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You Need the Numbers! Why Financial Literacy Matters (Even to Marketers)

You Need the Numbers! Why Financial Literacy Matters (Even to Marketers) Blog Feature

Eric Choma

Controller, 8+ Years of Diverse Accounting Experience & Consulting

October 31st, 2018 min read

Believe it or not, sales and marketing are not the only way to grow your business.

While these areas may be pivotal to your growth and sustainability, it’s necessary for every team member to put equal energy into understanding the ins-and-outs of your company’s financial statements in order to truly impact that bottom line.

While improving your financial literacy, you will start to identify trends that will help you make better, more informed decisions in your role and for the organization as a whole.

“The nice thing about the financials is that they allow you to develop these trends. It doesn’t bother me to see that we have problems. But more important is whether people are working towards solutions. We’re always gonna have problems. The question is, what are we doing to fix the problems?” - Jack Stack, Great Game of Business.

At IMPACT, we have embraced and implemented a fully transparent model for open-book financial management with this in mind.

Using this approach, we are not only able to be fully transparent about our “numbers,” but we can go further to assign an owner to each individual line item on our Income Statement and report on our planned amounts weekly.

This allows us to be just as proactive about managing our expenses as we are with managing our revenue. It is an opportunity to teach financial literacy within the company and help everyone understand how their job affects the bottom line.

We are an organization where the majority of individuals are in marketing or sales-focused role.

They are creatives like many of you reading this, but the most successful, growth-focused professionals know that marketing and sales innovation is only part of the equation.

Why Are You Even Telling Me This? I Hate Numbers...

I get it... I’m a financial guy, talking about transparent financial statements and financial literacy. Why should marketers listen to anything I say?

Well, in the journey of all successful companies, it’s IMPERATIVE for marketers and thought leaders to shift from a mindset of “working in the company” to “working ON the company;” to develop a business-owner mentality.

This is one of the hardest things to do if you're not in a financial role.

By understanding the financials of an organization, a team member can better understand how THEIR job affects the bottom line.

For example, a member on your marketing team may not truly understand how much you are spending monthly on all of the tools and tech subscriptions that they utilize or even underutilize.

However, if they were to review the entire list of paid tools, they may notice that one is obsolete and can be canceled, in turn, saving your company money.

If you can find a way to educate yourself and your teams on what “their” revenue and expense items are, you will also empower them to own these numbers and learn how they can affect them positively.

That’s why I’m here. 


Who Are You Again and Why Are You Still Talking?

Short answer: I’m Eric Choma, the new controller at IMPACT and the first hire in our finance department.

Long(er) answer: I won’t bore you with all of the details (you can find those on LinkedIn), but I grew up on the Connecticut shoreline before taking my talents to South Beach and earning my Bachelor’s in both Accounting and Finance, and Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Miami (FL).

I then launched my career as an external auditor for Deloitte in Miami and San Francisco.

Upon leaving Deloitte, I had the opportunity to expand a brick-and-mortar retail vape shop operation to their second location and an online store. This opened the door to starting a brand of e-liquid with in-house manufacturing and sales teams.

Upon selling my companies, I focused on the tools that made me successful in my own businesses and began consulting for several start-ups, helping implement QuickBooks Online, integrate CRM and sales software with accounting systems, encouraging automation of processes, and guiding my clients to a better overall understanding of their business and financials.

I was essentially working as a Controller-for-hire prior to starting my role as that for IMPACT. It was a thoughtful, yet rigorous interview process, but in the end, it was a match made in heaven (with free snacks in the kitchen).

Since joining the team, we have rolled out our brand new open-book financial management business structure that I mentioned earlier and I am helping to continually improve the financial literacy of every member on our team.

Ok, You Got Me This Time... But Why Should I Ever Read Another One Of Your Articles?

I know… Numbers and spreadsheets can be super boring and seem irrelevant, but I assure you, they aren’t always.

Based on my personal experiences and expertise, I am going to use this platform to help marketers, entrepreneurs, and small-to-midsize business leaders, like you, boost your financial literacy on topics like open-book management and how to embrace financial transparency.

I will highlight helpful tools and tech, share tips and tricks, and provide insights that I have learned along the way to help grow your overall financial literacy and take control of your business or career.

In the meantime, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or email me and introduce yourself. Let me know what financial topics, concerns, or questions you may be interested in as a marketer and, of course, stay tuned!

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