Denise Norberg-Johnson

Financial Columnist

Denise Norberg-Johnson is a former subcontractor and past president of two national construction associations. She may be reached at

Articles by Denise Norberg-Johnson

August 2010
Last month’s column used the BP oil spill as an example of the risk associated with a “good enough” standard. Revolutionizing your corporate culture to embrace a “never fail” standard may seem unnecessarily expensive, but the BP spill tragically reminds us that a tolerance for failures, even small ones, can lead to disaster. READ MORE
July 2010
A disaster on the scale of the BP oil spill is unlikely to happen to the average electrical contractor and, therefore, provides little reason to perform catastrophe analysis. Even the experts know that the existing models are imperfect. After all, how can we predict the unpredictable? READ MORE
June 2010
Last month, we explored some potential tax law changes that might affect your business. Let’s review a few more as well as some revenue-raising proposals. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) includes a provision to soften the effect of situations, such as insolvency or reorganizations, in which some debt is forgiven. READ MORE
May 2010
The Fiscal year 2011 budget President Barack Obama released in February contains more than 100 potential tax changes, many of which may affect your business. READ MORE
April 2010
Prepare to see many changes in the tax code in 2010 and 2011, partly due to the costs of providing economic stimulus during 2009. You may be concerned about the possibility of an audit, so here is some information that may help you prepare for this possibility. Targets and compliance READ MORE
March 2010
Nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is often credited with the statement, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” This column has discussed the lies and the damn lies. READ MORE
February 2010
Last month, we reviewed the lies in financial statements, which are both legal and ethical; this month, we move up to illegal and unethical actions. Electrical contractors must be vigilant to avoid the steps that can lead to lies and avoid being victimized. READ MORE
January 2010
When pundits offer statistics in support of their opinions, it is hard to know whether to trust the numbers; economics and finance are difficult enough to navigate without suspecting that someone with an agenda is deliberately misleading you. Even the numbers on your own financial statements are not a true reflection of your business operations. READ MORE
December 2009
The year-end holiday season prompts decisions about giving to charitable organizations, customers and employees. It may seem cold-hearted to evaluate gifts in terms of the potential return on your investment, but it is simply a bad business practice to distribute wealth out of habit. Plan your giving as you do any other budget item, and use your best financial judgement to scrutinize purchases. READ MORE