The CFO'S Perspective

Lessons Learned as an Outside Director for an Early-Stage Startup

Admittedly, I am a sucker for entrepreneurs. I love working with people who are passionate about starting their own venture to bring their new and innovative products and services to market. It is the primary reason I started my own business and worked as an outsourced CFO for over 30 years.

In this passion, I served as a board member for the Northwest Entrepreneurship Association and was involved with several angel groups. I believe the spirit of entrepreneurship and the willingness to take risks are the primary drivers of our U.S. economy.

Topics: Leadership Start-up

8 Strategies to Hold onto Your Valuable Employees post-COVID

COVID 19 has made a significant impact on everyone. Those who are close to retirement and those who feel uneasy about their employers' plans to return to the office cannot stop talking about it. They are trying to answer the looming question – "What do I want to do with my life, especially if this pandemic may curtail it?"

COVID-19 has been a significant disrupter to the traditional “work until you're 65, then retire” path. Now that the world is opening, we are expecting a flood of job changes, working fractionally, changing careers, and retiring because everyone has come face to face with the realization that life is short. With this realization, many are planning to make dramatic changes in their lives.

Filling this workforce gap will be challenging. Statistics show that 28.6 million Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) are now out of the workforce in 2020. According to a Pew Research report, that's 3.2 million more than those who said they were retired during the same period in 2019. That may seem average but consider that there is a deficit of about 5 million fewer Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) professionals that could be ready to step into the Baby Boomers' vacant roles.  I have a friend who is 55, who quit his more than full-time, high-paying, executive job in 2020. He invested in a business overseas and plans to move there with his spouse and work part-time.

Topics: Planning HR Leadership

How Do We Measure the Integrity of Our Business?

The success of an organization rests largely on the trust it creates with employees, customers, and the general public. According to a recent Gallup poll, “68% of adults globally and 60% of U.S. adults believe corruption is widespread among businesses in their country.”

It’s a bit disheartening to learn that over half of Americans might think poorly of your business, even if you’re one of the “good guys.” But how can you tell if your business really has integrity or if you just think it does? 

Just like with everything else, you figure out how to measure it. Getting a read on the integrity of your business might be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how you can measure the integrity of your business and why you should invest in the practice. 

Topics: Leadership Assessment Integrity

Integrity in Finance – Why Establishing Trust Matters

“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
- Alan K. Simpson

Integrity in finance should be the foundation of a lasting bond between a business and its clients. Everyone wants to believe the promises that a company makes to them with respect to safeguarding their interests. But how many organizations can follow through on those promises? 

In an ideal world, we would have absolute trust in our financial institutions, advisors, and government regulators. Unfortunately, history and public sentiment tell us a different story. Sure, ethics and integrity still exist in finance. And those organizations are the ones that will consistently find success. 

Topics: Leadership Company Culture Integrity

How to Deal With the Retirement of Your Accounting Leader

A business owner should always have a succession plan, yet at the same time be ready when a member of their executive team is ready to implement their own exit strategy, i.e., retirement. The Great Recession caused many people to need to work longer until retiring because of the loss of income and value of retirement assets. But now, a decade has passed, which has given some the time to replenish their retirement savings. As a result of the COVID19 pandemic many people are re-evaluating what is important to them, and in many instances, it means retiring a few years sooner than originally planned.

Topics: CFO Planning Leadership Transition