Blue Collar CFO
Updated: Jul 12
What kind of name is Blue Collar CFO? Aren't Accountants supposed to be white collar robots in tall buildings? No thank you!
First, "Blue Collar CFO" is in honor of my father who was a farmer and blue collar worker his entire life. Personally, I was never motivated to be a white collar executive as I have always had the honesty, work ethic, and personality that equates to the "rolling your sleeves up" mindset. Work hard and get the job done right.
For my first 17 years of my accounting career, I lived in Corporate America. I'll just be blunt...one word...torture!
No, it wasn't that bad. I learned a ton about my craft as I was exposed to very complicated accounting that made the rest of my career (after I exited that life), a piece of cake.
The Corp career consisted of a lot of different types of domestic & international work. Early in my career, I was able to obtain Controller positions that set me up to run month end closes in highly complicated accounting settings.
What that lead to were more and more responsibilities in my positions which ultimately lead to burnout. Again, I learned invaluable lessons working in those environments, but I wouldn't step foot in another high rise just to be a little bee in a huge wheel. There is no way to have true impact at a job like that, or in life for that matter, because there is nothing left to give when a burnout happens.
In 2008, I ventured out on my own to find my way in accounting outside of Corporate America. How could I create value for clients and be able to have balance in my life? We had just had 3 children and my time needed to be distributed even further.
Fortunately, I connected with a family office in Denver, CO where I started molding my eventual path in this Profession. I had almost 2 dozen of the family's entities' accounting that I was responsible for and many of the financials for these businesses were in bad shape due to poor accounting processes. Over the course of the next 6 years, I was able to create the accounting departments needed to maintain accurate data for all of the family's financial affairs. To get there, I needed to learn how to use forensic & auditing techniques that ended up identifying fraud at one of the businesses. This whole experience showed me that, because of all the prior 17 years' of accounting experience, I had arrived at a point where I could really unwind accounting puzzles, and rebuild them back the correct way. This would become an invaluable asset for the rest of my career.
In 2014, the family office was closed down and I found myself looking for my next gig. Adding up all of my prior experiences in accounting, especially the International Restatement project I had at Qwest, I was primed to help companies face very complicated problems with their accounting. I started getting freelance work to help businesses rebuild from completely inaccurate financial statements, to timely and accurate financial information that they could use to build their businesses further.
Here we are in 2022, two plus years into a pandemic, and the remote work space has come alive! This has created huge opportunities in the growing remote Fractional Accounting industry where I have created a network of clients using my accounting services as their way to keep a pulse on exactly what their businesses are doing.
In a nutshell, I am taking full advantage of the balance a remote work environment provides. We moved our family down to a beach town in SW Florida and absolutely love it! In a funny way, I came full circle back to being a Blue Collar CFO.