Archives#businessadvisor Archives — C. Lynn Northrup, CPA, CPIM

Coaches Make the Difference

June 9th, 2017

Coaches can be the difference between winning at business or losing. Every small business owner should have one. They keep you focused on the game. Coaches provide:

  • Guidance
  • Support
  • Accountability
  • Encouragement

I can hear small business owners now, saying “I’d like those things, but I can’t afford a coach.”

It probably should be the other way around, “you can’t afford to not have a coach.” Coaches facilitate transition, change, and success. Here are some tips for success:

  • Take total responsibility
  • Risk sharing your thoughts and feelings with others
  • Bring your beliefs to a Conscious Awareness
  • Develop an Awareness of Character and Persona
  • Listen to Feedback
  • Consider finding a Coaching Process
  • Be Flexible

The job of owning a small business is a lonely place and there is no substitute for have a sounding board and receiving good advice. Some of the challenges facing small business owners include:

  • What do I need to learn?
  • Commitments to grow as a leader?
  • What resources do I need?
  • Potential Problems or Obstacles?
  • Timeline?
  • Measures of success?

Coaches are not teachers but they teach. They provide attention to all the little details that go wrong when you are trying to achieve peak performance. Coaches put more of the things we do into a routine so we can focus on results. They listen closely and keep you on track by providing feedback and let you know where you are falling short. A good coach breaks down performance into its critical individual components and then gets you to focus on the fine details that make a difference.

The essence of good coaching is to get you to think, and about the right things. When you find a coach that is the master of both the skill and coaching, the resulting impact tends to be enormous. Top athletes have coaches! Hire a coach and gain the winning advantage.

In addition to coaching support, I can deliver a full range of advisory services representing a more affordable and efficient solution.


June 27th, 2016

My last blog post dealt with change. Well, I’m taking my own advice and making  major revisions to my service and product offerings. The big change is providing greater access to me and the knowledge I can share with you. These exciting changes will help to increase your profits and grow your business.

I’m still going to be available as a virtual CFO and controller. However, I will be offering new affordable learning courses in accounting, finance, and business skills. These courses will be available in self-paced learning formats so you can proceed at your pace and on your schedule. The format will allow direct interaction with me to answer your questions.

In addition, I have created new booklets and will be revising older content to provide you with greater amounts of information to help you solve business problems. This information will be available in booklet form, new self-paced learning courses and subscription web sites. The subscription web site resources will be a new way for me to share my knowledge and to provide you with access to specialized business information.

I have a number of training programs that were delivered in seminar fashion. Some of these programs will be converted to self-paced learning courses and others will be available through subscription sites. The subscription program will allow access to a variety of knowledge resources.

Another new feature that will be offered will be group coaching sessions using virtual webinar capability. Coaching will cover accounting and financial management topics in addition to strategic business areas. The group sessions will make coaching more affordable in a sharing environment. The webinar format allows me to provide knowledge on a more personal basis that can be accessed on demand to fit your schedule.

Individual virtual coaching sessions will also be offered to individuals demanding more personalized service. The coaching sessions will be tailored to fit specific needs and preferences. Scheduling will be arranged to fit individual client needs.

I will continue to provide virtual CFO and controller services to businesses utilizing cloud based accounting, analysis, and planning tools. These tools allow me to provide financial management support to businesses anywhere in the world.

My primary focus on my web site will be CFO, financial management, accounting, and business topics. Other areas of my expertise such as retirement, estate planning, and elder care will be available in booklets and on subscription web sites. This will bring greater focus to clients and with more effective access to information. I’m always available through e-mail and telephone if clients have specific questions or issues.

The changes are underway and you will start to see the new direction over the next few weeks. I am excited about these changes and the opportunity to provide you with the special knowledge that will help your businesses to grow faster and become more profitable.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

The Experienced CFO

February 3rd, 2016

Good CFOs are hard to find. Being a CFO is more than presenting some dashboards and talking about a few financial ratios. They need specialized skills and experience to assist business owners in a variety of different ways. I understand these challenges based on over 30 years of experience as a controller and CFO.

Probably the most critical area is guiding development of strategic plans and structuring action plans to support the strategy. Another challenge is managing cash and ensuring that the business is properly financed. This means establishing an effective capital structure together with financing plans that fit objectives and business growth.

Driving business performance and the ability to use the tools required to support growth are also essential. These skills include understanding sales, marketing and the underlying cost structure to support growth. Business analysis, performance measurement and cost accounting are just a few additional skills that are essential.

Prioritizing capital investments and helping guide business owners to make the right decisions on the right projects is another area where CFOs can help business owners. Risk management is a key factor in allocating capital and applying enterprise risk management steps is essential to success.

Other high priority areas include buying and selling companies and succession planning. I can help you in these areas based on my experience with a top consulting firm who specializes in these areas. I can help you gain a competitive advantage in today’s complicated business world.

Good CFOs are hard to find. Most talented CFOs are already employed by larger companies. Small business owners should look for talented advisors capable of using cloud technology and tools allowing easier access to this hard to find skill set. It also reduces the cost of services provided. I am certified in the use of cloud accounting systems and am available to help in these areas and wrote the book on profit focused accounting.

Not all CPAs using cloud accounting and cloud technology have the training and experience to offer CFO support. These CPAs should consider collaborating with an experienced CFO advisor to work with their clients to create win/win situations.

Utilizing a skilled CFO will give businesses a competitive advantage. Business owners can’t know everything and it makes sense to access skilled experience advisors to fill in the gaps. If you are looking for a virtual CPA with extensive CFO experience or need help in this area please contact me.