Cheryl R. Olson

CPA, CGMA | Director, Solutions Strategist

About

Watching every single film that’s been nominated for Best Picture takes some kind of commitment, and it comes as no surprise to us that Cheryl has that type of commitment – in spades.

Cheryl has an innovative approach to finding solutions for not-for-profit and commercial organizations that is centered around relationships, culture, and change management. For those ready for change, Cheryl is skilled at bringing together the right people, resources, and systems from within the firm, alongside outside collaborators, to identify and implement solutions that can help our clients’ businesses and organizations grow. For those that are not ready, Cheryl can help organizations identify the change management steps and honest assessments to help get them there.

Cheryl also manages the operations of the firm’s software solutions team. She guides both for-profit and not-for-profit companies in identifying if it’s the right time to change technology and, if so, what core functionality is needed. This includes looking at the people and processes that will drive technology decisions. Cheryl collaborates with the firm’s IT Services Team to also consider security best practices related to data flow and storage when changing technology.

Cheryl has a long history working with the not-for-profit sector as a volunteer, consultant, Assistant Executive Director, CFO, auditor, and tax accountant. She is also a member of the AICPA Not-for-Profit (NFP) Advisory Council, which helped launch the AICPA NFP Member Section.

Cheryl frequently shares her knowledge as an advisor, writer, and presenter, including designing and delivering three online AICPA courses for certification in Budgeting, Ethics, and Aligning Mission and Strategy.

Cheryl’s personal mission is to help organizations find the best possible solutions to whatever financial and operational challenges they face. With her demonstrated tenacity, we think any organization that works with her will find a solution that’s more along the lines of The Sound of Music than The Titanic.

Practice Emphasis

  • Relationship and collaboration network builder
  • Solutions identification and implementation across a variety of business and organizational needs
  • Software system functional needs assessments and gap analysis
  • Software sales and implementation project management support, including Sage Intacct Financial Management and MIP Fund Accounting
  • Advising in management issues related to organizational structure, transitions, staff development, aligning business and IT strategies, and culture
  • Assessment of not-for-profit governance practices, as well as providing needed training
  • Understanding of IT risks and controls

Proven Results

  • Led and participated in business assessments, which provided management with guidance in governance, operations, reporting, finance, compliance, and technology. This led to documenting a desired future state roadmap, role clarity to accomplish organizational change, and process optimization while appropriately managing risk for improvements.
  • Led and participated in Software System Functional Needs Assessments and Gap Analysis projects which included many components, such as accounting/ERP, Point-of-Sale, Payroll and HRIS, Membership, and CRM. Findings reports from these projects provided options for making directional decisions regarding whether to keep an existing software system, make changes to the system, or implement a new system.
  • Led and participated in project managing RFP and RFI processes and software vendor demonstrations and selection processes. This work freed up staff time to focus on finding the right fit for their organization and kept the project on track on the planned timeline.

Education

  • University of the Pacific, B.S. in Business and Public Administration, Accounting Concentration

Activities

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member and Not-for-Profit Advisory Council Volunteer
  • Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member and Not-for-Profit Committee Volunteer
  • Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Finance Committee Member
  • University of the Pacific, Portland Metro Alumni Group, Member and Co-founder

My Life by the Numbers

1

Son, Zack, with husband, Aaron

3

Continents traveled to

23

Years of watching every film nominated in the Academy Awards' Best Picture category

41

States visited in the U.S.