Career Story: CFO And Co-Owner Of A Telecom Software Company

CFO And Co-Owner Of A Telecom Software Company

Job Title: Co-Owner Of A Small Business

Type of Company: Our company leases turn-key software to small wholesale phone companies that offer domestic and international phone cards. Our software produces invoices that help our clients calculate the number of phone minutes that were used by the vendors and customers that they bought and sold phone traffic from.

Education: A.A.S., Liberal Sciences, Suffolk County Community College (NY) •• BS, Early Secondary Education, SUNY-Cortland •• MS, Human Resources Management, The New School for Social Research (New York City)

Previous Experience: I worked for 20+ years in the field of training and development where I designed, developed and delivered training for several large and small financial institutions, including Chemical Bank, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase. My husband and I started our own business about 8 years ago and now I am its co-owner and Chief Financial Officer.

Job Tasks: As the Chief Financial Officer of a small company, I am responsible for all the monetary aspects of the business. I use Quickbooks and Microsoft Outlook on a daily basis. I send out customer invoices monthly. Additionally, I am responsible for balancing all the business's accounts, tracking expenses and balancing our credit card statements. I am also responsible for payroll and for paying our payroll taxes to the state and IRS. I'm responsible for ensuring that every new customer receives a legal contract outlining the terms under which we do business. The contract outlines the information we consider confidential, our payment terms, the consequences of non-payment, our business hours and the service level standards of our software, as well as our customers' liability.

From time to time I work with our tax accountant and our lawyer.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is having a lot of flexibility. I am a working mother and can do most of my job at times that are convenient for me. As long as I have a computer with Quickbooks, access to the Internet and a telephone I can do my job anywhere in the world.

The worst parts of my job are 1.) dealing with customers who have not paid their bills. They are often irate and can sometimes be nasty -- even though they haven't paid us for our services.

2.) Meeting the filing deadlines for Federal and state tax forms. If forms are filed incorrectly or late, the government can impose costly fines.

3) Managing employees. Some of your employees will be hard-working and some will be lazy or incompetent. You are responsible for getting all of them to do what you need. If you have an employee who's a poor performer and you cannot get him to improve, you may have to fire him.

Job Tips:
1. Learn to type, take accounting classes, business law classes, math classes, history and economic classes. Follow and try to understand politics. Real world politics, policy changes and laws will impact your small business.

2. Go as far with your education as possible. Higher education degrees open doors and will help to get you a better job if you work for a corporation.

3. Take a diverse course load to give you broad experience and exposure to topics that could help you when you enter the business world.

Additional Thoughts: You may not always see the value in the classes you take and you may not always like the classes you take, but not every lesson you learn in a classroom will be applied to the real world. It's easy to do well with something you like, and you will find the same to be true once you get out of school and find a job. What will make you successful is if you can still do well when you have to face something you don't like. Can you still do well and not give up even when a class is difficult or you don't like it? The same will be true in the real world. You will face MANY situations in the business world you don't like and you will have to find a way to be successful. Successful people are willing to do things that unsuccessful people won't.

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