Updated: Jun 28, 2020
Who wouldn’t want some structure to their financial chaos? Everybody would. Meet Barney Holtzman, CPA, CGMA Peridot Consulting’s Chief Financial Officer and newest member of the team. This is what Barney is doing with much of his time, he brings harmony to money confusion by building and implementing structure and strategy to business accounts.
Barney joined the Peridot team just in time for the current environment. SBA loan questions, PPP compliance for loan recipients, PPP inquiries, and extensive analysis needed to navigate the very fluid loan situation business owners find themselves in. But, no one is better suited for the job - to do the digging and probing into a much-complicated system than Barney Holtzman!
Continuing on with our “Meet the Consultants” blog series, Barney shares with us what he is accomplishing right now and how he mucks through all the mess. First, a little background as to why he is so fit and qualified to take on such a daunting task for Peridot Consulting. Barney is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant meaning he is part of a highly valued, globally recognized management accounting organization. He is an accounting leader, has spent more than a decade creating partnerships amongst some of the world’s top venture companies. Most recently Barney made his way to sit in the Vice President seat an international mining company, The Quartz Corp., in nearby Spruce Pine. There, Barney used his skills and knowledge to overseeing financial opportunities generating financial forecasting for this successfully large corporation before making his way to being on the team at Peridot Consulting.
What exactly are you helping clients with right now?
Answering questions. Right now there is so much uncertainty that Barney’s financial planning for his clients is comprised of quick reactions to changing loan compliance rules.
“It’s a moving target right now,” says Barney.
Alongside that, analyzing client financial reports, creating cash flow projections and staying on top of the Cares Act PPP compliance situation so that he can make educated and informed decisions about what is best for clients.
What challenges are you facing in doing this for each client?
Navigating the uncertainty and helping clients understand the difference between cash and accrual accounting. The difference between cash and accrual accounting lies in the timing of when sales and purchases are recorded in your accounts. Cash accounting recognizes revenue and expenses only when money changes hands, but accrual accounting recognizes revenue when it's earned, and expenses when they're billed (but not paid). This can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around as a business owner.
Barney is also faced with the challenge of modeling cash flow for clients, working side by side with business owners helping them understand all of this for their own success. Basically painting a detailed picture of a clients' assets, investments, debts, income and expenditure, which are projected forward, year to year, using assumed rates of growth, income, inflation, wage rises and interest rates. Is your brain hurting yet? That’s why Barney is the business coach and partner you want on your team.
What’s the most important part of your daily routine?
Prioritizing client needs and my calendar in the morning and in the evening because it can change at any given moment. Sticking to a disciplined schedule, especially working from home, is vitally important to remain on task and on top of every layer needed for providing quality work for our clients.
What is the most common question you are asked by clients?
The majority of questions being asked of Barney are about the Cares Act and PPP loan recipient compliance. Business owners are determined to stay on point when it comes to dotting all the i’s and crossing all the T’s in order to receive SBA loan forgiveness.
It’s certainly been a challenge to know for each business to know exactly what to do with the loan received so that it becomes a forgiveness loan. Barney is figuring it out, he knows how and where to investigate the answers for all of this.
How do you balance life and work? Working remotely. Is it a challenge?
Basically, Barney is used to working from home and does it well. With little children at home and with the usual distractions of the household, he admits it can be a little challenging at times just like it is for other people, but, thank goodness Barney is an experienced “work from home” person that has a wonderful wife partner to help him clear the distractions.
Barney knows what it takes to focus at home and he certainly makes it work by clearly communicating to his family what he needs in order to get his work done. And they fully support him on it.
What do you love most about your work?
Helping people, supporting people and helping those in need with problem-solving financial chaos. Those lightbulb moments of when a client finally understands or gets what they need to do in order to achieve goals.
How did you first decide to become an accountant, business leader/developer, financial expert?
Barney didn’t set his sights on a financial profession until mounting experience as a music store manager led him down such paths. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist and working as a retail manager of a music store in San Francisco, Barney he found himself wanting to know more about the money end of the business.
After being more comfortable with the music store’s accounting and bookkeeping, and because Barney notices how naturally skilled he is with understanding the books, he soon realized that he could really have a prosperous career if he pursued becoming an accountant. At the same time, he also began tiring of jobs that seemed to have little advancement so, he did what felt right to him at the time, he enrolled in school and became an accountant.
There was something about understanding how money, financial goals, forecasting cash flow, budgeting and spending was what really mattered to a business. Yes, management, operations and marketing also have important roles in business, but, Barney knew that if the financial side of things were a mess, then any business would really struggle for a long time. And, because he genuinely enjoys his work.
Do you see that you are making a difference in the world?
Yes. Barney admires the fact that he is helping people with what is truly important whether it’s for a business or individual client benefit. He especially loves it when he exceeds all expectations for his clients.
What advice would you give to anyone struggling with their finances?
Ask for help! - The common theme amongst all the Peridot Consultants. They cannot stress enough how important it is to remember that these are difficult concepts to deal with. It’s about being an adult and doing the things you don’t want to do. You just have to get started. And, that it is never too late to get your money problems in order. Just reach out and we will help.
Pick another Peridot consultant and compliment something that they do for peridot and what they bring to the team.
Although Barney is very fond of all the Peridot Consultants, he wants to mention Bill Kelley. Barney loves that Bill has such great enthusiasm for his work and for the people around him. It’s contagious. He has noticed that Bill carries with him total positivity, compassion, great experience and a wealth of knowledge for a vast amount of businesses. He loves that Bill is an excellent people person, is compassionate and truly cares about the people in his life.
How do you spend your free time?
Barney is fairly a simple guy. For him, it’s lots of family time with his wife and two boys who are 8 and 5 years old. When he is not entertaining them, he enjoys playing guitar, piano, cooking and getting outside for a run.
List something people would be surprised to know about you.
"Not a single thing - as of right now."
Well, that brings us to the end of us "getting to know” Barney Holtzman a little better. Remember, if you’re a business owner or even an individual struggling with questions or concerns about anything from SBA Loans to money management, please reach out to Barney for his help. He knows a lot and his extensive accounting experience will benefit you immensely.
Barney Holtzman, CPA, CGMA