It’s free with no obligation to hire
3 years in business
Christian has helped me assess my financial situation, get out of debt and make financial decisions for future growth. He is organized, knowledgeable and thinks creatively to help address financial challenges. Christian has helped me in preparing and filing taxes and managing investment accounts.Apr 23, 2020
Christian is nothing short of a godsend when it comes to a business' finance and accounting functions. I run a venture-backed marketplace startup where understanding unit economics is everything. Raising money, and more generally, operating the business requires a clear understanding of our finances and the ability to constantly evaluate whether we're on the path toward our goals or if we've missed the mark. Prior to working with Christian, doing so was an artform. After working with Christian, it's a science. We have monthly printouts of our finances including metrics that are CRITICAL to a venture-backed company laid out in plain-speak for a busy founder like myself. I'm able to take those numbers and, with Christian's guidance, drive meaningful business decisions to ensure we're targeting our desired growth. My life has become simpler with Christian by my side and my business has become infinitely stronger as a result. I cannot recommend him highly enough. He's an asset to any team looking to better understand their numbers and drive better performance on a daily basis.Apr 22, 2020
Anyone would be lucky to have the opportunity to work with Christian Putnam. His attention to detail, passion for relentless improvement and doing things the right way, is well-balanced by his easy-going attitude. He is pleasant to work with and extremely capable. A colleague of mine at Google introduced me to Christian in September 2017. I was looking for someone to help me with the accounting for Well Constructed (www.wellconstructed.org), a nonprofit I co-founded in 2015 that provides clean water to communities in rural Ghana, West Africa. Since 2015, Well Constructed has completed 100 water projects, providing clean water to over 50,000 people. Well Constructed has a small paid staff in Ghana, but the United States staff members are all volunteers, which allows us to use donor dollars exclusively on our programs. When Christian joined, I was doing the accounting for the organization. My background is in civil engineering, construction management, and data analysis, certainly not accounting. As Well Constructed grew, I became more and more unqualified to manage the finances. Since Christian began volunteering almost three years ago, we’ve met on a weekly basis via video chat, and through these meetings, Christian has transformed our accounting practices and operating structure. The accounting that I sloppily performed via spreadsheets is now in a robust accounting software platform. We also went back and reviewed every previous transaction since the organization’s founding in 2015. Christian took it upon himself to do a comprehensive process audit of our organization, and drove many organizational improvements as a result of the audit, including formalizing the Board of Directors and their Bylaws, instituting a clearly defined expense approval process, and a number of other processes that our scrappy organization lacked. I sleep much better at night now, confident that our books are correct and we have necessary financial controls in place thanks to Christian’s knowledge and diligence. In February 2020, Christian travelled with me to Ghana to meet the Well Constructed team in Ghana and the communities our work serves. His main objective on this trip was to audit the Ghana team’s financial processes, and implement the Expensify App to track their spending. He quickly bonded with Samuel, the Treasurer of the Ghana Team. Samuel eagerly took to Christian’s guidance, and over the course of the trip they made great strides in improving the team’s processes and spreadsheet capabilities. Since returning from Ghana, Christian has spent a great deal of time learning the tax system in Ghana to better understand the finances of the team in Ghana. He’s also set up weekly meetings with Samuel, to continue this training. Christian is unlike any volunteer I’ve worked with at Well Constructed. Most of our volunteers are colleagues of mine at Google who, like Christian, are very talented, but we’ve never had anyone with the combination of talent, humility, diligence, and reliability that Christian brings to Well Constructed. Often a talented volunteer will get quite involved for a few months, but then get busy with work or family, and back out of their prior commitments to Well Constructed. We’ve also had wonderful volunteers who use this as an opportunity for a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and once accepted Well Constructed is no longer a priority. I can always count on Christian to make our weekly meeting, and have done some work to prepare for it. When Christian makes a commitment, I know he will follow through. I can also always count on Christian to do things the right way, no matter how painful it is. There have been times that he wasn’t 100% confident about how we should record a transaction in our accounting software. In some of these cases, the amount of money has been insignificant (< $1), and I’ve encouraged us to make a quick decision for the sake of saving time. In these instances Christian has pushed back on me, sometimes accepting the decision, but coming back a week later after doing more research and suggesting corrective action. His integrity and principled approach can slow things down a little from time to time, but he is willing to do the extra work to produce work that he is proud of, and I am very grateful for it. When Christian started at Well Constructed, we had completed 17 projects in Ghana. In less than 3 years since joining, we’ve grown more than 5x (100). Much of this is indirectly due to Christian’s relentless dedication to improving our financial processes, which has freed up an enormous amount of time I previously spent struggling through it, that is now spent fundraising and managing the team in Ghana. Christian now serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Well Constructed.Apr 29, 2020
License Type: CPA - Certified Public Accountant (VA)
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?I'm generally flexible on price. Our initial meeting will be a free consultation in which you tell me about your business; where it stands today and where you want it to go. After this discussion, we can discuss projects and associated fees that are mutually agreed upon.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?I start by understanding your business' background and current state. This context helps me understand the bigger picture. From there we can connect your immediate concerns to foundational visions that define your business' direction.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?I have an accounting degree and I'm a CPA. I've worked and consulted for clients big and small.