I hear this a lot when meeting people: “They just weren’t a numbers person or I’m just not a numbers person.” I get it. The stereotype is that finance people are numbers people and marketing folks are creative and so forth. This may come as a shock, but I don’t really consider myself a “numbers person” either. Sure, I still recall being taught how to work an HP12C (look it up) when I was a teenager by a kind venture capitalist, and I do delight when everything balances, we can trust the data and numbers reveal answers. However, financial math is addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages and at its most difficult, some time value of money calculations in addition to solid knowledge of accounting theory. With the right processes in place, financial results can be checked, balanced and full proofed by folks who may love numbers or simply passed their high school math classes.
There’s so much more to finance than numbers! Financial statements are company health reports on your entrepreneurial dreams and numbers tell a story and in many cases, interesting stories.
I don’t even look for an unfettered love of numbers as a quality when I’m interviewing new hires for VenturePack. It’s taken me years to fully grasp why I’m passionate about my job as an outsourced CFO and it’s not “numbers.” I enjoy being a part of the “way things work” reminiscent of a short film showing a piano factory from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. This may be awkward, but I love your companies and mine and how they take care of families, affect each other and are intertwined within our communities. I am fascinated by building a backbone of systems and efficiencies that support durable business models that work well – REALLY WELL. In my visualization, my clients are in a symbiotic relationship because at the very least, an improvement for one is valuable knowledge for all and so the circle goes.
There are a diverse set of skills challenges when it comes to working in the field of accounting and finance. Remote communication with multiple intense CEOs, staff and boards is far more challenging than numbers calculations. The sporty side of my VenturePack crew also enjoys winning with more than one team in multiple types of business models, even though at times it’s a harder way to work. Finance really can be dynamic, challenging, and fun and it is definitely much more than numbers to us.