CFO David Friedman Talks Entrepreneurship, Rock ‘n’ Roll
David Friedman works as the outsourced CFO for growing companies including automotive aftermarket franchiser Lee Myles and print management company Green Office Partner. With more than 20 years of experience in the entrepreneurial game, Friedman is one of MeetAdvisors top experts in finance, information technology, and venture capital.
We sat down with Friedman, who talked with us about his work as an Outsourced CFO and his indulgences in ‘80s hair metal, and his hopes for the company in 2013.
What is it like working as an outsourced CFO?
I’ve been involved in many entrepreneurial endeavors and most of the time, when I step in as CFO, I step into an equity position in the company. I’ve done a lot of turnarounds and high growth situations. Companies aren’t exactly in the position to pay me the going rate so I take equity.
It can be challenging to be an outsourced CFO if you’re not in the company on a day-to-day basis. Most companies that I work with aren’t big enough to need a full time CFO but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need the expertise of a CFO. They may have a bookkeeper or even a controller but that person doesn’t necessarily know how to position them properly for growth.
Working with entrepreneurs in a startup environment is actually pretty similar to that, and so that’s why I got involved with MeetAdvisors. I’ve had some experience and relationship with Adam over the past couple of years and some other business ventures, and when this came around it was something that I was definitely interested in doing.
When did you know you were on the path to entrepreneurship?
I think I was 12 when I got my first paper route. I just always had an issue with having to ask other people for permission to do things I wanted to do. I figured if I had my own money I didn’t have to ask my parents. So I went out and got a paper route and I don’t think I ever stopped working from that point on.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I divide my time between my clients. Typically I’ve got my nose in financial statements pretty much all day every day, it depends on the time of the year. Obviously right now doing year-end preparing for tax returns, things like that.
But I’m constantly monitoring financial statements, looking for red flags, looking for trends. Whether it be an expense category that is much higher than normal, due to expenses or to a mistake in coding.
Just trying to keep everything accurate on a day-to-day basis so that the CEOs can make decisions on a regular basis with accurate financial information. Something as simple as miscoding an expense to a revenue account can drastically alter the amount of income and the amount of profit that you think you have.
As a busy entrepreneur, how do you like to wind down and relax?
Live music is always my preference. My guilty pleasure is ‘80s hair bands. I’m a rock and roller. I’m generally into anything outside of the country category.
This time of the year I’m a football fanatic. It’s the only sport I’m pretty fanatical about. I can watch football all day every day.
In the summertime I prefer to be outside, especially around here. The lakefront, dining out, whatever.
If you could have one super power, what would you choose?
I would have to say the ability to read people’s minds, because I’m tired of trying to guess at what it is that they’re really asking for. Too many people I find when it comes to finances are embarrassed and you have to dig a lot to get to the truth. It’d be great to just be able to cut through the BS and know exactly what they’re thinking.