Archive August 8, 2019

The Curse of Knowledge

How can knowledge be a bad thing?  Knowledge is facts, information and skills. It allows for informed decisions, an understanding of a topic and the sharing of information. Knowledge creates experts.

Knowledge can become a hindrance when your audience is forgotten. In technical fields, especially those with their own “jargon” (acronyms, keywords, etc.), this curse can be prevalent.

An expert in any field can become immune to their words. They see and hear technical terms so often it becomes a fluent second language to them. They have forgotten how these terms sound to someone who hasn’t heard or used them repeatedly.

In the field of accounting, I hear the term Audit and immediately think of an official, independent, review of an organization’s financial records. This formal process begins with a structured preparation, includes formal fieldwork and interviews and is then finished with a specifically worded report communicating the results of the audit.

But someone who is just trying to keep their books straight, and their business financially sound may think, “I wonder if I am doing this accounting thing right, I wonder if the processes we have in place (or don’t) works. Maybe I need an audit.”

Audit to them means, “I’m just looking for an opinion and not a full in-depth formal review.”

How to prevent the curse of knowledge

  1. First – become aware of the language that you may inadvertently use
  2. Read your audience, ask questions and keep going deeper until you find what they are really asking for. The problem your client may say they have really is not quite what they mean. Their current issue could be a symptom, not the cause.
  3. Break-down the theory or word into common language, think of explaining it to a teenager. They may not want to say out-loud that they really don’t understand.

CM Wolf LLC can review your processes in Accounting, Finance and HR. After a thorough conversation, you will receive a report of findings and recommendations. But it won’t end there, you can count on guidance through-out the process of implementing best-practices. And no confusing jargon.

The goal is to allow you to focus on the mission of the organization, and not just “am I doing this accounting or HR thing right?”.

Be sure to let me know of any Accounting, Finance or HR terms or topics you wish you could understand better. I am always looking for future subjects to cover.

Personal Journey

Our journey: where are we going? How are we going to get
there? What happens when we arrive at our destination? Is this where we intend
to be?  These are large and loaded questions.

Building on expertise and knowledge I have gathered over a
career in business, the next step in my journey is to build a firm
dedicated in providing Accounting, Finance and HR expertise.

How did I get here

My journey began in High School with this book.


I remember being excited to take this Bookkeeping class. Every number had a place. It was all very organized and balanced! (For each debit, there was an offsetting credit. Assets – Debts = Net Worth)

The courses I took in college further added to the intrigue that I found from putting numbers in their place. It was EXCITING to learn that there is a story to be told by looking at numbers on a page.



Along the Way

Each job I have held has been another step on this journey. In the corporate world I learned that
1.   Profit and positive cash flow keep you in business. Debt does not lead to success.
2.   Bureaucracy has a reason; it provides structure and standardized procedures.

The non-profit industry refined my accounting skills. I learned the intricacies of Fund Accounting and Donor communications. I came to understand the depth of passion Donors and Employees feel towards their cause.

I also became skilled in satisfying the needs that an organization has for Human Resource Management. I experienced the joys and trials of leadership.

Continuing Education is a key part of maintaining my CPA and HR credentials. I do this through structured focused classes and continual reading of all I can. Staying up-to-date and aware.


What’s next

I invite you on this part of the journey with me. CM Wolf LLC provides non-profits and small businesses with the Accounting, Financial and HR expertise needed to be successful.

 Do you find yourself wondering what your financials say about your organization? Are you spending more time fretting about getting the numbers right than telling the right story?

 CM Wolf LLC is here to inspire you to understand and share the financial story of your organization succinctly, clearly, concisely. What are your successes, and how are they measured and shared?

 Measure and share your story. Engage your employees.


And I will leave you with this quote from Game of Thrones Petyr Baelish:
“They’re only numbers- numbers on paper. Once you understand them, it’s easy to make them behave.”