Posted in Accounting | Communication | Current Events | Education | Leadership | Professional Development by Brenda Nichols (Accounting) on October 31, 2011
I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the inaugural Professional Development Business Conference recently held by the Bloomsburg University College of Business. What a great opportunity for the students to attend sessions with many “Bloom U” business graduates offering insights and knowledge of their real world experiences.
I’m sure I am not alone in receiving a request or two from outside organizations when it comes to participating in roundtable discussions, forums, or panel discussions. Even though the timing of this event couldn’t have been much worse for me, I am so glad I did it. While the students were the intended beneficiaries of this conference, I also took a lot away from it. I gained a greater appreciation for the Bloomsburg University College of Business, met fellow graduates that could turn into business opportunities, talked with professionals from all over the nation, and even reconnected with a few people that I haven’t seen in over 25 years.
I guess you could say that by participating in this conference, I actually lived my presentation. My focus was on, “Using Your Position to Give Back”, and in a small way, I contributed my time to the next generation of leaders. The questions asked, the discussions had, and the attention paid to all the presentations makes me confident that we have some future stars in the making at Bloomsburg University. I know that the quality of business education they are receiving is top shelf. My “Husky” education has been invaluable to me throughout my career. I can’t thank Professor Woodward for telling me in 1984 that I wouldn’t be doing Accounting for long. He thought an inquisitive mind like mine would need more stimulation than crunching the numbers. At the time this sounded terrible, but now I know what he meant.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Communities | Employees | Leadership | Professional Development | Stewardship by Brenda Nichols (Accounting) on July 12, 2011
LDG CFO Brenda Nichols reflects on her recent honor from the YWCA and her mother’s influential wisdom.
“Every day is a new day.” I remember hearing my mother tell me this as I was growing up. She also ended it with, “so what are you going to do with it?” My statement to my kids (and their friends) has been, “Make good choices.”
Both of these are relevant for me on a daily basis. A job can be something you do or an opportunity to grow and learn. At Larson Design Group (LDG), it is definitely the later for me. I get the chance to do something meaningful each day by being an active participant in a dynamic company with a culture that matches mine.
My personal drivers are family, community, organizations that promote and help others, being respectful and learning. I think one of the reasons I have been at LDG for 18 years is because my personal drivers are very similar to LDG’s core values.
Recently I was humbled and fortunate to be recognized as a Women of Excellence by the Williamsport YWCA in recognition of my community volunteer efforts. In the audience at this award ceremony were co-workers, family and friends. This is just one small example of why I like my job. It was so easy for me to see that the choices I made to help others because I cared about the community were supported by LDG.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Accounting | Client Service | Communication | Employees | Initiatives | Leadership by Brenda Nichols (Accounting) on June 8, 2011
Image © Elvis Santana
As we continue to transition our accounting department into a more integrated model that mirrors our organization, I realize how important full documentation of procedures and processes can be. Larson Design Group has always had good step-by-step accounting documentation such as how to record a vendor’s invoice in our accounting software, etc. However, we have learned that we were weak on system documentation; the things that really matter in making a company run efficiently, effectively and without risk of errors in the big picture.
For example, since LDG conducts approximately 20% of its business with State agencies, their audit standards require thorough review of our systems. In the last few weeks, various co-workers and I have taken the time to document our internal controls in all areas. Yes, it has been a lot of work that came with struggles in finding the right words and preparing numerous documents that ensure everyone understands these procedures. But in the big picture, it shows that in all situations, we can improve. We have looked even closer at segregation of duties within the accounting department and our approval processes. And accordingly we are making changes. The first change we made is that all electronic payments for vendor invoices will now go through an additional review and approval process to ensure more “eyes” see these.
In the end, I am even more confident with the integrity of our data and proud to be part of making these changes happen.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Accounting | Communication by Brenda Nichols (Accounting) on October 1, 2010
Photo: © P Widling
Larson Design Group is fortunate to have a strong banking relationship with First National Bank. This relationship has existed for over ten years which has made it rather easy to traverse this latest economic downturn. By providing prompt financial reporting monthly to our bank and looking at them as a part of our business ventures, we have developed a “partnering” with First National Bank. We look to them for input, not just for loan terms. Similarly, they use us as a source of information about the local economy and what we see developing. We have requested and received an increase in our line of credit each of the last three years even though the immediate need did not exist. Trust and value are at the core of this relationship.
We want our clients to look at us as partners, just as we do with our banking relationship, thus matching business.
I recently talked with ZweigWhite about this topic and was featured in an article from their September 20, 2010 issue of The Zweig Letter. To read this article, click here.No comments yet | Permalink |