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November 2009


In This Issue

The Scoop on FEWnet

FEWnet Member Spotlight

Table Talk

What FEWnet Members are Reading

Karen's Corner


FEWnet Members on the Move

Long-Term Contractors and Perm Candidates


The Scoop on FEWnet

Greetings, FEWnet friends!


The buzz continues to flow in about our recent FEWnet IFRS Breakfast. Over 100 of you joined us for an engaging discussion led by a very knowledgeable panel of experts from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University (CSB-SJU), KMPG, US Bancorp, and Thomson Reuters. Key areas of conversation included:


  • Do your homework. Mary Jepperson, Chair of the Accounting and Finance Department of CSB-SJU, talks of IFRS being about substance (economic) over form (contractual). To get familiar with IFRS, look at the economic substance and be ready to do a lot of study.
  • Preparation is key. Begin the process with a high level assessment to understand the impact to the business and financial statements. Jennifer Simons, Director of Accounting Policy at US Bancorp, recommends an integrated approach that includes a diagnostic tool, the IFRS roadmap, and a network of people who have already completed IFRS implementation. Heike Drake-Cavalletti, Audit Partner at KPMG, agrees that having a plan is critical to success. Start talking about the gaps and challenges to IFRS conversion, if you do nothing else.
  • Accounting is not so black and white anymore. IFRS introduces a more principles-based approach to decision-making. Suzanne Lang, Director of Finance at Thomson Reuters, recommends creating a set of accounting policies that outline how the corporation will consistently interpret the standards (putting more liability on the company versus the individual).
  • Have the right people in place. Assess your internal staff for bench strength, experience, and mature judgment. Suzanne found a lot of value in bringing in an external expert to do the documentation legwork, keeping people focused on tasks and moving the project forward.

What it boils down to is that there is much to do to get familiar with IFRS. There are also many resources for you to turn to including our featured panelists, other FEWnet members, and external staffing support like FEWnet founder Certes Financial Pros. If you’re looking for help, please let me know and I will try to get you going in the right direction!

Take care,

Sally Mainquist, CPA

FEWnet Founder

President and CEO, Certes Financial Pros

FEWnet Member Spotlight

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
- Anonymous


The idea that your attitude determines your altitude is a great phrase to use when describing FEWnet member, Linda Peterson. A Finance Manager in the Sarbanes Oxley department at Medtronic, Linda’s career has been one of steady progression since graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from St. Cloud State and passing the CPA and CMA exams.


Starting her career as a grant accountant for the University of Minnesota – Duluth, she followed her husband to Chicago and joined the consumer products manufacturer, The Alberto Culver Company, as a cost accountant. Deemed “one of the coolest jobs” Linda has ever had, she developed a program that allowed her to pinpoint potential issues quickly and learned at 23 years old that you can truly manage a company using solid accounting knowledge. She later returned to Minneapolis as a cost accountant with TCF Financial Corporation before moving into accounting and management roles with Zomax International and Unitron Hearing.


Joining Medtronic as a Manager of Corporate Finance in 2005, Linda quickly dug into the oversight of SOX compliance as a process owner before moving into her current role as the leader of the global SOX team. Core duties include centralizing and executing the SOX testing functions for many of Medtronic’s U.S. operations. In addition to centralization, Linda’s team of ten is also revamping their global reporting processes. On the heels of an office move and a morning spent celebrating Maple Grove school district’s “Pirate Pancake Day,” we enjoyed learning more about the passion Linda brings to the finance function as well as how she finds balance as a busy mother of two.


More about Linda Peterson

Table Talk

Discover what our FEWnet small groups are talking about this month:

  • Gauging wages for 2010
  • Elevated concern in the workplace around cold and flu season
  • Dressing for success in a time-crunched world
  • Managing mounting workloads with interim support



Cooler temps have many FEWnet members lighting a fire under their reading habits this fall. Top recommendations include:


7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis by Bill George


Strengths-Based Leadership by Tom Rath


The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown


What Happy Working Mothers Know by Cathy Greenberg, PhD and Barrett Avigdor, JD


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Karen's Corner



When I worked in the publishing industry, I remember hearing that advertising is often confused as news. Some people believe what they read and make purchasing decisions based on that information. If that didn’t happen more often than not, advertising would go away. But unlike the real news, which attempts to be balanced, advertising only covers those items that make money. So, we are influenced by a very biased news source, advertising, and that bothers me.


We are told regularly to buy Sara Lee apple pie but who regularly tells us to eat apples? We are told to eat fast food but who tells us that the fastest food is fresh fruit and vegetables? We are told that we need fancy clothes and fancy cars but who tells us that after having a roof over our head, clothes on our back, and food to eat, (regardless of the social status of each), the chance for happiness is the same?


Read on


MNCPA 55th Annual Tax Conference and Tradeshow

Tax reform creates both challenges and opportunities. Gain the needed knowledge and skill to tackle busy season (not to mention 16 CPE credits) with over 40 educational sessions over the two-day affair. Make sure to check out the tradeshow and stop over at FEWnet sponsor, Certes Financial Pros’ booth, as we will be giving away a one-week vacation stay to one lucky attendee!


HOST: Minnesota Society of CPAs
WHEN: November 16-17, 2009
TIME: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Minneapolis Convention Center
COST: $499 Nonmember/$399 Member for both days


Two more announcements

Members on the Move

Certes Financial Pros, the founder and sponsor of FEWnet, was named a 2009 Integrity Award Winner by the Better Business Bureau for excellence in business ethics and for displaying integrity in all aspects of their daily operations.

Shelley Chase-Olsen, President of Chase Olsen & Company LLC, welcomed her second granddaughter on September 8. Baby Bodhiana Mae joins big sister, Maitreya. All the best from FEWnet!

Katie Kerber
, Accounting Manager at Honeywell, Inc., welcomed her first child, Dustin Joseph, into the world on June 23. Congratulations from FEWnet!

Kris Larson, Vice President of Client Services at Certes Financial Pros and FEWnet small group leader, has been named a Top Woman in Finance by Finance and Commerce newspaper. Way to go, Kris!

Karen Reynolds, Executive Director at Gray, Plant, Mooty, welcomed her grandson, Simon, into the world on July 17. Congratulations to you and your family, Karen!

Becky Wagenbach has joined H.B. Fuller Company as Reporting Analyst. Best wishes in your new role!

Gina Wallraff has joined Mounds Park Academy, an independent pre-K through grade 12 college preparatory school in St. Paul, as Director of Business and Finance. Congratulations, Gina!

 Contract and Perm

Certes Financial Pros specializes in providing senior level financial professionals to Twin Cities' companies needing contract, contract to perm, and permanent staffing support. As an award-winning "Best Employer," Certes is here to help you find top notch talent for your finance and accounting teams or that next career move with one of our outstanding clients. Begin exploring opportunities today!

Do you have an immediate staffing need? Check out our current Contract and Permanent Placement available lists and give us a call.

Long-Term Contractors Available

Perm Placement Candidates for Hire


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