FINANCIAL CAPACITY BUILDING

with Geoff Lindemer

FOR-PROFIT COMPANIES

How can I speak confidently with bankers and investors?

Learning to speak comfortably with lenders and investors has great value. They each have their own set of requirements. Learning their language gives you an advantage in negotiating the best terms for your business.

  • Geoff worked for eight years as a bank commercial lender, including assessing credit risk and approving and collecting loans based on established criteria. This allowed companies to achieve growth objectives while maintaining repayment ability.
  • As CFO to multiple companies, Geoff led strategic planning efforts that required seeking capital for growth projects. As part of the application process, Geoff coached managers in how to answer questions such that perceived risk was reduced and chances for a ‘yes’ decision were improved.

How do I organize my business finances?

Business owners form companies to provide a products and services. This is their strength, their expertise – not accounting. It is difficult to grow without good accounting and financial systems, and getting business help with good systems is much easier.

  • For multiple young and mid-stage companies, Geoff identified and installed financial systems that strengthened financial management and cash flow, including improving communications with lenders and investors.

How do I position my company for a new owner?

  • For a mature wholesaler, Geoff created a package of asset valuations in anticipation of sale of company.

 

NOT-FOR-PROFIT COMPANIES

How do we improve and simplify systems so we can focus on our mission?

  • For one Vermont college, Geoff managed a full general ledger conversion, including designing a new chart of accounts and budget methodology. He trained users in reading and understanding budget comparisons, and led strategic planning processes that supported capital refinancing and expansion.

“I worked with Geoff at a college during a period of significant change. During that era, Geoff was responsible for several key accomplishments, including:

1. Completed the general ledger conversion from DataTel to Great Plains. This included designing an entirely new chart of accounts and budget methodology.

2. Led the College staff in the successful preparation and submission of an application for investment grade bond rating from S&P.

3. Wrote the Financial section of our accreditation self-study that identified both our challenges and our capabilities to navigate the challenges.

4. Improved communication and financial literacy among all constituents.

Many of Geoff’s accomplishments still have a positive impact on the college today. This demonstrates his ability to bring stability and financial expertise to a complex environment during substantive change.”

  • For another Vermont college, Geoff managed budgeting and analysis, including establishing improved cash management systems between home base and foreign campuses. He conducted audits of expenditures to ensure compliance with corporate rules.
  • For a third Vermont college, Geoff managed multiple budget entities and departments, and led a strategic planning process and that resulted in a business plan to secure working capital. He analyzed existing systems, identified internal control weaknesses, and designed and installed improved procedures.
  • For a New Hampshire online learning company, Geoff filled in after departure of CEO and strengthened accounting, budgeting and financial reporting, including outsourcing payroll and investment management.

“Among Geoff’s most notable contributions were:
– Prepared financials for our Board meetings. Oversaw our FY15 budget process and worked with me to present the budget to the Board of Directors.
– Updated many of our contracts and created an improved contract tracking system.
– Onboarded a qualified bookkeeper which enabled us to free up an employee to do work that was more aligned with her skill set.
– Outsourced payroll, which made operations more efficient
– Oversaw the entire process to relocation our offices to a new location..
Geoff was easy to get along with and well liked in the office. He brought a can-do attitude to his work. I would highly recommend Geoff to any organization that wants to upgrade its finance and administrative functions.”

INTERNATIONAL

  • For international importer of sugar and cacao, Geoff performed various CFO projects, including analysis of ownership positions and audit findings and employee benefits. Assisted with designing system updates and training on updated systems.
  • For an international importer of coffee and spices, Geoff managed accounting and cash flow systems for company during 40% growth period. He negotiated improved working capital lines of credit and managed audits.
  • Under USAID contracts, Geoff:
    • Wrote a business plan for a privatizing dairy company in Kazakhstan.
    • Served as Country Manager for Central Asia Accounting Reform in Kyrgyz Republic
    • Traveled to Bulgaria twice to assist dairy companies in business planning, financial analysis and international joint ventures.
    • Served as a member of the Bosnian Redevelopment and Reconstruction team that loaned $10 million per month to Bosnian companies.
    • Served as Senior Public Finance Officer to Iraq during the surge of 2007-2008, including introducing transparency, budgeting and internal controls among provincial governments in Anbar Province and Kurdistan Region.

“Geoff combined a comprehensive knowledge of his field with the ability to work effectively with a multi-cultural team in a difficult environment. Geoff had a knack for getting buy-in from Kurdish National Government Officials allowing him to deliver timely and much needed training to their staff.”

  • Under World Bank contract:
    • Conducted training in bank internal audit and budget implementation in Russia, Georgia and Armenia.
  • Under Asian Development Bank contract:
    • Led the introduction of the first audit of the Uzbekistan State Pension Fund.