About

I improve the finances of small businesses by providing finance and strategy resources to small business advisors and staff.

My Story

My grandpa was a small business owner.

My dad was a small business owner.

I rebelled and became a CPA.

Rob Stephens laughing

I’ve served as Chief Financial Officer or Director of Operations for multiple companies, both for-profit and not-for-profit. Now I provide resources and work with advisors and small businesses. As the son and grandson of small business owners, I know the troubles and struggles of small businesses. I understand that small businesses mean much more than money to their owners.

Everything I do is to help small businesses achieve their purpose while also providing practical tools to drive profits. It’s the intersection of head and heart. Without money, a business cannot achieve its mission.

Over the years I’ve served in executive positions for companies with 30 employees to hundreds of employees. I’ve served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of two community banks and a non-profit community health center system. I was the Director of Operations for a $3 billion bank and Senior Vice President of Finance for a $2 billion member-owned credit union. I’m a CPA that’s worked with many clients in an audit and consulting role.

CFO Perspective is for small business staff and advisors who want additional insights into how to better run their business or their client’s business.  Many owners advisors and business staff tap my resources or consulting to get specialized finance and strategy insights an experienced CFO can provide.

And it works. My methods are focused and effective.

“I can’t thank you enough! With our IT professional services consultancy just over two years in, Rob worked magic with all the moving parts we had in regards to our finances. Rob consolidated and outlined our financial strategy leveraging the tools we were using. It was like magic! We quickly and easily saw areas of growth that allowed us to make solid business decisions.”

-Arnold De La Fuente, VP Customer Success, MavenNext

Rob’s Degrees and Certificates
– CPA – Washington State
– Bachelors of Business Administration – University of Washington
– Masters of Personal Financial Planning – Kansas State University
– Graduate Certificate of Financial Therapy – Kansas State University
– Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt

Let me take the insights I’ve learned about business strategy and finance to help you. The tools and guidance you receive from me will help you build a better business and better serve your clients.

CFO Perspective Has Been Featured In:

The resources on this site and the services I provide are my dream job of serving small businesses both directly and by helping their business advisors.  Thank you for visiting this site and I hope you find great value here.  Check out my Testimonials Page to see what others have said about me. Also, peek at my In the Media page to see where I’ve been featured.

It’s my honor to help small businesses achieve their goals.  It’s truly one of the most fulfilling things for me.   

For Those Who Want to Know More about me Personally

I live in Spokane, Washington with my wife of 25 years.  We have two girls. 

I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. During college, I worked as the bookkeeper for the Seattle office of the March of Dimes and for a non-profit arts company that produces Bumbershoot, a massive arts festival in Seattle.

After graduating from the University of Washington I started with the “big four” accounting firm of EY in Seattle. My wife and I then decided to move back to Spokane.

I’ve been part of small companies where one minute I’m doing financial analysis and the next minute I’m shoveling the snow on the front sidewalk. I know what it feels like to be in a small company where you feel like the jack of trades and master of none.

My first CFO position was at a non-profit health clinic system where I worked with doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and mental health providers. I’ve also worked for family-owned businesses where I learned how to balance the cash flow needs of the business with the cash flow needs of the owners.

I’ve seen tough times in business, too.  Early in my career, I was a financial analyst at a company that filed for bankruptcy.  I was the CFO of a bank during the Great Recession that had some tough losses but survived.  However, during the tough times, the Board asked all the executives, including me, and the auditors to leave.  I know what it’s like to have to pick myself up.

I was the CFO of two community banks, Director of Operations of a $3B bank, and served as the Senior Vice President of Finance of a member-owned credit union with over 140,000 members.

Along the way, I’ve had the privilege to serve on the board of directors of some wonderful non-profit agencies.  I’ve been on the board of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Family Promise of Spokane, and Lutheran Community Services Northwest.   

When I’m not working or volunteering, I love to spend time with my family.  My wife and I enjoy wine tasting and kayaking.  I used to ride my road bike over 1,000 miles per year but now you’ll find me walking quite a bit.  Often this is on a treadmill while working on my laptop.  I hope this site provides a lot of value to you and the next time you read a blog post you’ll know it might have been written while I was walking on the treadmill.

You can tap into the experience I’ve described above to build your business and reach your goals. Check out my Topics Page to see all the resources I have for you. I also have some Free Tools for your business. Want it all? Get access to the Finance And Strategy Toolkit (FAST).

As always, God bless and I wish you well.

– Rob