The CFO'S Perspective

Accounting is a Team Sport

Repeat after me…

Accounting is a team sport."  

This has been my mantra for the past 30 years and it’s as important and true now as it was 30 years ago.  What I have learned in my 30+ years as a CFO is that accounting works best when it is integrated with the management team and you will never be at your best if your accounting team works in a silo.    

How to Close a Business Successfully

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
- Thomas A. Edison

For whatever reason, you've determined that it's time to close the doors and walk away from your business. Shutting down your business may be the hardest thing you'll ever do, but it's not uncommon. In fact, 90 percent of start-ups and early-stage companies close each year in the U.S.

If it's any consolation, most successful entrepreneurs have failed previously at some venture - or several. Walt Disney was reportedly fired by a newspaper editor for having no imagination and lacking good ideas.

Currently the world's richest businessman, Jeff Bezos had several failed ideas before Amazon took off. Most notably, his auction business called zShops never gained any traction. It's important to realize that it's okay to stop pursuing an enterprise that isn't working and start doing something else.

Closing a business, however, involves more than just shutting the doors and walking away. If you do this, you could open yourself up to unnecessary fees, loss of personal and business reputation, and even lawsuits. When making decisions about closing a business,  visibility to see issues coming is vital. Good financial advice is a great place to start.

Topics: Planning

When Accountants Became Firefighters

There are times in the course of a career when an accountant faces difficult short-term circumstances calling for quick decisions and a focus on critical priorities.  In other words, the “fire” calls the shots, and the accountant must respond to the fire’s breadth and intensity. The ability to successfully manage the proverbial fire is based on skill and effort within an undetermined period.

Topics: Funding Success Stories Planning Accounts Receivable Financial Reports Audit

Attention Owners, CFOs & Controllers: Is Your Trusted Bookkeeper Stealing?

There are professions that most people would consider trustworthy. Doctors & nurses, firefighters, and teachers all come to mind.  How about accountants?  Do you trust your bookkeeper?  The reasonable answer here is: Yes!  Trust is often built over time, through relationships and evidenced by past and ongoing performance.  The reality is, if you didn’t trust your employees, they probably wouldn’t still be working for you.

Topics: Leadership Fraud Security

Employee Fraud Factor #3: Rationalization

This is Part 3 of a series on the causes of a perfect employee fraud scenario.  Read “Employee Fraud Factor #1: Pressure” here, and “Employee Fraud Factor #2: Opportunity” Part 2 here.

In case you missed Part 1 & 2, there was once a really smart guy, Donald Cressey, who created a theory that said: “If three factors were met, any ordinary, trusted person could bring themselves to commit fraud.”

Topics: Leadership Fraud Security