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Tales from the front lines in CFO and controller recruiting—what’s expected these days

A CFO who is good at financial integrity management but struggles with assessing situations and being visionary won’t be a CFO for very long. I see CFOs facing this challenge in companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to startups. In my role on the RoseRyan management team, which includes interviewing candidates, and as […]

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The balancing act of a startup—mastering the first stage of the lifecycle

“Business, much like life, is not a movie and not everyone gets to have a storybook ending.” Those were the farewell words of Gigaom founder Om Malik after the San Francisco tech website shut down earlier this year, unable to pay its creditors. Every startup is its own unique opportunity, but so many are cut […]

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It was high time the FASB eliminated ‘extraordinary items,’ and they finally did

Companies will no longer have to call out extraordinary items on the income statement following the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s recent issuance of an accounting standards update. This change, which affects transactions that are considered both unusual and infrequent, goes into effect for fiscal periods beginning after December 15, 2015. As someone who has been […]

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Does the FASB need to step back and simplify?

Having been involved in accounting for over 30 years, I have seen quite a few changes in accounting requirements, all enthusiastically introduced to “help the reader understand the financial status of a company better.” I have to say that I believe the opposite is happening. Reading (interpreting) accounts is getting harder to do, as more […]


5 qualities every public-company CFO needs

I have seen a wide range of public-company CFOs in my work at RoseRyan and I’ve been one myself, having spent 13 years at Nasdaq-listed companies between 1997 and 2009. So when a RoseRyan client considering an IPO recently asked me what qualities are vital for a public-company CFO, I came up with the following […]

Sales tax: the growing headache

On September 1, 2012, the state of California started to collect sales tax from Amazon after a years-long argument over whether the Internet company should pay such a tax. In just the first four months of collection that tax amounted to $96.4 million. A good deal? Maybe, but you could argue that this apparent win […]

Living to work? Remember, you only live once

A few years ago, well before I joined RoseRyan, I met a recruiter who was trying to fill a CFO opening in a fast-moving start-up. The role sounded interesting, until the recruiter said the CEO was looking for a young candidate as they were less likely to want a “work-life balance.” Immediately, I knew the […]

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Credit risk: a few easy steps can prevent major headaches, even extinction

Entrepreneurs are constantly setting up companies as new business opportunities arise. It’s called innovation, and that’s what Silicon Valley is all about. VCs put their money into these companies to help them grow with the expectation that they will make a great return on investment themselves—and they perform significant due diligence and risk assessment before […]