Joe Goldberg Covers All the Bases as PawSox CFO
Joseph Goldberg, a CPA and newly minted member of the RISCPA, recently marked his first year as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President at the Pawtucket Red Sox.
It’s been a busy year in Pawtucket as the team’s ownership and management have been exploring the rebuilding/relocating possibilities with a steady stream of updates in the news. While Joe explains that he has been part of the team reviewing all options, his involvement is not only related to finance. In fact, he emphasizes that, as CFO, he wears many hats and is actively involved in the ballpark’s marketing and development vision. He weighs in on brainstorming and creative initiatives with a careful eye on the related finance and budget items.
Joe describes being on the frontlines of this initiative as both educational and fascinating and taking part in projecting a budget in a new ballpark is both fun and challenging.
Changing Career Path
“I grew up as an enormous sports fan and sports have been a big part of my life,” explains Joe. In the manner of many college students who have a change of heart when it comes to declaring a major, Joe originally planned to study broadcast journalism but recalls: “I woke up one day and decided it wasn’t for me so I decided to major in finance and marketing.”
After his junior year, Joe did an internship with a regional, public accounting firm in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. “Then, I decided I wanted to pursue accounting. After eight years with the firm and on the partner track, I started to wonder if I should diverge from that path. My curiosity became a reality when I heard about this opportunity through a friend … and the rest is history. I never thought I would, in my wildest dreams, be combining my business background with sports, specifically baseball,” recounts Joe.
Part of the Pulse and Heartbeat
While CPAs often compare the day-to-day structure, demands and work-life balance of the public vs. the private sector, Joe notes that his move was somewhat different from a situation where a CPA leaves public accounting to become a controller at a large company.
“I was fortunate enough to join the management team here at the PawSox and I feel like my work has a large impact on the front office. While I certainly was part of the team at my former CPA firm, I feel like I am more involved in the pulse and heartbeat of the Pawsox.”
Joe explains that his staff is different, too. “At the CPA firm, I was a manager so I worked with different staff members who reported to me for different jobs. Now, I am fortunate to have CPA Matt Levin as our full-time Director of Accounting and Data Analytics plus a part-time finance assistant and a soon-to-come summer intern.”
Joe also works with Jeff White, the PawSox Treasurer. “Jeff’s professional experience is tough to match,” says Joe. “His years as an executive in Major League Baseball and other large companies is simply incredible. He has been a mentor for me since my first day with the PawSox and I continue to learn so much from him each day.”
High Bar for Financial Reporting
Over the past year, the financial team has been working together to tighten controls and shore up processes including reporting of game-day performance, a critical indicator. Joe and his staff are charged with making sure month-end closes are sufficient and communicated appropriately, tracking all finance decisions and outcomes, and reviewing the costs and benefits for various expense items, such as promotional and advertising expenses.
“Larry Lucchino, Dr. Charles Steinberg and Jeff White have spent many years as executives in Major League Baseball, so they expect our financial reporting to mirror that of a Major League team,” describes Joe.
“My main job as CFO is to be sure everyone here has a clear understanding of our budget issues, banking requirements, audit compliance, etc. However, as has become the new normal in many industries, the CFO role has expanded to be more than just numbers. Being a well-rounded CFO is of paramount importance to me.”
Kid in a Candy Store
Joe says that driving to a ballpark every morning is definitely a lot different than what he was used to, and being part of the game he grew up loving is incredible. “I am so grateful for the opportunity and I strive to continually be better at my job.“
Joe notes that there’s more fun on tap this summer with expanded in-park entertainment, enhanced in-game video and Saturday night fireworks. Plus, company sponsorships for advertising and events are always available.
Joe plans to attend many of the games and invites fellow CPAs to contact him if you will be at one of the games. Best bet is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.