Cleveland Consulting Services

Let a veteran CFO help your firm rise to the next level!

About Us

About Our Consulting Clients

Our consulting clients below represent a broad range of participants in various business verticles: 

Prepaid Direct Inc., W.A.R.N., LLC,, Prime Media Consulting, BioCentric Energy Holdings, IMS Enterprises, Pacific Payment Technologies, MexGroup, PayCard USA, Card Express International, Skylight Financial Services, Certegy, Total Systems, Global Payments, Credit Servicing Solutions, ikobo, ActiCash, Radio Shack, Experian Scorex, Risk Management Resources, JCB International, API Outsourcing, Revolution Money, Inficorp, First National Merchant Solutions, Retail Decisions, 2 Checkout, Payment Partners, United Parcel Services, Security State Savings Bank, Visa International and its subsidiary global operating entities.

About Our Management -- Tom Cleveland, Owner and Founder



Tom Cleveland

Owner and Founder
Cleveland Consulting Services

Tom is a Senior Executive with over 25 years of experience in “C”-level executive management, corporate governance and business development positions, primarily with the Visa family of corporations.  His expertise lies in financial management, business strategy development, and general consulting. His proven leadership and management skills have lead to successful outcomes while creating and implementing successful business solutions for fast-paced, innovative growth companies ranging from $2.2 billion down to $1 million and lower in annual revenues.  

Since his departure from Visa in 1999, Tom has served as CFO, COO or as a senior adviser for a number of private companies, including innovative efforts in the international payments, Bio-Fuels, prepaid card processing, and disaster preparedness. Coincidentally, Tom has continued his consulting practice with a variety of major clients in the global payments industry, as well as with several early stage development companies in IT, disaster preparedness, manufacturing, and Bio-Fuels . Along the way, he has been instrumental in fund raising activities, corporate reorganizations, and turnaround situations, while also successfully designing, building and operating an innovative international private payments network in twenty countries in B2B, C2B and C2C cross-border payments. A noted author, his articles appear throughout the Internet on a variety of financial topics.

Tom served as CFO for various Visa International entities from 1980 until 1999, retiring with the title of Group EVP and Treasurer. While at Visa, Tom was instrumental in expanding the global reach of the Visa system, building the necessary financial and cross-border settlement infrastructure to support that growth, designing and deploying global risk management processes, securing necessary regulatory approvals for existing operating standards, and assisting in the overall corporate governance of the global Visa network.

Prior to Visa, Tom served as Controller for various companies and was in public accounting.

He earned an engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and did graduate work in Finance at Georgia State University.

Professional Details

CLEVELAND CONSULTING SERVICES     Gainesville, GA                                                2004 to Present

Owner and Founder 

  • Established a management consulting firm with a primary focus on the payments industry
  • Arranged Private Placement Memorandum for $5 million funding for renewable energy firm
  • Secured multi-year $15 million contract for industry leading data processing company
  • Developed multi-year Marketing and Business Plan for innovative Internet payments company
  • Served as CFO for an industry leading Prepaid Card -- overhauled financial infrastructure, made firm investment ready and developed new strategic plan for turnaround situation.
  • Served as CFO/COO for US/Mexico consortium for major issuance of prepaid cards in Mexico
  • Served as CFO for WARN, LLC, a leading provider of specialized software services for the disaster preparedness industry – made firm investment-ready for investor discussions.
  • Prolific writer on the Internet on various business, financial, forex, and payment industry topics 


PAYMENT PARTNERS, INC.                          Irvine, CA                                                       2000 – 2003

CFO & Treasurer 

  • Developed/implemented turn-around business strategy for innovative Internet payments company
  • Defined IT requirements and directed software development activities to implement service
  • Built international banking network in 20 countries to support settlement activities
  • Directed financial governance activities and assisted CEO in corporate funding efforts
  • Coordinated ACH integration and regulatory compliance issues with company owned bank
  • RESULT: Global settlement network in 20 countries and primary business activity for company. 


VISA INTERNATIONAL                             San Francisco, CA                                               1974 – 1999

Group EVP, CFO & Treasurer 

  • Led financial governance of six boards of directors and related audit and compensation issues
  • Formulated financial policy direction with Executive Management Committee team
  • Directed accounting and reporting activities for global team of financial professionals
  • Developed global infrastructure to ensure effective budget planning and control implementation
  • Designed and implemented policies for member global risk assessment, monitoring and control
  • Directed corporate regulatory compliance and secured approval of risk/capital standards
  • Led development of “best practices” treasury operation controlling $5 million in daily settlements
  • Proposed and instituted foreign exchange revenue process resulting in $60 million per year
  • Initiated and directed construction of new headquarters office park for 1 million NRSF
  • Built corporate capital structure of $1 billion in emergency LOC and $250 million Mid-Term Notes
  • Directed financial systems upgrade and managed interface with other corporate systems
  • Upgraded Human Resources function and secured professional to head re-vitalized division
  • Developed incentive compensation models, measurement criteria and goal setting processes
  • Managed tax reporting and compliance and benefit trust management activities 
  • Major Accomplishments while at Visa International: 
  • Led the development and evolution of a decentralized financial infrastructure involving finance professionals and deployment of centralized policies, budget and audit controls, and standardized pricing of services to members.   Six independent global entities were coordinated on a global basis with six individual boards of directors to ensure financial soundness and accountability. RESULT: Effective control and support of $2.2 billion of annual expenditures. 
  • Designed a global risk management process, deployed decentralized risk management and evaluation policies, implemented timely reporting and auditing protocols, and secured regulatory approval of risk mitigation procedures and capital accumulation standards.  RESULT: Effective mitigation of $5 billion risk exposure and enforcement of capital standards for $500 million. 
  • Created global treasury operations to manage securely $5 billion in daily settlements, assembled a team of treasury professionals to settle in 25 currencies with over 1,500 endpoints, and built the necessary capital infrastructure to support this settlement activity consisting of a $1 billion line of credit consortium of nine banks, a $250 million Medium Term Note program and $300 million in short-term investments.  RESULT: Guaranteed daily settlement of $5 billion and annual foreign exchange revenue of $60 million. 
  • Directed successful corporate headquarters construction project of 1 million square-foot office park.  Eight-year project included initial project justification, acquisition of design and construction partners, final completion and implementation of two 12-story towers, and executed plans for future expansion.  $160 million project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.  RESULT: $15 million in annual corporate facilities savings, more effective staff performance, and $160 million corporate asset. 

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT ACTIVITIES                                                                 1974 and Prior 

  • Controller for auto lease accounting and data processing company – San Francisco, CA
  • Controller for multi-state wooden pallet manufacturer and distributor – Burlingame, CA
  • Senior Accountant for small client CPA audit/tax/bookkeeping practice – Atlanta, GA
    • Prepared financial records and tax returns for a variety of clients and businesses
    • Participated in complete year-end audit process for major business clients
  • Honorable discharge as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps 


BS, Chemical Engineering – Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 

Graduate Studies, Finance – Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA