New CFO ‘Starts from Scratch’ in Bid to Quintuple Company’s Size

Jewelry company Betteridge had a dysfunctional finance operation and declining business results, but its owner had his sights on an ambitious goal.

Say you’re the owner of a 120-year-old family business composed of four stand-alone retail stores in different cities. It throws off a nice living, but you want more. In fact, you want your business to become a $500 million company within 10 years.

There’s a little wrinkle to smooth out, though: You’ve had three straight years of declining sales and contracting margins.

That’s the true story of Terry Betteridge and the company that he wholly owns, Betteridge Jewelers. He met with some consultants last year to talk about his ambitions. They told him: The first thing you need to do is hire a real CFO to come in and fix your problems.

So, the owner took the consultants’ advice and last October hired a new CFO, Nick Fischer, who had been director of financial planning and analysis at Nordstrom and previously a financial analyst at Capital One. It’s his first CFO job.

Ten years may seem like a long runway for growing a company, but Fischer judged that the situation called for fast action. To save time and gain efficiencies, he hired Consero Global, a provider of outsourced finance and accounting services, to handle all transactional work and drive the month-end close process. “Those guys are world class,” he says, adding that he learned of the firm from a 2014 CFO article.