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  • Improve Senior Management Oversight, Control, and Planning
  • Improve Board Governance Process
  • Improve Financial Statement Reporting
  • Improve Budget Process
  • Streamline Accounting Processes
  • Improve Accounting Policies, Procedures, and Controls
  • Improve Efficient Monthly Closing Procedures
  • Prepare Policies and Procedures Manuals
  • Assist In Audit Preparation
  • Remediate Audit Deficiencies
  • Accounting System Conversion
  • Simplify Grant Accounting Procedures
  • Endowment Accounting Procedures

CPA Firm and CFO Join Forces for a Win-Win Situation – A Real Life Experience

 by John Cohen

A CEO I once worked for loved the mantra, “Turn your weakness into strengths.”  He was very successful at it, and I have often used that adage as a guide.  At one of our clients, the CFO and the CPA Audit Partner created a “win-win” situation that seems to be a living example of that rule.  Here’s the short version of the story:
 
It was no secret that the CFO was stretched thin on staff and was unable to get his budget appropriately increased.  Both the CFO and the CPA firm had a cordial, but dry, highly regimented, compliance-oriented relationship with the Audit Committee.  But an attitude of “status quo” ruled the day.
 
The breakthrough came when the CFO and the Audit Partner agreed to support each other in discussing a “Long Term Continuous Improvement Campaign” with the Audit Committee.  Almost immediately,  Audit Committee Members showed that they were thrilled to be part of a process which was a progressive, pro-active effort to improve the organization, and viewed both the CFO and the Audit Partner as being much more important “value-added resources” than previously thought.  The Audit Committee agreed to the importance of setting aside a budgeted amount each year in the next few years for this initiative and directed the CFO to present his multi-year recommendations.
 
When we were called in, it took about two hours for the CFO and us to develop a prioritized “hit list” of projects which needed to be done and the approximate cost of each.  With the “blessing” of the CPA firm, the Audit Committee recommended the additional funds for the first year, and we were hired as the process improvement consultants to perform the work.  As a result, the organization has streamlined many of its processes, improved its internal controls, and reduced its dependence on Excel sheets; and both the CFO and the Audit firm have a highly improved profile within the organization.
 

NPA Consultants are specialists in Policies, Procedures, Internal Controls and Financial Reporting.  We help accounting departments run “better, faster, cheaper,” and Boards of Directors/senior managements insure that they are performing their fiduciary duties at the highest possible level.  We are happy to answer any questions.  Contact us at info@NPAccountants.org or 617 694 4600.

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