The CFO'S Perspective

How Do I get My Accountant to Come Back to the Office?

Employers that want their employees back in the office again are asking themselves the question, “How do I get my employees to return to work?” However, many employees are asking their employers, “Why should I return to work?” in response.

The resulting dichotomy has created a sticky situation for companies that are facing labor shortages and revenue challenges well over a year and a half into this crisis. For key departments like accounting and finance, the pressure is further elevated because these kinds of skilled roles are a hot commodity right now, making them even harder to replace.

Topics: Trends Staffing HR Leadership Change Management Transition COVID-19

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

Is It Time to Downsize Your Business?

Downsizing is never a light topic to broach, but for businesses that are financially compromised or experiencing a reduction in demand, it is important to fully understand before any strategic planning can begin.

Downsizing is often tied to a reduction in headcount. Headcount is more than just a number, which is why downsizing should be approached with the utmost care and consideration. Knowing why a company should downsize, what kind of risk is associated with doing so, and how to avoid common mistakes is key to increasing the likelihood that your reduction efforts will be successful.

Use this guide to get a better understanding of the implications of downsizing and help inform your strategic planning as it relates to both maintaining your business and preparing it for sale.

Topics: Economic Trends Mergers and Acquisitions Planning Staffing Leadership Forecasting Expenses Profit Margin Assessment Strategy COVID-19

Weathering a Prolonged Recession – Expert Tips from Senior Leadership

Regardless of what precipitates a recession, economic ebbs and flows are to be expected over time. Recessions can be caused by a period of contraction that inevitably comes after economic expansion or a sudden and unexpected economic shock.

While the coronavirus recession is fresh on our minds, it is not the first nor will it be the last recession that today’s businesses face. Knowing how to weather a recession is an essential management skill regardless of how long it lasts. However, facing a prolonged recession poses unique challenges that can test even the most adept leaders.

Our team of experienced CFOs shares their top tips on getting through a recession and coming out stronger on the other side:

Topics: Economic Trends Planning Cash Flow Leadership Risk Management Change Management Transition Strategy COVID-19