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IAM1763 – CEO Helps Businesses with their Accounting and Revenue Opportunities

Podcast Interview with Earl Murray III

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In episode IAM1313 of the I AM CEO podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Earl T. Murray III, the President and CEO of The Entrepreneur's Accountants. Earl provides training and financial consulting services to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and non-profits. Throughout his career, he has managed the financial operations of companies up to $5 million in gross revenue annually and has secured over $4 million in funding for small businesses and non-profit organizations through contracts, grants, and individual giving.

In the interview, Earl shares his personal journey and how he started The Entrepreneur's Accountants after being laid off from his job as an accountant in the corporate world. He discusses the services his firm offers, including tax planning, accounting, and bookkeeping. Earl emphasizes the importance of minimizing tax liability and maximizing revenue opportunities.

Earl also shares his CEO hacks and nuggets, which include using phone apps like the calendar and Instagram reels to share what you do. He defines being a CEO as having influence, inspiring others, and making hard decisions such as hiring, scaling a business, and dealing with external people.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into the importance of financial management for small businesses and the role of financial consultants in helping businesses maximize revenue opportunities. Earl's experience and passion for helping entrepreneurs make this episode a must-listen for anyone looking to improve their financial management skills or interested in starting their own consulting business.

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Transcription:

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Earl Murray III Teaser 00:00

If you start and you're on a main stage and without the feedback, then guess what? You'll be ill-equipped. So the days of the small beginnings, the days of the few clients that you have, is to prepare you for the bigger platforms, the bigger stages, the bigger opportunities.

Intro 00:19

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:46

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Or what I like to call the CB Nation architects, those that are looking to level up their organizations.

In this month, we are focusing on knowing the numbers. I could hear the phrases from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, and if you understand or don't understand exactly what numbers is, think finance, economics, accounting, capital, investment, funding, bootstrapping, anything that's around numbers. So, We have to understand how important it is to know your numbers and how important that is for you to forecast, make decisions, and to be able to truly strategize around your business and do that successfully.

Things are gonna be a little bit different obviously, this month. So look for CEO hacks and CEO nuggets and interviews that focus around this. But more than everything else, make sure that you know your numbers because they're extremely important to the life of your business.

Gresham Harkless 02:02

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Earl Murray III of The Entrepreneur's Accountants. Earl, it's great to have you on the show.

Earl Murray III 02:13

Thank you for having me.

Gresham Harkless 02:14

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on. Before we jumped into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Earl so you could hear about all the awesome things that he's working on.

Earl Murray III is the president and CEO of the Entrepreneurs Accountants. The firm provides training and financial consulting services to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits.

Throughout his career, he has managed the financial operation of companies of up to $5 million in gross revenue annually and has secured over 4 million in funding for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Through contracts, grants, and individual giving.

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He has earned a Master's of Arts and financial planning and law from the Regent University and a Bachelor's of Business Administration and Accounting from the University of the District of Columbia.

Earl, super excited to have you on the show again, talk about all the awesome things you're doing. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Earl Murray III 03:03

Let's go. I'm glad to be here.

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Gresham Harkless 03:05

Yes, absolutely. Let's make it happen then. So to kind of kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock, and hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Earl Murray III 03:14

Wow. So for me, I used to work in an accounting department. I was the accountant or controller for these organizations. I came in to do the cleanup work whether it was, you know, just a year or two or longer, but that's how I really got my foot into doing accounting for these companies. What really happened afterward is that I ended up getting fired. I got let go and what really transpired is that, I started my first company in 2013 on the backside of me being terminated the first time.

It was really like a mixed bag of everything that I could do, as you see, I've done fundraising, I've done accounting, I've done teaching. I've done a number of things. So that's what I did, I took all my skills at home, I put them into the marketplace and then went back into the corporate world. I did some public accounting for a little while, worked for another company and then after cleaning up their financials, I abruptly end up having to leave. They end up letting me go.

What was so funny, sometimes you have to know when it's time for a paradigm shift in your own life and for your own business, is that when the executive director told me that there was no more money in the budget for my position, but that was the budget that I prepared. So if anyone knew about the budget, then it was me. So I tried to go find a job in many places, and it just didn't work out.

I realized that, okay, this is now time for me. Instead of trying to be a CEO for one company, it was time for me to be the CFO for many. From there, the Entrepreneur's Accountants which is my second company, I was able to do some other things with the first one, but the Entrepreneur's Accountants was birthed in 2019 and I was able to hit the ground running, to provide the accounting, the tax and the advisory services to those small business entrepreneurs.

Gresham Harkless 05:23

Well, I appreciate you so much in sharing your story and that journey. As somebody who was laid off once and was gonna get laid off again I know how frustrating that can be. But I love that phrase that you use paradigm shift because a lot of times when you're going through that frustrating time, you're not sure what the next move is.

You feel like that's like the dead end, there's no way to kind of go out of that. But a lot of times we just have to shift gears, pivot and change and turn to a different direction. A lot of times they can redirect us into being in a better place.

Earl Murray III 05:52

You know, the other thing that I wanna say with that and I'm saying this as a financial professional, but also being one of the business owner. I know that there's gonna be a lot of people that are gonna tell you to, you know, save for your three to six months, have your savings, all those things together. I'm not against that. But sometimes life will bring you a way that you will build a business off of your faith. Off of your intellect and your grit.

That was my story. So you may have to take all the money out of your 401k. You may have to use all your savings. You may have to, you know, use all the money that's in your bank account. That's going to lead you to get to be able to build in the business that you desire. I wanted to be able to share that because there are many people who are afraid to step out into business because that may be their story or that may end up happening to them, or that may be the current business owner that is looking to scale and they're afraid to scale because of what their current circumstances are.

So, I just say this as words of encouragement. Let's go out there and do it. You got it.

Gresham Harkless 07:01

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. So I know I touched a little bit upon how you work with, you know, clients and how you serve them. Could we drill down a little bit more and tell us how you serve the clients that you work with and the service you provide for them?

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Earl Murray III 07:11

Sure. So as we are now, we are in the middle of tax season. So one of the services that our firm provides is tax preparation. We work with our clients to make sure that their taxes are filed and filed on time. There are some business owners or individuals where they have back taxes and they're like, oh, I'm scared to file those taxes that I've been avoiding. So we also assist you with preparing the back year taxes as well.

Then we work with a business owner or individual in terms of some areas of tax planning. And so tax planning is to find different strategies and ways on how a business owner can be able to build the business that they aspire to do. But also you want to minimize your tax liability. Yes, it is our responsibility to able to be pay taxes, but we don't want give any more than what is due.

Then we also provide our accounting services, accounting and bookkeeping.  So with accounting and bookkeeping, that's where we are tracking and recording your transactions into an accounting software. We are preparing monthly financial statements for business owners, and those are gonna be primarily your balance sheet, your profit and loss statement. For some companies you need to see a budget versus actual profit and loss statement as well. So we work with clients to produce those statements of cash flow so you can see the changes on how cash comes into your business because it's typically three ways on how money comes into a business owner and into a company.

Lastly having the business owner to see the accounts receivable, people who owe you money, like an aging report. So the aging report can tell you who are the people who owe you and this is how long it's been. Then accounts receivable, who is it that you owe? How long has it been since then that is due? I believe that it's important for a business owner to understand these types of financial statements and not have it in your head. You can be able to have something on paper that you can be able to build with.

So those are some of the services that we do. There is one is that we do what is called like a business accelerator. What I like about that, we're able to really help the business take like a deeper dive and turn the business and look and see in terms of like revenue growth opportunities. So it's really like a business growth strategy which we consider is like our secret sauce because it's not like what an accounting firm would typically do.

Gresham Harkless 09:50

Awesome. I know you mentioned that core service was one of the parts of your secret sauce. Do you feel like that's something that you're able to do, is not just, you know, take that data and information, but be able to translate it so that you can help people make those decisions to grow or get to wherever they want to be?

Earl Murray III 10:05

I believe that, you know, when you learn more about yourself learn about yourself, learn about your business, know more about your audience, you can be able to understand what is it that they need and look in terms of how you can be able to serve them. You'll typically find this into like the business coaching, branding, marketing space. But I think to have this within an accounting firm because we're also your trusted advisor.

Because we are your trusted advisor we are able to give you the insight, not just financially, but also looking at your entire business model, the revenue opportunities that you may have overlooked or to confirm what was already in your gut.

Gresham Harkless 10:45

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Earl Murray III 10:57

Sure. So for me, it's my calendar. It's the app on my phone. It's really like my guiding tool. It helps me to navigate between the different projects that I manage. It's everything within my iPhone. It's really like a plug-and-play. I think in the days of, you know, social media marketing, getting people to know who you are, like Instagram reels,  I'm learning to love it and so people can be able to get to know more information about you before they do business with you. What they call it try before you buy.

So you are able to share your expertise. So, they may not come to me for a full accounting service, but they can learn more about what I do and how I can best serve them, just simply by me sharing the information about the issues that affect them.

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Gresham Harkless 11:49

Awesome, awesome, awesome. What I wanted to ask you now for what I'd like you to call a CEO nugget. This a little bit more of a word or wisdom or piece of advice. I usually say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you hop into a time machine, what might you tell your younger business self?

Earl Murray III 12:04

So the younger version of myself is to just get started. You have everything that is within you within your God-given skills, talent, abilities to be able to do what you're supposed to do. Don't be afraid. The world needs your voice. The world needs what you have and the people are gonna come, don't sweat. The days of small beginnings and guess what? When you start, you need the small beginnings because those individuals, they're able to help you out to give you the feedback you need.

If you start and you're on a main stage, without the feedback, then guess what, you'll be ill-equipped. So the days of the small beginnings, the days of the few clients that you have is to prepare you for the bigger platforms, the bigger stages, the bigger opportunities. But the people that are at the ground level are supposed to help you, to really help you to make the big money than what you desire. So, that's my nugget.

Gresham Harkless 13:05

Nice. Do you feel like a lot of people, especially probably imagine from a financial standpoint, are not realizing the steps that it takes to actually get to where they wanna be and they're trying to do it overnight?

Earl Murray III 13:14

You have to increase your mindset. Sometimes you need a detox of your mindset. So run your race. If you run your race, then guess what? You'll eventually get there. But you have to continue. You have to continue pressing on.

Gresham Harkless 13:31

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So, now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show.

So, Earl, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Earl Murray III 13:42

So to be a CEO means that you have a place of impact, you have a place of influence and that you also have a place of inspiration. You know, you have to be able to make the hard decisions, whether that is to hire someone, or fire someone in terms of how and when to scale a business.

You have to also look into how to deal with external people. There's a lot of hard work and dedication that it takes to put in to do this type of job, and it's not for everyone. So that's my definition of a CEO. Influence, inspire, and impact.

Gresham Harkless 14:19

Awesome, awesome. Well, Earl, truly appreciate that definition, and I of course appreciate your time even more.

What I wanted you to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people could get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Earl Murray III 14:36

Sure. So I just wanna be able to say to those of you my fellow CEOs who are listening to this podcast 2022 can be your greatest year ever. But you have to be able to get those ducks in a row, get your eyes dot crossed, get your financial infrastructures in place, get your all these other systems that are in place in the days of technology. It doesn't cost as much as what you think but those things have to be able to be in place so that you can be able to scale and see the growth and desire bring on the employees and the personnel in which you desire.

Then how someone can be able to follow me, you can be able to connect with me through Instagram etmurrayIII. Or the Entrepreneur's Accountants which is also on Instagram as well. You can be able to find me on LinkedIn, Earl T Murray III.

Gresham Harkless 15:24

Awesome, awesome, awesome. To make that even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that everybody can follow up with you. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of day.

Outro 15:32

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Want to level up your business even more? Read blogs, listen to podcasts. And watch videos@cbnation.co. Also, check out our I AM CEO Facebook group.

This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harless, Jr. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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