Lawley Automotive Dealership Solutions, alleging the F&I products provider concealed profits from the retailer. The suit asks the court to determine punitive damages, but Fuccillo said it believes it is owed more than $10 million.
Pompo signed a new third-party agency and developed a relationship focused solely on training, compliance and income development. The change boosted F&I profit per vehicle 56 percent to $1,538, and Pompo was awarded oversight of the F&I department.
— Jackie Charniga