Most Popular Blog Posts of 2010

2010 has been a very good blogging year for CFOwise®. In the spirit of planning for a great 2011, here are the eleven most popular blog posts from the year 2010:

Paralysis by Analysis

I get to work with numbers and analyze a lot of businesses, business models, and opportunities based on their financial impact. My experiences have taught me that you can quantify just about anything.

Did You Win or Lose?

Sports teams compete against each other and they keep track of the score.  They know who wins and who loses, and each player on the team has more statistics on their performance than they know what to do with.  Individual sports athletes, like golfers and runners, meticulously measure their performance against themselves and others and use their numbers to find ways to improve.

Is running a business any different?  Is there a way to know if you win or lose each day?  Each week?  Each month?  Each year?  The answer to all of these questions is yes, and I write about how to accomplish this in

Are Your Numbers as Deceptive as an Eclipse?

[Author's Note: This post is not about the Twilight Series' release of its third movie.  I do, however, admit that my wife took me to the first two and will likely take me to the third soon.]

At 4:17am on Saturday, June 26th 2010 I saw the beginning of a lunar eclipse.  I was on an early-morning (or more like a middle of the night) hiking trip and we stopped to watch this rare occurrence (this was the first of only two this year).  What we initially saw was unimpressive.  At first, a dark cloud seemed to cover the upper arc of the moon.  The earth's shadow was barely beginning to i

The 2 Problems with Dashboards

There seems to be a lot of buzz around businesses having a dashboard.  Even Intuit has jumped on board and tried to provide this functionality in QuickBooks with its Snapshot Center.  For those unfamiliar with this concept, a dashboard is one place a business owner should be able to look to see all of the key metrics and performance indicators of their business.  To learn more about this concept, please visit my blog post: The Key Business Metrics Every Entrepreneur Must Know.

Feedback is a Gift

About 4 years ago I was approached by a man who wanted to give me some feedback - and none of it was positive. 

20 Indicators Your Financials are Wrong

I have looked at a lot of financial statements over the last five years from at least 250 different companies in almost every industry imaginable.  They all had one thing in common - they were, in some way, wrong.  This is a major challenge of most start-up, emerging, and medium-sized businesses.

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Improve Cash Flow with Benchmarking

Imagine swimming from one end of the pool to another in 30 seconds.  Is that good or bad?  How do we determine how we are doing, what is going well, and what we should try and improve?  It primarily has to do with comparing our performance to ourselves and others.

Staffing Accounting/Finance Department from Start-up to Medium-Sized Company

I have had a lot of conversations recently about staffing the accounting and finance function in the company.  As companies grow and shrink, their needs in this area change.  We certainly do not want to be over-staffed, and we also want the most cost-effective staff doing as much of the work as possible.  For example, we typically do not want our Controller or CFO entering payables - this task can easily be delegated to a much lower cost employee.

 

I Cannot Predict the Future...Budgeting is Worthless!

I have heard this statement more often than I care to admit: "I cannot predict the future so a budget would be worthless for my business."

 

An article entitled How to Create a Budget in BusinessWeek prompted me to recollect some of my experiences with helping people who have the above attitude towards budgeting gain a new appreciation for the process and, more importantly, the results the process can generate. 

 

The Key Business Metrics Every Entrepreneur Must Know

Imagine you own a successful business but become stranded on a deserted island.  The only communication you receive about your business comes once a week on a sheet of paper in a bottle (yes, a message in a bottle).  What information would you need and want on that paper?  When you remove the subjective elements of running a business and try to do it on objective data alone, how does that change your ability to make the right decisions? 

 

Why Measuring Social Media ROI is so Difficult

If you want to open up a can of worms, ask a group of internet marketers and CMO's how to measure the ROI on social media investment and participation.  There is and will continue to be a heated debate on this topic until we all realize one thing: Social Media is about

Part-Time CFO's Agree on Need for KPI's

The following results of a survey conducted by Grant Thornton validate what every business needs - a weekly report that highlights the most important ratios and metrics in the company. GRANT THORNTON SURVEY RESULTS

 

Part-time CFO's Agree on Need for KPI's