Monday, February 22, 2010


As the Jim Morrison of The Doors once said, “the future’s uncertain, and the end is always near.” While he may have been referring to his short and rather debaucheries life, he was right about one universal thing: the future is uncertain.
Now, is the end always near? I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert on Nostradamus studies, so I will let the religious and academic scholars try to answer that question. I do know though that uncertainty about the future is a common feeling for most small business owners.

In fact, as soon as an entrepreneur loses sight of this, they can get very complacent and easily get derailed. And, from a financial planning perspective, I believe it is critical for any company to develop a strategic plan for the future. This plan could include planning for additional funding, an acquisition, or if they are ambitious an IPO. Either way, a plan is needed for the “end game,” or as many call it an “exit strategy.”

While many CEOs have studied finance, or have financial backgrounds, it is critical to get the right financial talent on board to help develop these strategic plans. Most people would not try to re-wire their houses would they? Of course not…they bring in an electrician to handle with this complex and somewhat dangerous task.

The same could be said for using the right talent to handle financial planning. It is the future after all. And, if Mr. Jim Morrison is right, the future is uncertain. So, why not bring in the right experts to make the future clear, bright and within reach.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Planned Obsolescence: Success Means Clients No Longer Needing Our Services

Many contractor/company relationships are dictated by the contractor’s ability to justify its services, and be retained for the longest possible time. While this makes complete business sense from a professional services perspective, and unless it’s an ongoing business issue being addressed, shouldn’t a contractor do such a good job that their services will eventually no longer be needed?

In pretty much any professional services sector, the answer is actually “no.” It is much easier for contractors to keep an existing client happy – and engaged for a longer period of time -- than fight to find new business.

As a provider of outsourced financial department services, I actually take a counter intuitive approach and believe in providing the financial backbone to allow a small- and/or mid-size company to spread its wings and fly -- without the need of our services.

Most small companies will eventually need to hire a CFO and/or a full-time accounting team, and they should if they are doing well. As such, before the start of our engagement, we clearly identify that changeover point and plan accordingly to transition to an in-house solution.

And, the reality is that we to develop a solid financial infrastructure to allow for our clients to one day out grow us. Once a company reaches this point, we have done our jobs. And, isn’t that what it’s really all about?