Christian Brim

Christian Brim, CPA

CEO of

I've been helping business owners for over 25 years with their finances. I grew up in a family business that eventually went bankrupt. I saw the devastation it caused for my family, and I knew that it didn't have to be that way. My life's mission has been to help businesses with their finances.

My Story

Although I am not in a Creative Industry, I am a Creative Entrepreneur. A creative entrepreneur is one driven by passion, as opposed to an opportunity.

If the previous statement describes you, then my story will be very familiar to you. I grew up in a family business in smalltown Oklahoma. My dad, his brothers, and my grandfather were in the oil field service business. I saw firsthand the joys and heartaches of being an entrepreneur and its impact on the family.

Weekends were spent all together at someone’s house. Me and my cousins would swim and play games for hours, while the adults “talked.” Most of the time the talk turned to work. First lesson, it’s almost impossible to separate work from family. Looking back, I see how they just couldn’t escape it. Their troubles followed them home, and because they worked together, their family problems followed them to work. Lesson 2, if you work with family, it makes things more difficult.

Then came an economic calamity. We went from flying in private aircraft and riding in limousines to living in a rented house and driving shitty cars. I was 17 at the time. In retrospect it wasn’t the loss of things that really bothered me, although I did have my dad drop me off at high school further away because I was ashamed of his car.

No, the worst part of financial failure was the effect it had on my family. Around the same time our family suffered financial calamity, my grandmother died of lung cancer, literally smoking a cigarette on her death bed. She was the matriarch of the family, and with her death, the glue holding us together was gone. After filing bankruptcy, everyone left the state to find work. Gone were the Halcion days of family togetherness.

My dad had found employment in upstate New York in the Indian gaming business. He worked there my senior year, while the rest of us stayed in Oklahoma. My mother and siblings dropped me off at college and left. Not left me, left the state. I had a few friends from high school, but other than that I might as well have gone to school far away.

I decided on accounting as a major because I liked math, and engineers worked way too hard. Accounting was the hardest major in the school of business, so I picked that, thinking that it would be easier to find a job after graduation. I had no idea what accounting was.

I graduated, met a nice girl (Stacey my wife of 30 years), we married, and she became pregnant on our honeymoon. NO idea how that happened. I actually do, but I won’t bother you with the details. I took work with a Big 5 accounting firm as an auditor. After two years of travel away from my young family, I looked for something else.

I wanted to do something more in sales because I like helping people. I went to work for a small community bank as a commercial banker. That was very interesting, but it created my life-long disdain for bankers. After we were acquired by a larger bank, I again started looking for something else.

Since I was a kid, I had been fascinated by the stock market. I had dreams of being an investment banker (again, had no idea what that was) just like the movie Wall Street. No not, The Wolf of Wall Street, the one in the 80’s with Kirk and Michael Douglass. So, I decided I would give it a try.

I was rejected by every single brokerage house. The last straw was when one of them gave me a sales aptitude test and said they could not hire me even if they wanted to with my scores. I literally laughed out loud. I had no doubt of my ability to sell, even at that young age.

What do you do when God closes one door? I looked for the open one. In the Journal of Accountancy, I saw an ad for an accounting franchise business. Curious I looked at their website (this was 1996 and the internet was in its infancy). I contacted the sales director, who was from Dallas, and whose wife was from Oklahoma City, where I now lived. We made an instant connection.

I did my “due diligence,” which really only consisted of talking to other franchisees and confirming what I wanted to hear. But I really liked the idea that I would be able to help business owners with their money. As a banker, I had seen the mess their books were in. I did not really understand it then, but my motivation was to exorcise the ghosts of my family. I knew that business owners did not have to work their ass off and then end up with nothing.

Now I had to find the money to pay the franchise fee. It was $40k, and we had nothing. I asked my father-in-law to loan me the money, and he said no. He was the only relative I had with that kind of coin. So on to plan B, the Small Business Administration. Remember I was a banker!

Long story short, I borrowed $50k from the SBA, ran up my credit cards doing the three-week training in southern California, and I was off. When you have no alternatives, you find a way to make it work. I would spend most of my days cold calling businesses in person, and then following up on the phone to arrange appointments. I had nothing else to do, I had no clients.

It didn’t take long to find my first clients, and Stacey started doing bookkeeping while nursing our newborn. Yes, we had another child two years after the first. What the hell? So, I did the marketing and occasional taxes while Stacey answered the phone and did the books.

Looking back, it was a crazy decision, one I am unsure I would make again. I had no alternatives except success or bankruptcy, and I had four mouths to feed. Well technically three since, our daughter preferred breast milk, but my wife was eating for two.

Why?

I help business owners increase profit by clarifying their numbers. I remove financial doubt for business owners and their families

  • Financial Planning

  • Small Business

  • Business Valuation

  • Financial Reporting

  • Budgeting

  • Profit First Author

What They Say About Me

Christian and his folks at Core are great people to work with and were exactly what we needed as a small business. Our partnership with them has allowed us to focus more on our own customers needs without the distraction of keeping up with tax compliance. They made the process of switching from our previous provider seamless and overcame obstacles in a very smooth fashion. I recommend Christian to any business executive that needs reliable and professional coverage for accounting and tax compliance.

Terry Hardman

Vice President at Itek Microsurgical, Inc.

When my company hired Christian and his company, we saw an immediate improvement in our financial position. The accounting and financial expertise that was suddenly in our corner continues to be invaluable. Business decisions become a bit easier when Christian and his company back you with their expertise. I'm happy to recommend Christian Brim.

Randy Kemp

Digital Audio Producer for all media

Christian and the CoreGroup have been instrumental in helping our company, Daybreak Family Services, to continue growth and profitability. From 3 staff to over 100 in 4 short years. Their expertise in financial planning, profit and loss, payroll, state and federal taxes and the ability to help mgmt understand our financial reports has surpassed our expectations. We have found them very easy to work with, very collaborative and a great group to team up with. C. Conley Tunnell, Pres/CEO- Daybreak Family Services.

Conley Tunnell

Pres/CEO at Daybreak Family Services

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