The CFO'S Perspective

What Really Matters to Improve Employee Retention

With current unemployment rates remaining at historical lows, businesses around the Northwest say their number one challenge is finding and retaining employees. For a business with an existing team, it is vital for them to retain their employees and increase engagement.

Not only are the costs of finding, hiring, and training new employees (if you can find them) high, a team of passionate employees often leads job seekers to your company. Investing in the happiness of your existing team will generate a big return on your investment.

Topics: Hiring HR Leadership

3 Paths to Making Your Independent CPA Audit a Success

Why Audits Matter

For many middle market, closely-held businesses, the annual independent financial statement audit is an important part of the financial reporting process.

Lenders, investors and the company’s board of directors rely on audited financials to validate the interim financial data they are receiving as well as provide a sense of security as to the assets they have at risk.

As a result, many loan and shareholder agreements require annual audited financials.

In the best run businesses, the audited results should not differ from the unaudited internal financials.

That’s because the finance and accounting team is closing the monthly books on an accurate and timely basis. The team is also staying abreast of potential accounting issues that may need to be dealt with before year end.

In many businesses, incentive compensation plans may be tied to audited results.

This means that a well-managed company can ill afford to provide the management team with financial data subject to significant audit adjustments. Accordingly, it is in everyone’s best interests that the audit be conducted in an effective and efficient manner.

Topics: Leadership Audit CFO Responsibilities

A CEO Guide to Change Management for Financial Processes (and Financial Teams)

Change comes more from managing the journey than from announcing the destination.”  -  William Bridges

Change can be hard to navigate under the best of circumstances. When things aren't right within the financial arena, it can unknowingly create a delicate situation. CEOs should tread lightly, and yet, must still be effective leaders.

The inclination of many CEOs is to assume that because financial teams tend to be more analytical than, for instance, a marketing team, they can make changes without understanding the potential ramifications. This may not be the case. Here are some best practices for navigating change in your financial waters.

Topics: Leadership Financial Process Change Management

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.    

Topics: Accounting Staffing Leadership Expenses

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