By: Lani Hansen, Senior Reporter
EDMOND, Oklahoma– REDW an accounting firm located in Albuquerque and Phoenix, has expanded into the Oklahoma market. They have announced Victor Flores to lead the new Tribal Services division, which is located in Edmond, Ok.
REDW is recognized as a national leader for serving tribes, and this investment confirms REDW’s commitment to Indian Country. REDW has been a company in Indian Country for over 40 years. The company has national leaders from the Native American Financial Officers Association (NAFOA).
According to new Director of Tribal Services in Oklahoma Victor Flores, for the past 10-15 years REDW has been serving tribes in Oklahoma ranging from Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Absentee Shawnee and many others.
“I have actually interacted with the Absentee Shawnee as their financial officer many years ago,” Flores said. “I engaged them to help me on an audit.”
In 2017, Flores started the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium (OTFC) serving as the president. He brought together all the tribal treasurers, secretary of commerce, finance officers and directors from all 38 federally recognized tribes that have headquarters in Oklahoma.
“REDW was actually one of the founding sponsors of OTFC, so they helped along with a couple of accounting firms and banks helped me get that consortium started,” Flores added. “We used to meet quarterly now we meet bi-annually.”
The OTFC developed two major things that impacted Indian Country, the first one was they partnered with Oklahoma State University School of Business and University of Oklahoma School of Law to create a Tribal Finance Certificate Program. REDW have adjunct professors who teaches once or twice a year in these programs.
The second thing OTFC did was release the Oklahoma Native Economic Impact Study in 2019. Flores said it made a lot of impact on their stance with the states and government.
Flores has been placed in Oklahoma to recruit finance leaders who will focus in finance, such as an accountant. He is looking for those who have exposure to Indian Country, as far being tribal affiliated or have worked in Indian Country.
“I’m looking for local folks to hire,” Flores said. “Mostly because one of the great things about REDW and what sets them apart, is that majority of their business has always been focused on Indian County nationwide.”
For OTFC to impact MCN, Flores is looking hiring on a Native American accountant and he feels MCN will have a stronger impact as OTFC services tribal governments and tribal enterprises in Oklahoma. REDW did MCN’s audit years ago, so now the company will be competing on a local level to receive better service for health systems, gaming enterprises or tribal government.
One of Flores’ main goal, is to re-introduce REDW to tribal governments in Oklahoma. Oklahoma may have some exposure but he wants to carry on their brand.
Flores added, REDW has other services other than finance because that word mat scare people. They have HR consulting, retirement plans, taxes, technology solutions, wealth management options and they do company evaluations.
Flores is excited to be a part of REDW and they are helping him to continue to serve Oklahoma tribal governments and other tribal nations.