Archive for April, 2016

GAAP? What’s Up with That?

ENTREPRENEUR1I hear you!  You’re sitting there saying “I’m small business; I care more about the balance in my bank account than I do about financial statements, income statements and balance sheets; GAAP.  GAAP, whatever that is, is for those “big guys” that have lots of investors, tons of money and have to report to the SEC.  It’s just not for me.”  I beg to differ though; GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, are for you! Read the rest of this entry »


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The Rise of Spreadsheets, it’s All in the Numbers. The Value of a CPA.


A CPA?  What do I need one of those for?  What value can they add to my business?  They just want me to follow a bunch of accounting rules that make no sense!  All valid comments and concerns.  If you are a small business, startup or early-stage company, you look at the balance in your checkbook and may have a hard time figuring out what value a CPA could add to your business let alone how you could afford one.

Looking to grow your business?  If so, you’ll need capital.  Capital that most likely will come from outside investors, venture capitalists (the “VC”).  In a recent article, “Meet the man behind the rise of bots and our AI-driven future”, by Caroline Fairchild, the New Economy Editor at LinkedIn, Dennis Mortensen of, a startup and creator of the Amy Ingram artificial intelligence driven personal assistant, points out that “once you sit in a room [with the investors] and ask for $25 million, it is not about bold ideas; it is about spreadsheets.”

Why are spreadsheets important?  It’s my idea, enthusiasm and well defined goals that will make it happen.  What value do spreadsheets bring to the equation?

These aren’t just any spreadsheets, they are special spreadsheets, they are forecasts.  These spreadsheets tell your story in numbers.  Numbers that need to be accurate and realistic so that they are believable.   Presenting a forecast that shows not only your projected income and expenses, but your projected assets and liabilities along with projected cash flows, combined with your great idea tells a compelling story to potential investors.  Not only that, it shows investors that you are serious and have your act together, have thoroughly thought through your business model and are worthy of their investment.  Spreadsheets.  Something that most CPAs are not only familiar with, but are adept at creating and deploying.   Having the right CPA on your side to ensure that you are presenting complete and accurate forecasts can help ensure that you get the deal done, your company off the ground or sailing to the next level of growth.

CPAs have the skill level and training needed to provide objective, strategic advice, as a result of the rigorous educational training, including ongoing continuing education requirements, combined with years of experience.  Held to high ethical standards and a stringent code of conduct, CPAs must meet high levels of competence and professional standards in order to serve individuals and businesses.  Trustworthy, hardworking, diligent and objective, all qualities to look for, and expect, in your CPA.

Susan Nieland, CPA



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