In November of 1965 the firm finalized the legal and administrative details of creating a corporate shell named “CH2M”. Now all that remained was the massive chore of transferring the book entries from the Partnership books to the new corporation. Many meetings between the partners and their attorney John Fenner of Fenner & Barnhisel had been held to hammer out the necessary details of this new corporate venture.
It had been decided that January 1 of 1966 was to be the birth date of the new corporation. I was what could be most closely defined as the “CFO”, or Chief Financial Officer of the organization, and what accounting staff existed at that time was headed up by Myron King. I had several graduate level courses in Accounting under my belt; Myron’s background was as a Bookkeeper, but we faced the challenge of making the initial corporate entries with confidence.
Meeting the January 1 target date for the accounting transfers, first required that numerous last minute entries had to be made to the Partnership records, closing the year through December 31, 1965, and then the books had to be balanced, final statements pulled off and balanced, thereby establishing the true accounting condition of the Partnership as of the date it was to become a corporation. With this done, we proceeded to transfer the accounts themselves, changing partnership ratios to equity values in new corporate stock. There were literally hundreds of entries to be made and in order to keep from confusing ourselves, we resorted to using “T” accounts to communicate between ourselves. (For the uninitiated, “T” accounts consist of an elementary accounting technique where Debits and Credits are displayed to the left and right of a “T” diagram with the account name serving as the heading at the top).
After many hours of work on this New Year’s Eve, while others were celebrating a new year, we completed the transfers and pulled off the new, opening statements of the foundling corporation. For days following this marathon effort, the opening entries were subject to review and amendment until they could be cast in concrete and the necessary papers filed.
I look back on this exercise with a sense of pride for having delivered such a vibrant, gifted child to the beaming founding fathers. History shows that they nurtured it with care and affection, and took even greater pride in their offspring as it matured and became a powerful force in its field.
Submitted by McLane (Mike) Fisher