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The CFO Playbook

English, Finance, 4 seasons, 87 episodes, 2 days, 6 hours, 17 minutes
About
Being a good CFO isn’t just about managing money anymore. The modern CFO is being asked to implement new technology, guide product and business decisions, and look ahead to the future. But how do you stay ahead of the curve? In The CFO Playbook, you’ll learn how world-class CFO’s and finance leaders set goals, manage teams, leverage technology, plan for the future, improve systems and processes, and so much more. Each week you’ll get insights that help you grow yourself and your company. Have a specific topic you’d like us to cover? Head on over to cfoplaybook.fm to submit any questions you’d like our guests to answer on future episodes.
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The Expansive Financial Growth of the Gaming Sector with Ed Lu, CFO at Fandom

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Ed Lu, Chief Financial Officer at Fandom, a San Francisco-based gaming and entertainment community platform.Ed is a gaming and media tech executive with deep finance, strategy and operational experiences focused on VC and PE-backed Gaming and B2C companies. He holds a Master’s in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s in Economics from UC Berkeley.In this episode, Ed talks about the explosive growth of the gaming industry over the course of the pandemic, the impact that generative AI will have on game development, and the ups and downs of the financial investment side of the sector.--------Guest Quotes:“A lot of these [gaming] companies have had to somewhat bootstrap themselves, right? Or like, on a shoestring budget, get something out, show the metrics that the VCs will understand, ‘Oh, okay, I get it. Here's the D1, here's the D3, D7, D28, here's the monetization, here's the ARPU, whatnot. I can now project it out further.’ But they're not getting funding prior, right? And so they've been coming into the game a little later, like sort of post traction.” - Ed Lu--------Topics:01:34 Ed’s background06:53 The evolution of monetization in online gaming 15:44 Trials and tribulations of game development20:21 Investment in the gaming sector30:03 Downsides of VC investing40:12 Managing employee retention as a CFO49:24 Reflecting on his career--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ed on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
9/20/202356 minutes, 52 seconds
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How a Remote-first Culture Has Affected Finance with Bill Fahrbach, CFO at Facet

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Bill Fahrbach, Chief Financial Officer at Facet, offering impartial and invaluable financial advice and services at an affordable membership fee.Bill is a strategic Financial Executive and Entrepreneurial CFO/COO with an extensive investment banking background and rounded technology operational experience. With a track record of significant growth, capital raises, and exits, he’s a leader in finance, operations, systems, and legal capacities.In this episode, Bill talks about the changing dynamics between CFO and CEO, the importance of a healthy work-life balance, and how a primarily remote-first culture affects the pathway to becoming a CFO.--------Guest Quotes:“I think what has changed is, if you think about the CFO role, it's really critically important that you get the right information out to the organization. So, the organization wants to understand how we are doing as a business, and it's not as simple as sort of just saying like, look, here are the numbers, right? There's a lot of color, there's a lot of context. So I would say as CFO, it's been challenging. It's actually pushed probably the limits in terms of like how do you communicate effectively with the employee base, whereas when you're in the office in a physical office, it's more natural, I guess you could say, and more seamless to sort of be having routine discussions with, employees across the board and articulating, you know, the good, the bad, and everything in between and getting that message across. In a virtual environment, what I've found is that the struggle is always finding that balance of how do I get the right message out in the right forums. And not create, let's say, like a drain of unnecessary meetings that people get bored in, right? So, it's finding that balance, you know, articulating the right information, but also giving the right context in a way that employees will be engaged. I'd say that was, that's been the biggest challenge.” - Bill Fahrbach--------Topics:00:38 Bill’s role and adjusting to remote work03:49 How a remote first culture affects the pathway to CFO07:51 Educational background13:19 Dynamics between CFO and CEO17:53 Facilitating company acquisitions21:47 Work life balance24:23 About Facet and IPO29:18 Best decision he’s ever made--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Bill on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
8/9/202333 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Financial Resiliency of UK’s Social Care with Andy Dean, Chief Financial Officer at Eden Futures

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Andy Dean, Chief Financial Officer at Eden Futures, providing high quality, person-centered care, supported living and enablement for people with disabilities and support needs.At Eden Futures, Andy leads the Finance, Service Development and IT teams. Prior, he started his career training with KPMG as a Chartered Accountant, gaining experience within both Audit and Transaction Services. He has since worked for a variety of care providers in social care starting with Craegmoor as Group Financial Accountant. From there he gained broader experience at GKN plc before joining what became Embrace Group in 2012 as Group Financial Controller. Andy helped to manage the recovery and subsequent sale of that business before joining Eden Futures.In this episode, Andy talks about the current state of social care in the UK, his work as a leader for teams in finance, service development, and IT, and how policies, politics, and technology affect the space.--------Guest Quotes:“ Part of your role, as CFO, is that wide base of stakeholders. You can be talking to your shareholder one day. You can be talking to your lender another day. You can be talking to your insurer. You know, CFOs like me are often responsible for the IT, so get involved in the IT discussions, talking to our customers. So, in our case, our commissioning partners around whatever issue it might be, say fee rates, occupancy. Get involved with the lawyers that are on the contractual side. So yes, it is a varied role. You know, the old adage that 'no day is ever the same' is absolutely right from a CFO perspective.” - Andy Dean--------Topics:01:37 Andy’s background and role as CFO07:22 Current state of social care in the UK13:14 Technology in social care17:43 Employee retention and politics21:00 Dealing with uncertainties25:45 Mentorship--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Andy on LinkedInEden Futures WebsiteConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
7/26/202330 minutes, 41 seconds
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Employing Tactical Empathy in the Workplace with Chris Voss, Former FBI Hostage Negotiator

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Chris Voss, Founder and CEO of The Black Swan Group. Previously, Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. Chris used his many years of experience in international crises and high-stakes negotiations to develop a unique program that applies globally proven techniques to the business world. Through the Black Swan Group, he provides training for a variety of businesses and individuals on negotiation skills. He’s also the author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It.In this episode, Chris and I talk about how he became an FBI hostage negotiator, what a CFO can learn from negotiation, and the three biggest mistakes to avoid when negotiating.--------Guest Quotes:“Really counterintuitive stuff, this thing that we call empathy, you know, we call tactical empathy. It's ability to influence, if you can wrap your mind around what it really is, it works under all circumstances. Doesn't matter, as long as human beings are involved, whether it's a colleague, whether it's a client, whether it's an employee, whether it's somebody you work for, it seems mystical because it really operates on neuroscience and the feelings of being understood. But human beings are wired to be completely emotional. You know, every decision, you make up your mind based on what you care about, which makes decision making an emotional process because your fundamental basis is what you care about. And so then it's just applied emotional intelligence. And you know you can succeed in the boardroom or work with what I learned dealing with a drug dealer or a terrorist.” - Chris Voss--------Topics:03:02 How to become an FBI hostage negotiator03:41 What a CFO can learn from negotiation12:52 Three biggest mistakes in negotiation18:45 Achieving outcomes22:28 In-person versus digital communication27:38 Real life stories--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Chris on LinkedInThe Black Swan Group LTDConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
7/13/202332 minutes, 18 seconds
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How Social Evolution Affects the Dynamic of Organizations with Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at University of Oxford

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at University of Oxford and Co-author of The Social Brain: The Psychology of Successful Groups.Professor Dunbar is British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist and a specialist in primate behavior. He is best known for formulating Dunbar’s number, a measurement of the “cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships.” His research is concerned with trying to understand the behavioral and cognitive mechanisms that underpin social bonding in primates and humans.In this episode, Professor Dunbar talks about how evolution affects the dynamics of organizations, the seven pillars of friendship, the impact of work on personal relationships, and the observable changes in a sense of community overtime.--------Guest Quotes:“In a C-suite level, you have to find ways of sharing your time and not micromanaging everything, that's where the disaster comes, I think, because you destroy everything. You try and micromanage the whole of a big organization, not only do you make a hash of that because it's too big, but you also don't have any time left over for your family relationships and so on, and they fall apart. So, you’ve got to trust the people you work with, as it were, below you, in the layers below you to do their job, and that has to be the culture. And, there are places where that happens, you have this sense of trust and obligation and people work willingly, as it were, and overwork, maybe,  willingly, not for the money they're paid but out of a sense of pride and obligation to the job they do. If you encourage that kind of attitude again, which used to be much more common, then you don't have to worry about what's going on down below because that's being taken care of in the layers below you. You can sit back and deal with strategy, which is what C-suite folks should be really concerned with because, and sparing yourself enough time at the corners of the day to invest in your own kind of family and social environments.” - Robin Dunbar--------Topics:02:51 Introducing Robin’s book: The Social Brain: The Psychology of Successful Groups06:35 How evolution affects the dynamics of organizations11:36 The seven pillars of friendship18:21 Difference in application for group sizes in a workplace setting30:32 Generational changes in the sense of community38:47 The impact of work on personal relationships--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Robin on LinkedInThe Social Brain: The Psychology of Successful GroupsConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
6/28/202344 minutes, 22 seconds
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Challenging Accountancy Stereotypes with Tom Herbert, Tech Editor at AccountingWEB

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Tom Herbert, Tech Editor at AccountingWEB, the largest independent online community for accounting and finance professionals in the UK.Tom is a journalist, editor and broadcaster with experience across digital and print publications. For the past seven years, he’s specialized in business, accountancy and technology journalism. He writes and edits news, features, interviews and opinion pieces and also features on a variety of podcasts, videos and webinars as both a host and guest.In this episode, Tom talks about ChatGPT and the future of AI, the recent Silicon Valley Bank situation, The Tyranny of Expense Reclaim, and his opinions on accountancy stereotypes.--------Guest Quotes:“I think that accountants, the stereotype is, Nigel in the corner office with his spreadsheet, and they're incredibly boring people, like Monty Python and various others have spread this around. But, I actually find accountants incredibly entertaining. I think they're generally very quirky, quite eccentric, and often quite blunt. But, when I pitched up in 2015, after, as you said, a series of events, writing, travel, writing, sports, journalism, like my wife's, yeah, ‘accounting journalism, are you sure?’ But, yeah, I've loved every minute of it, genuinely. It's been great fun.” - Tom Herbert--------Topics:03:54 Chat GPT and AI10:21 Silicon Valley Bank14:14 Resumes and trust18:44 The Tyranny of Expense Reclaim24:44 Opinions on accountancy stereotypes--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Tom on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
6/14/202327 minutes, 28 seconds
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Cultivating Career Relationships in Finance with Peter de Silva, Author, Director, and Trustee

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Peter de Silva, Author, Director, and Trustee.Peter is an experienced chairman, CEO, president, executive committee member, public and private company director and trustee for national not-for-profit organizations and national charitable foundations. He’s a Former Harvard University Senior Fellow - Advanced Leadership Initiative, and author of Taking Stock: 10 Life Leadership Principles from My Seat at the Table.In this episode, Peter talks about the importance of successfully cultivating relationships for career progression, the financial impacts of the 2020 ‘meme’ stock craze, and leaves us with his top three pieces of advice for the CFOs of the future.--------Guest Quotes:“If I think about three or four pieces of advice for aspiring financial leaders, I would leave you with this. One, take intelligent risks. I didn't want to move to Cincinnati. I didn't want to move to Kansas City. But I did, and I grew much more quickly. I got way ahead from where I would've been if I sat in my office in Boston. So, take those intelligent risks. Second, and something that has to be learned, you need to hire people that compliment you and challenge you. The leader that hires people that look just like them and marches in line, it doesn't work. You want people who challenge you around that table. And, as long as they do it respectfully and ethically, it's all good with me. But, ensure you find people who compliment and challenge you. Third, constantly challenge yourself to improve. None of us are done learning and growing and we won't be until we draw our last breath because that's the essence of life, is to learn and grow and to develop. And my last piece of advice for everyone is to do what you love and love what you do. And, if you don't, It's time to move on.” - Peter de Silva--------Topics:01:22 Peter’s background06:12 Early career09:28 Experience at Harvard14:38 Meme stock craze22:56 Peter’s book25:43 Cultivating relationships30:40 What’s next for Peter31:26 Advice for upcoming CFOs34:00 Learning experiences--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Peter on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
5/24/202336 minutes, 58 seconds
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How Premier Businesses Fill the Finance Role with Chris Gaunt, CFO Practice Leader at Spencer Stuart

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Chris Gaunt. He is the CFO Practice Leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Spencer Stuart, an executive search, board, and leadership advisory service.In his role, Chris works on a variety of Group CFO appointments for many of the world’s largest publicly traded companies, as well as for private equity-backed portfolio companies. He has a strong international focus, often for clients in emerging economies who wish to access the global executive talent pool. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Chris worked with another leading international executive search firm, most recently serving as the Managing Partner of its UK CFO practice. He began his career in the financial leadership search field in the firm’s New York office. Earlier, Chris worked as a management consultant for the Washington, D.C.-based Advisory Board Company. In that capacity, he led consulting teams working with senior executives across industries on their human resources strategy and operations. Chris holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.In this episode, Chris talks about the ever changing role of the CFO, the modern challenges of headhunting, leadership as a whole, and the steps you can take to reach the top.--------Guest Quotes:“You need a certain stiffness, a certain toughness, of character to survive the sort of constant battering and the loneliness that is involved in being a CEO. I won't dispute that. I would say that we're seeing, again, an evolutionary change where the command control type of the CEOs of yesteryear are simply no longer in vogue. What we've seen, and the Covid crisis amplified this, is that CEOs today, more than ever, have to demonstrate real empathetic and inclusive leadership." - Chris Gaunt--------Topics:02:08 Introducing Chris03:11 Current state of CFOs06:30 Challenges in headhunting10:11 The skill set of a modern CFO16:21 Prerequisites for becoming a CFO22:53 The process of CFO headhunting27:45 Examples of successful CFO searches--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Chris on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
5/3/202335 minutes, 29 seconds
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Driving Growth with a Clear Path to Profitability with Kevin Benmoussa, EVP & CFO at Aleph Farms

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Kevin Benmoussa, EVP & CFO at Aleph Farms, a company growing beef steaks from non-genetically engineered and non-immortalized cells isolated from a living cow. This is done without slaughtering the animal and with a significantly reduced impact to the environment.Before helping to drive growth at Aleph, Kevin held numerous leadership positions at some of the biggest brands in the world. His previous roles include CFO at The Vita Coco Company, where he was responsible for expanding the company’s global finance functions before leading that company’s IPO in 2021, and positions at Nestlé and PepsiCo where he drove growth and profitability through mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and business development.In this episode, Kevin talks about the ever-changing role of the CFO, the importance of profitability and forecasting in growing companies, and the booming expansion of the cultivated meat industry in recent years.--------Guest Quotes:“The CFO role has evolved dramatically over the last decade or so. As you would think before, with the CFO being the traditional bean counter and the policy maker within the company, just saying no to things. And really focusing on accounting, I think this definition of CFO has really, really changed today. I view myself, you know, as part of that new generation of CFO that are much more business focused. And, trying to be an enabler for a business and as an organization, and leverage the finance function as a tool, to really enable the company to achieve what it needs to achieve.”“You want to make sure you're growing profitably. That's always something that has stuck with me over the years. I've seen great businesses, great startups, great companies that they've had tremendous revenue runways, tremendous growth, but at no real path to profit. And we've seen a lot of those cases, especially the last year or two, where we've seen a company fail because of that, right? Because, you know, expectations are very high from a growth point of view, which is great because growth is the key element of any company. But, at the same time investors start to realize, hey, beyond the growth we need to understand the profitability because, at the end of the day, a business needs to make money.”“I want to always stay optimistic but I say, cautiously optimistic, right? Which is, I want to make sure, you know, I look at things in the best optimal way as possible, and ready to spend, and ready to support the growth of the company as best as we can. At the same time, making sure we keep some flexibility to adjust and course correct if need be throughout the year, depending on the situation. I think this is crucial and every CFO in every company, whether very large or very small, has to be prepared to do that today.”“Don't constrain yourself to your specific job description.  And what that means is to always go beyond what you're supposed to do and really understand what's around you, understand the context, and see how can you help others in what they do, even though it doesn't necessarily impact what you're doing today. Because, that's how you're gonna become the most effective, and that's how you're gonna bring the most value to the organization as a whole.”--------Topics:03:05 What is cultivated meat?04:25 Kevin’s background08:19 Organizational structure at Aleph Farms10:02 The changing role of CFO17:39 Profitability and forecasting the future22:11 Important KPIs for Kevin25:01 Preparing for disaster scenarios28:52 Mentorship30:22 Final advice--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Kevin on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
3/8/202332 minutes, 14 seconds
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Finding a Balance Between Efficient and Effective with Justin Lackey, CFO at Asset Panda

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Justin Lackey, CFO at Asset Panda, a powerful, highly configurable asset tracking and management SaaS platform on a mission to help the world work smarter.In his current role as the Chief Financial Officer, Justin oversees revenue operations, pricing, and data analysis, which are all transferable skills brought over from his previous positions as Director of Revenue Operations, and Manager of Pricing Strategy and Finance. Prior to Asset Panda, Justin held four separate financial analyst positions at ACTIVE Network, a premier global marketplace for activities and events. He graduated with a degree in general finance from Texas A&M University in 2017.In this episode, Justin talks about the importance of maintaining transparency in the new world of finance, navigating risk appetite when conducting business during black swan events, and adapting to and remaining motivated in remote work environments.--------Guest Quotes:“I like to look at everything as a revenue generating role, right? What are you doing to impact revenue? Whether it's a tweak you're making in our sales process, our marketing process, insights you're helping give them, there’s a direct downstream impact on revenue for that. Becoming obsessed with that revenue side of the business, I think is important for any young analyst, any aspiring CFO.”“I think a really good quality for a CFO, CRO is, can you take a complexity and can you make it digestible, right? That is always the million dollar question of, okay, we have this set, this data set, this preexisting analytics set, right, of historical information. How do I put this into an action item and how do I deliver it so anyone can understand it?”“I think haste of pivot is super important. Boils back down to that data collection piece of, how long is too long for a project to kind of run its course, right? You have the opportunity to act much quicker based on leading indicators than you could've. It's not all about waiting until seeing the win rate anymore, waiting until seeing total revenue, right? You can kind of grab some of that upfront data, make some pretty educated guesses, and pivot quickly.”“There's a famous kind of mindset model that talks about the different zones that people can find themselves in. And there's a reactive zone and a proactive zone, along with a waste and a distraction zone, things like that. We spend a lot of time in that reactive zone today, but we're not necessarily using time in the proactive zone that can lead to efficiencies within that reactive zone. What am I doing day-to-day that really could be automated that's taking up a lot of my time, and how do I invest that time back into my personal life?”--------Topics:02:06 Justin’s role and background07:53 The new world of finance13:22 Transparency in finance18:06 Addressing risk appetite22:08 Black swan events28:31 Remaining motivated in remote work33:51 Siege mentality in company leadership37:33 Tips for success in business--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Justin on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
3/1/202341 minutes, 20 seconds
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Building Financial Runway in a Down Market with Rebecca Kacaba, CEO & Co-Founder of Dealmaker

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Rebecca Kacaba, CEO & Co-Founder of Dealmaker, the leading platform turning all capital raise types into simple ecommerce.Rebecca practiced law on Bay Street for over 10 years, founded the startup practice group at one law firm, and was co-chair of the Toronto Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies Group. Rebecca’s vision and drive have landed her in Lexpert’s Top 40 Under 40 and recognized as one of North America’s most innovative lawyers by the Financial Times. Rebecca led DealMaker to be Canada’s 3rd Fastest Growing Company 2022. In this episode, Rebecca talks about equity crowdfunding as a go-to method for raising capital, leading and persevering through the global pandemic, and provides advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs as she is considered one of the most powerful women in Canada.--------Guest Quotes:“If you think about that [equity crowdfunding] versus the traditional process of walking into a boardroom and shaking hands and heuristics based on appearance and even just joking around and making connections with people. That is a different process fundamentally than putting up the value prop of your business online. A quick video elevator pitch, and that's what's gonna resonate with people. So it moves away from who the founder is and the founder presenting the story to, Hey, here's the idea. Does the person investing over the internet really connect with this idea?”"Maybe you have a CEO who doesn't get along with institutional capital well, or maybe control is important to your founder. And equity crowdfunding can be a really meaningful way for them to set their own terms, go to market, get capitalized, and continue lots of companies."“We try to treat our team as well as possible, but ultimately, having a strong culture, we know what we are, we know we're a culture of high performers, and other high performers wanna be a part of that. And that's a very unique culture.”“I think to me, finance is such a cool function because when you have strong control over the numbers, it can play a really predictive, forward looking role in the organization in terms of helping filter through acquisition targets and modeling future revenues as part of the capital raising process. I think traditionally a lot of people think of finance and back-office as just back looking, and to me, the power of finance is in the forward looking aspect of the numbers and what the numbers can tell you about the future.”“I had practice zooming into detail and then zooming back out as a partner from a macro perspective and I think that's really what's required of you as a growth company CEO. You have to know when to jump in on something and dive down into the weeds, and then you have to know when to pull back up and stay at a high level.”--------Topics:02:34 Rebecca’s background and the birth of DealMaker03:56 Equity crowdfunding as a go-to method for raising capital07:12 Role of a growth company CEO09:57 Leading through a global pandemic12:00 Future plans at DealMaker14:25 Qualities of a great CEO17:15 Hiring and employee retention20:35 Data analytics in equity crowdfunding23:31 Mentorship in business26:07 Advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs28:34 Lessons learned from mistakes29:21 Advice for CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Rebecca on LinkedInConnect with Fran on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
2/22/202331 minutes, 23 seconds
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CFO Playbook Launches Season 2

Being a good CFO isn’t just about managing money anymore. The modern CFO is being asked to implement new technology, guide product and business decisions, and look ahead to the future. On the CFO Playbook we look at how the finance functions at companies stay ahead of the curve. In season 2 we bring you new host, Fran Badenhorst, a career journalist and UK Content Lead for Soldo. You will still get the same interesting and informative content for the financial professional you heard before, but we are expanding our sights on the growing working world and universe of business. Each episode you’ll get insights that help you grow yourself, your team, and your company. We’ll explore how old school finance traditions fit into the new world of business. You’ll hear from established and up-and-coming CFO’s, Thought Leaders, Technology Trend Setters, and other C-Suite Leaders and professionals that impact the finance function.Our casual conversations will take a deep dive to get at the heart of what is important to our guests. We will draw out the stories, bright ideas, best advice, and essential practices on what has helped them make an impact.Whether you’re a seasoned CFO, new to your position, or aspiring to grow your career, we will discuss what needs to be on the mind and radar of people to be successful as they delve into the future of finance. --------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Fran on LinkedIn
2/2/20231 minute, 8 seconds
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Be a Nimble CFO with Paul Cunningham, Partner and CFO at Helios Investment Partners

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Paul Cunningham, Partner and CFO at Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private firm managing funds totalling $3.6 billion. With 34 years in the industry, Paul has an overall responsibility for all matters relating to accounting, financial control, taxation, fund administration and reporting and regulatory compliance for the Helios group entities.Paul served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Barclays Private Equity for six years prior to joining Helios in May 2008, and previously as Director, Head of Finance & Product Control Projects at Barclays Capital. He’s also Chairman of the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines Board. Prior to joining Barclays, he worked within the finance functions of various major investment banks, including Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Whinney in 1989.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Paul talks about the current state of the market in private equity, changes in finance functions brought about by the global pandemic, and how to build a strong team through authentic and genuine leadership.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“Within private equity, and it's certainly been true of the firms that I've been CFO for, the role of CFO is more by exclusion. Anything that isn't related to making or divesting of investments potentially falls in the lap of the CFO.”“Typically, within a lot of private equity firms, it is the CFO that just keeps everything on the straight and narrow, keeps everything sort of running with the exception of the buying and selling of investments.”“Twenty years ago, private equity business was very much sort of cookie cutter. One investment looked very much like another. One fund looked very much like the last fund. And there wasn't a great deal that changed. But now you need to be part lawyer, part accountant, part tax advisor, part regulatory consultant, and I think 20 years ago that wasn't the case. Certainly not to the same extent.”“In terms of leading the team, one of the key things that I find is that I don't ask anyone in my team to do something that I have never done myself in the past or don't sometimes do myself at the moment”“I think that sort of move towards automation and digitalization has always been there within the finance function. It just sort of progresses over time. It's something that you can't just, oh, over the next two years we're going to digitalize every manual process. It needs to be constantly evolving.”“One of the most important bits of advice is never be too important to do anything because it helps keep you grounded. It also helps with building a team. Don't feel that because you are now CFO, you can't do your own photocopying for example.”--------Topics:01:15 Paul’s journey03:29 The role of CFO in private equity05:22 How the role has changed over time07:13 Current state of the market13:12 Building a strong finance team15:12 Leading through the pandemic25:01 Changes in finance technology26:58 Automating manual processes32:52 Advice for aspiring CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Paul on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
10/13/202235 minutes, 31 seconds
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Start With a Commercial Story, Then Solve for Accounting with Chris Stefani, CFO at DWF

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Chris Stefani, CFO at DWF, a  leading global provider of integrated legal and business services.Chris is a specialist in performance improvement in professional services, finance transformation and profit improvement. He oversees all of DWF's financial operations in the UK and internationally, with a focus on enhancing revenue, improving profitability and driving working capital management to support the firm's growth. He has extensive experience in advising executive boards on all aspects of financial management and control, and the development of financial reporting and analysis mechanisms. Chris has worked in many different finance function roles in the UK and Ireland and more recently in EMEIA, including as Head of Finance for UK&I Tax and CFO for the Republic of Ireland.In this episode, Chris talks about why the legal sector provides variety for someone working in the finance function. He explains what it’s like to lead an organization through an IPO during covid, the war in Ukraine, and worldwide financial struggles. Chris also discusses the importance of delegation, coaching, and providing leeway and time for teams to process, progress, and be productive.  Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“I liken my job to being an air hostess on a plane full of people who are quite easily spooked by turbulence. They look to me to be calm, even when the plane's rattling around. Because I mean, I'm a nervous flyer, and if I look and the air hostess is panicking, I worry. So however much there might be going on in the background. I've got to present a calm face to the business, take questions, understand sentiment,  and also be fixing stuff in the background without making too much noise about it. I think that's what we've had to do in what's been an unprecedented time. It comes down to something as simple as just over communicating.” - Chris Stefani--------Timestamp Topics:01:35 Chris’ career path05:33 CFO experiences at different companies08:55 Pioneering in a novel market13:10 Leadership through challenging times18:53 Achieving balance during stressful times25:56 Investing in the finance team as a CFO33:24 How Chris’ team uses technology37:22 Advice for aspiring CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Chris on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
9/29/202240 minutes, 10 seconds
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Building a Bank From Scratch with Alwyn Jones, Group CFO at Luno

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Alwyn Jones, Group CFO at Luno, a leading global cryptocurrency company with over 9 million customers in 43 countries that provides services for making it safe and easy to buy, store and learn about cryptocurrencies.Alwyn has more than 20 years of experience as a hands-on leader with a track record of delivery in financial and digital services. He strives to deliver exceptional business performance based around a deep understanding of the customer, clear strategic focus, and developing winning teams. Throughout his career, Alwyn has covered strategy development, capital markets, corporate finance, retail and digital financial services, and operational execution. During that time he’s become heavily metrics and results driven, leveraging customer voice and analyses to define strategy, leading change initiatives to obtain and measure commercial results.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Alwyn talks about the novel and evolving space of cryptocurrency and blockchain. He shares advice on retaining and hiring in a nascent industry,  as well as starting an app based bank from scratch. Alwyn also discusses the importance of building personal resilience and embracing the latest financial technology to improve performance.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“Philosophy is critical, right? You've got to have a clear direction of where you're trying to go. And the faster you can go to that point as a business, the better, but finance is a key enabler to that. If finance isn't on the case, the business will naturally slow down to the tempo that finance operates at. So you can be an active inhibitor and break on the business, or you can be an enabler. And it's building that shift from, are the numbers right? Is money ending up where it needs to be? Do we have everything in order? Are we getting through our audits? To, how forward looking are we and how quickly are we doing that? Which by the way, auditors love as well because these systems, when they work, make their lives a lot easier.” - Alwyn Jones--------Timestamp Topics:01:32 Alwyn’s background in finance03:05 Experience with Monzo10:11 Building a bank from scratch18:59 The novelty of cryptocurrency24:50 Importance of crypto for CFOs27:56 Hiring in the finance sector39:05 Technologies embraced as a finance team42:51 Advice for upcoming CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Alwyn on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
9/15/202246 minutes, 54 seconds
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Searching for Fire in the Belly with Manish Sarin, CFO at Sprinklr

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Manish Sarin, CFO at Sprinklr, a leading enterprise company for all customer-facing functions. With advanced AI, Sprinklr's unified customer experience management platform helps companies deliver human experiences to customers across modern channels.Manish is an experienced public company executive leading finance teams, investor relations, and corporate development. He has extensive experience in building finance systems and processes for high growth SaaS companies, defining inorganic strategy, identifying and evaluating acquisition targets, structuring and negotiating transactions, and integrating acquired companies. His prior experience includes working with major Wall Street investment banks. He started his career at JP Morgan / H&Q and earned an M.B.A. from Columbia and B.Tech in Computer Science from IIT, India.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Manish talks about how he got into finance so he could be in a position to make impactful decisions for businesses, and explains why the role of a CFO is very different now than it was just a couple of decades ago. Manish also describes what he feels are the general misconceptions of the CFO role, how technology is important to the finance function, what current CFOs must do in order to raise capital, and how he achieves cohesion within his team when hiring and retaining employees. In addition, he provides his view on the current fintech market and how to navigate the new normal when dealing with restricted funding availability.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“One of the things that I look for, and probably the most important thing when I'm interviewing people, is what I call fire in the belly. So unless I see somebody's really passionate, the fact that they have lots of years of experience, relevant experience, have worked at compelling businesses, all of that is good. But to me, a motivated individual who wants to succeed is way more important than trying to find that square peg for that, you know, square hole.”“We live in a world of soundbites. If you look at how companies go public, investors have 30 minutes to understand the story, look at some financials and figure out, do they want to make a big multimillion dollar investment? And that squarely lies on the CFO. So distilling complex technology aspects or business aspects, and the ability to explain it in an easy to understand fashion. Super important for a CFO.”“A CFO shouldn't really view that he or she has a particularly well defined swim lane, they should view the entire business as something that they can actually have a say in, and the more comfortable they are with that, the more successful they will be.”--------Timestamp Topics:01:45 How Manish got started in finance05:20 What makes a good CFO07:30 Views on the predominant model of founder led companies12:47 Finding balance in the tech industry15:30 Financing and raising capital18:05 Views on the current market20:36 Advice to other CFOs31:00 Achieving cohesion with your team27:56 Views on technology within finance36:15 Advice for aspiring CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Manish on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
9/1/202239 minutes, 42 seconds
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Headhunting During the Great Resignation with Mark Freebairn, Head of Board Practice and CFO Practice at Odgers Berndtson

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Mark Freebairn, Partner, Head of the Board Practice, and the Financial Management Practice at Odgers Berndtson a global executive search, interim management, talent assessment, and leadership development firm based in London.Mark focuses on advising Odgers Berndtson’s Board as a whole and others, while maintaining the track record the Financial Management Practice has built working with the finance function to identify and develop talent. Mark led the CFO Practice for 18 years before broadening his area of focus to lead the Board Practice. He benefits from seven years of experience as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of GlobalData plc and also sits on the Remuneration Committee for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Mark talks about his current role as a CFO headhunter, his unique approach to solidifying his place as a knowledgeable expert in the finance area, and the importance of building relationships. Given how the role of CFO has evolved and expanded overtime, he explains what it takes for aspiring CFOs to achieve success, and defines the current market availability for senior finance positions in a post resignation world.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“If you want to create a long term sustainable relationship, you create a circular relationship where you advise people when they want help in developing their career and you advise people when they want to hire people that will help them do better and develop their career that way. And if you create this circular relationship where every individual that you deal with benefits wherever they sit on that circle,  think you provide a full service offering, which as a consultant is all I wanna do.” You've gotta be bright. You've gotta be numerate. You've gotta be analytical. You've gotta be independent of thought. You've gotta be robust in terms of your personality because you won't always be popular. “Work out where you want to get to, and then understand the experience you need to get there. Work out the roles that give you that experience, work out how long you need to do them for,  work that backwards to where you are now. If you are on that path, you're heading in the right direction, keep going. But if you are not on that path then, first and foremost, go and talk internally to your boss and your HR partner and say, I wanna get there, I'm currently here, I can't get those two paths to link up which means I've gotta do something different, help me. And if you can't get help that way, because you will always do better internally because you've got your career, your reputation, your network, your knowledge to exploit to get the move you want; if you can't do that internally, then start thinking about how you do that externally.”--------Timestamp Topics:01:48 Mark’s role as a CFO headhunter04:53 Getting started at Odgers Berndtson11:24 The evolving role the CFO18:48 The process of becoming a CFO29:37 Defining the current market for CFO roles40:06 Advice for aspiring CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Mark on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
8/18/202245 minutes, 1 second
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Building Trust and Credibility with Chitra Balasubramanian, CFO at CircleCI

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Chitra Balasubramanian, CFO at CircleCI, a continuous integration and continuous delivery platform that can be used to implement DevOps practices in the cloud or on private infrustructures. With more than 20 years of experience accelerating business growth through data analysis, Chitra is best known for scaling technology startups. As the current CFO, and one of two C-suite females, at fast-growth unicorn CircleCI, she's led the company through major wins to establish it as a leader in the space. Chitra has been critical to the company’s fundraising alongside CircleCI’s CEO, Jim Rose. She has led the company through multiple rounds of financing, raising more than $215 million throughout her tenure.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Chitra talks about her interest in being involved in technology forward finance, which led her to the startup world. She speaks about using data to identify and model the impact of change to a business, how her company increased its global employee headcount amidst a pandemic, the importance of remaining agile as a CFO, and why you need to remain empathetic and ensure open communication with your company and investors.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“The way I've sort of tackled agility is by really trying to take a long-term view and at the same time paying attention to the short term planning horizon. How can we think about what's really best for the company over the long term, but also make sure to invest in a way where we can remain nimble over the course of the shorter term time horizon, where there's a little bit more global uncertainty around us.”“I think it's important to be proactive. You should be a leader that educates your teams and provides guidance in an advisory role to the CEO. In this type of market for CFOs and other finance leaders, you don't necessarily know what are the right questions to ask, how to make sense of what's going on in the market, or how to navigate through these cycles. But, financial leaders are really in the best spot one because they have access to the information and that analytical horsepower. They've got a team with that economic mindset and can understand different business relationships.”--------Timestamp Topics:01:20 Career Path 06:00 Comparing Crises and their Effects07:50 Changing of Tech Sector Capital Markets 10:05 Navigating Current Market 13:20 Managing Investor Relations and Expectations 16:20 Leading Teams Through Change 18:20 Maneuvering the Market and Employment    20:20 Being a Partner with the CEO 25:50 Hiring, Retention, and Networking 28:20 Use of Technology--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Chitra on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
7/28/202237 minutes, 51 seconds
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There’s Not One Way to be a CFO with Christopher Yoshida, President & Chief Financial Officer at Northern Data AG

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Christopher Yoshida, President & Chief Financial Officer at Northern Data AG, a company that combines intelligent and sustainable data centers, cutting-edge hardware, and self-developed software for various HPC applications such as bitcoin mining, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, big data analytics, IoT, and graphics rendering. Christopher is an entrepreneurial executive with more than 20 years of experience as a global financial leader. He is deeply invested in understanding financial markets and has a passion for building dynamically successful teams. He began his career at Goldman Sachs and spent more than eleven years as part of the international management team at Morgan Stanley. Afterwards, he successfully worked as a Senior Advisor and Head of European Capital Solutions for The Carlyle Group, and was a Senior Advisor for BottlePay and AIX, which both had successful exits in 2021. In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Christopher discusses the best path to finding balance in a global leadership role such as a CFO, how to be prepared for the challenges of adapting to new responsibilities, and how to remain engaged in times of trials and tribulations. He also talks about why top companies should be investing more into their employees, and how the approach to employment and entrepreneurship has changed drastically, in part due to the pandemic.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“It's really important to think, to dream big, have ambition, challenge yourself, take risks. I think that keeps a career dynamically healthy. And, you know, gone are the days where we're going to spend 30 or 40 years in the same company, let alone the same industry. I mean, that was a concept for our parents' generation and a very valued loyalty concept too. I just think people are going to prioritize their own ambitions, their own interests, their own curiosities ahead of their career. And I think those meld together here in the startup world, the tech world, or the innovative world really, really well.”“I don't care how well resourced the company is you're working for. I don't care how accoladed and rewarded and regarded the company may be. If you're working for a person who's not investing in your development, it's irrelevant. And I think as a manager that is one of the core tenets of being an employer or as a manager, you're supposed to invest in your people. And, you know, I think there's more emphasis on that going forward.”“It's okay to be average at some things. You can't be exceptional at everything. It doesn't work like if you have exceptional behavior, then you get exceptional outcomes. You can't be a decathlete and be number one in everything. I don't think that's feasible. So it's okay to be average over here, but to aspire to be something better over there.”“I do think connection with your people is typically an empathetic connection. And you want to drive results during stressful times. It's not through raising your voice. It's not through turning up your temperature. It's not through making it harder. It’s actually generally down to listening and connecting to your people. And that's exactly the environment I think we're in right now in the tech world, but it's the environment the financial world was in 12 years ago in the financial crisis and several times since. It's all too easy just to start yelling and shouting, demanding more minutia and micromanaging. If you do that, you’re going to kill the organization. I think you need to, if you've hired well, trust them, empower them, cheer them on, support them.”--------Timestamp Topics:02:00 Christopher’s career journey04:15 Taking opportunities08:30 Finding balance in a global leadership role14:10 Invest in Your People23:00 Hybrid vs. remote work27:15 Market forecasting38:00 Engaging with investors41:00 Advice for upcoming CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Christopher on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
7/7/202246 minutes, 2 seconds
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Collaboration is Key with Gemma Castle, CFO at Cult Wines

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Gemma Castle, CFO at Cult Wines, which blends heritage, expertise, and innovative technology to transform the fine wine industry for producers, wine enthusiasts, collectors, and investors alike. With over 20 years of experience, Gemma Castle is well versed in delivering nuanced and sophisticated financial strategies in the fast growth SME sector. As CFO at Cult Wines, Gemma has been pivotal in providing financial leadership and guiding the company through critical stages of growth, including navigating the implementation of North American offices. Before joining Cult Wines, Gemma worked in the leisure and hospitality industry for 10 years, where she served as Director of Finance for Travelzest and Yotel Limited Global Hotels, as well as CFO for Light Cinemas Limited.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Gemma talks about the process of investing in wine and how her company ensures a high level of quality control. She explains the importance of collaboration among the finance team, while providing avenues to give them the best chance to be productive and successful. Gemma also gives insight on why she thinks embracing and investing in technology is critical for efficiency, progress, and connection when it comes to employees, clients, and recruiting.  Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes“I think it's all about having good support. My department’s success is not just down to me, it's down to the people I employ and if they work well, then that's obviously a good reflection on me. And if they don't, then obviously I have to carry the can for that. So I think, balancing the demands means having the right people in your teams so you don't feel the need to micromanage. You want to feel perfectly secure that everybody's doing their job.”“To get to be a CFO, I think you have to learn from your mistakes because you are going to make mistakes, but it's how you then move on from them. It includes listening to people. You shouldn't profess that you've got all of the answers and, if someone else does have a good suggestion, don't be scared of acknowledging that person. Because, I've been in a number of roles where some people have made some very good ideas and perhaps more senior people have taken credit for it. So, it's all about giving credit where it's due.”--------Time Stamp Topics:01:50 Professional Journey 05:30 Fine Wine as an Investment09:00 Quality Assurance for Wine Investors09:00 Cult Wine’s Finance Function 14:45 Finance Team Development and Collaboration17:30 Hiring and Retention Challenges20:30 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion23:48 Technology, NFTs, and Blockchain30:30 Technology as a Tool for Efficiency34:30 Time Management, Team Reliability, Being a Good Leader--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Gemma on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
6/23/202239 minutes, 58 seconds
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Taking Stock of Your Priorities with Leigh Ramsden, CFO at Trulioo

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Leigh Ramsden, CFO at Trulioo, a leading global identity and business verification provider specializing in anti-money laundering and ‘know your customer’ compliance. With over 15 years in senior level finance, Leigh is accomplished in the leadership of finance teams while implementing strategies and managing effective business processes to achieve corporate goals and maximize growth in high-volume environments.As CFO at Trulioo, Leigh has been an effective operational leader, providing financial and business strategy and direction to the organization. Throughout his career, he has excelled at building teams and successfully linking overall corporate goals to individual personal achievement. His previous experience includes financial leadership positions at Absolute Software, Deloitte, Radiant Communications, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Leigh talks about what it takes to be a productive partner working alongside the CEO and the best ways to make that relationship work. He discusses the changes the pandemic has introduced to the finance world and stresses the impact that working from the office has on company culture. Leigh also explains the importance of being open to adopting new technologies to help advance the finance industry.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“You really need to be the business partner for the CEO. So, the CEO is, you know, they've got obviously a really wide mandate. They need to be in control of the entire organization and in control of everything that's happening to the business. So what comes with that is a couple of things., like one is that they need to rely on someone almost absolutely when it comes to the numbers. So you have to know the numbers, you have to know how the business is working and they need to not worry about that at all. So that's a huge part of your role.”“It's really just taking stock of all of those things that need to happen. And then going through and stack ranking them on a priority basis, given your knowledge of what's happening in the business and what the demands are of the information that's being asked of you. And then just being really intellectually honest with yourself and being okay with not getting it all done overnight.”“A lot of people that come up through accounting or financial, you know, corporate finance or any of those streams, they're not necessarily data people. So having someone look at it or any tools that kind of bring together a lot of those disparate data sets into something that you can analyze and use for forecasting is probably a great investment to make on the technology side.”“Taking stock of your skillset and understanding where you need to make improvements or learn, and then figuring out a plan to make it happen is really important because no one is perfect in every area, everyone has areas of strength and weakness. So really having been thoughtful about making those improvements, making those learnings, or figuring out how you're going to kind of backfill some of those weaker areas is  super important.”“Think about your ability to communicate. I think that's something that I try to think a lot about, knowing your audience and tailoring your messaging for your audience. I mean, a lot of financial professionals can understand the business and the underlying metrics and understanding all that's very complicated by its nature. And a lot of people have that ability to understand that, but the job is really around simplifying it in a way that people can understand. I mean that's where you can really add a lot of value.”--------Time Stamp Topics:01:16 Leigh’s journey into finance02:38 Changes in the audit world03:24 Transitioning into industry04:18 First role as a CFO07:12 How the role of the CFO is changing08:58 Advice for upcoming CFOs11:41 Deciding on priorities19:36 Recruiting and retaining staff at Trulioo21:45 Importance of working from the office29:10 Finance impact on employee experience31:38 Final advice for upcoming CFOs--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Leigh on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
6/9/202235 minutes, 2 seconds
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Challenge the Status Quo with Kirstine Archer, CFO at Bam Boom Cloud

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Kirstine Archer, CFO at Bam Boom Cloud. Although having been in finance for over 20 years, Kirstine says she fell into accountancy rather than making it a deliberate career move. Even though she may have taken a non-traditional path to CFO, Kirstine has a clear passion and expertise for helping small to midsize businesses by increasing their efficiency through advising and technology. Kirstine has worked for Bam Boom Cloud for the past two years. As CFO, her role isn’t just about making sure the numbers balance, she is always striving for the company to have the best finance team around. Her goal is to make sure the company delivers world class finance systems, both as their number one fan and number one customer. Her previous experience includes financial leadership positions at Cooper Parry, Equifax, TDX, Boots and more.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Kirstine talks about the many opportunities that technology provides for improving the way finance works. She emphasizes the need for more competition among companies to develop newly innovative finance tech. Kirstine explains how the finance industry should challenge the status-quo situated around old technology to develop new innovations that would eliminate human errors. She discusses her unconventional path to becoming a leader in finance, including finding benefit from attending an open university and getting on-the-job experience early in her career. Kirstine also talks about her approach to creating a great team, and provides advice for becoming a successful CFO. Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes:“When young people come into the world of work, they can be incredibly highly academic, intelligent, young people but don't have work skills. So don't have those skills in terms of communication or writing emails or just logic and problem solving and circling round to speak to people. There are a lot of skills that you don't get until you come into the world of work. And I think that the world has moved on. I think that with the entrepreneurial spirit, you are probably going to get more from the world of work and learning from peers and seeing the good side and the bad side of what they do than you are necessarily sitting in a lecture hall, listening to somebody who is incredibly qualified in what they do, but hasn't necessarily been in that work environment either ever or for a very long time. Knowing that you've got options should be really empowering to young people now because it's something that I didn't have when I was at school.”“Finance can be a tough place to work at times. You get the business looking at you, suppliers, customers, it can be a tough environment to work in. We need people around us who we can rely on as team members and who not only have that tenacity, but that drive and that desire to want to do their best in their role.”“I don't necessarily want a team that everybody wants to be CFO. I want a good, well-rounded team where, yeah some people are knocking down at my door, wanting my job after me, but other people want to do the best they are at the job that they've got because they have family outside of work, or they have loved ones that they're caring for, or actually they just don't want the stress and the hassle of a high powered job because they want to finish on time and go and play football. We’re all many different sorts of people. And I think a well balanced team and a well-balanced company should support that.”“Cultural fit is massively important. I think we've probably all worked in organizations where what they do is great and we've probably been remunerated well, but that cultural fit isn't right. And if that cultural fit isn't right, then you get demotivated and you don't do your best. Eventually you get bored and you leave. So finding that right cultural fit from the office and spending the time doing that is massively important.”“Young people that come in haven't necessarily had a job in an office environment before let alone a finance function and actually setting them up with the right training and setting them up for success is important, but not everybody is going to succeed in that role. I think making a quick decision around that is equally as important. If you have gotten the wrong fit person in the team, and it could be that they're a great person but they're just not the right person for the role, then actually making that decision and finding either another role internally that's better suited to them or  letting them leave and find their own career path is important.”“I think the damage done to teams by keeping under-performance in place for long periods of time is worse than facing it head on and admitting that sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes we get recruitment wrong. I know that I have in the past. You have to sometimes go with your gut. You sometimes have to go with the best person that's sat in front of you, hope they'll fit in and be great for them. And then, unfortunately, you have to deal with the consequences if they don't quite meet expectations.”“I don't see why any of us want to do something that technology can do for us. We get a bit worried about the robot revolution. That will never happen because robots will never think in the same way as humans. They’ll never spot those little intricacies and add that value. I don't want to grow a team that's enormous. I want technology to take away the heavy lifting so that my team could do the interesting stuff, the stuff that really benefits them in their career journeys.”“It still astounds me, today in 2022, the world's global finance system is pretty much still held up by Excel. There is no finance function on earth that does not have an Excel spreadsheet somewhere. I think that's symptomatic of the fact that actually as finance people, we don't challenge the status quo enough sometimes. I think that sometimes, because we have month-end reporting and because we have to make sure that what we do gets done, we go, ‘I'd love to fix that but I haven't got time and I need this to carry on working, it will do the job’. And I think sometimes we need to be bigger advocates of the fact that this doesn't work for us.” “There are ways that you can use technology to speed every process up, every operational process. And the more that we do that, the more that you're not reliant on humans and human fallibility and errors with that. As finance people, there's nothing more frustrating than being like, ‘oh, someone forgot to do this’, or ‘you posted something in the wrong way round’. If we can remove that and get people doing what they should be doing, which is controlled checks, analysis, the data and the insight side of things, then we'll all be better for it.”“I think there needs to be competition within this space. Otherwise you end up with just Excel again, just a newer version of Excel that everybody relies on. There needs to be competition. A single source is great and Microsoft enables that, but there has to be competition within the partners in terms of who's going to get to market first…. A world without competition is a world without innovation. So it's massively important that that continues.”“Don't rush into the CFO role. Some people seem to be very desperate to get to the top of the ladder. It will come if it's right to come to you, like the right opportunity will come up.”“For me, it's just about learning. If you're not learning in the role that you're in, then it's probably time to move on. But it doesn't always have to be up the career ladder. It can be sideways or a similar role in a different organization. If you want to be a CFO of a fast paced organization, spend some time in finance in a fast paced organization. See how you like it. Because one day that's all going to be yours to look after.”--------Timestamp Topics:01:30 Kirstine’s career path05:39 Formal education07:58 Advice on university10:31 Education v. work experience13:04 Narrowing down hiring candidates19:27 How Kirstine’s finance team functions compared to others25:45 In-house v. outsourcing when it comes to finance28:03 Opportunities for improving the way finance works36:35 Advice for upcoming CFOs --------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links:Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Kirstine on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
6/2/202240 minutes, 34 seconds
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Mingling Finance with Product with Mariana Lazaro, CFO Latin America at SumUp

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Mariana Lazaro, CFO Latin America at SumUp. Mariana has extensive experience in driving continuous financial and operational improvement, designing and implementing accounting processes and systems, developing and implementing strategic plans, and evaluating and executing mergers and acquisitions. From early in life, Mariana knew that she wanted to work in finance because it was important to her as a woman from an immigrant family to show she knew how to be an independent thinker that was able to own and manage finances. She thinks it is important for any CFO to be creative and nimble, building a finance tribe that invests in technology to be successful.Throughout her career, Mariana has become experienced with leading providers in the Technology, Bio Technology, Agriculture and Financial Services industries with Fortune 500 publicly traded corporations and private equity backed companies. She has been recognized for her ability to develop cross functional relationships and build high performance teams, while motivating and aligning personnel around a common set of goals.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Mariana talks about the importance of innovation in financing for companies and customers, and the traits required of a CFO to build a team and lead it to success through the use of technology. She provides insight on integrating engineering teams to help accomplish goals and develop a harmonious ecosystem. Mariana also speaks about personal and professional empowerment, the importance of continued education, and her dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes“It has always been my goal to work in the payment industry because inside of the payment industry, the finance department is not a back office. So you're not talking about the accounting department, you’re talking about the department that's going to be really together with the business, delivering the product. So with SumUp or Square, any of those fintechs, finance is really the front of the show, together with the product and engineering team. So every time the FinTech launches a product, if you're talking about lending, if you're talking about estate pay out, or buy now pay later, any of those products, you have to have a source of findings in those products, in the background. The finance business partner will come in and really help the product to develop and that's something that I have passion for.”“Something that most of the CFOS will need to invest in is how do you put inside of the accounting team, finance squads and finance tribes to help you to give this step forward into the technology of the team as a whole.”“I think we need to realize and be patient. Every time you implement a new technology or you work with a new squad, there is the moment the team gets used to that you're able to explain what needs to be done. The product starts to work and then really you’re able to take advantage and take the step up. It takes a little bit of time. So you need to be patient.”“When we put a squad to be working inside of finance, they need to have a tech lead. They need to have somebody because a finance person should be giving guidance, purely guidance and leave the technical part to an engineer. That's not something that energizes them. So for sure, create a structure where the squad inside of finance there's a tech lead, somebody that will be able to be their mentor and follow this person closely.”“I didn't impose on anybody that they needed to be a hundred percent here in the office. But, for me, to build this synergy among the team it is essential that we've been to the office at least two or three times a week. So now as a  rule, not a fixed rule because some of it is very nimble when, and I think we definitely cater to our employees, we’re usually once to twice a week in the office and when we are launching something, a product, and then we will come probably every day because we need to be reading the contract, talking to the banks and talking to the engineering team.”“Sometimes the market makes over emotional decisions sometimes. But at the end of the day, the company should look within to see if what they have as products is something that's durable, something that will bring value to the company, not just for show but has a sense to it that this is a good product and you can back it up by engineers and by the process. I think these are the type of companies that will make it.”“Come out as more of an outspoken, especially towards women in leadership. It makes a difference when you see a woman occupying, especially a finance role, where they are having a leadership position to inspire others, and you literally can see even when you're in a room, if there are other women, see another woman, they will speak more, they will, they feel more empowered. So to me, I think for sure study. But if you're a woman besides studying, you have almost the obligation of spying on other women to grow.”“Essentially a joke which I give to my boss every day is, every time when you're in a meeting and you see only men around you, you should stop the meeting and say at least one person, at least one woman needs to be here. Because if there's only men in that table, something is wrong. You can have only one point of view. You are not getting a diverse point of view. You’re not enriching the opinion there. You're not getting the other backgrounds.”--------Timestamp Topics:01:30 Path to CFO and Love for Finance06:24 Perception of Finance’s Role08:18 Rethinking Future Finance Principles and Roles 11:30 Solving Finance Problems15:30 Trials, Tribulations, and Tools of Technology Implementation19:30 Remote Working and Team Collaboration 23:30 Finance Functions in Different Countries26:13 Finance Team Setup29:10 Future Finance Challenges and Initiatives35:30 Advice for Being a Successful and Effective CFO39:00 Promoting Opportunities for Women and Creating Diverse Teams--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links :Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Mariana on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
5/26/202246 minutes, 10 seconds
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Get Everything You Can Out of Technology with Ben Chrnelich, CFO at Symphony.com

This episode of the CFO Playbook features an interview with Ben Chrnelich, CFO at Symphony.com. Ben has a passion for Capital Markets Technology. He has spent his career focused on enabling trading organizations to utilize technology that drives efficiency and productivity. Always aspiring to become a CFO, Ben sees technology as a tool that can empower financial leaders to have an impact at organizations that previously was not possible because the volume of work was too much and too manual. Over the past two decades Ben has held financial and management leadership positions at Charles Schwab, Lehman Brothers, NYSE and IPC where he drove business strategy to adapt to the constantly evolving trading landscape. When not working, Ben is on the pitch, coaching soccer for NJ ODP and his daughter’s teams.In this episode of the CFO Playbook, Ben talks about his appreciation for the rate of change that technology is bringing both to capital markets and the finance profession. He feels adapting to the new wave of technology applications is paramount to success, giving companies the tools needed to gather the information and data they need. Ben sees these self-serving tools as a way to create a far more dynamic, explorative, and effective type of collaboration within companies that can bring down information barriers and remove friction from daily finance functions. He also discusses his path to becoming a CFO, the importance of being a passionate and excited leader, and other traits he sees as important to being a partner and guiding finances within any organization. Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.--------Guest Quotes“The language of business is driven by accounting and ultimately your ability to articulate numbers and align numbers to a strategy and business back to measured results has to be based on the foundation of your understanding of accounting. There are plenty of times where you see people in potential CFO roles that don't have that strong of an accounting grasp and they can struggle to understand all the elements that happen in that side of the space.”“Without a high level of technology, access, and development in financial technology applications, it'd be very difficult to provide the information to a wide group of people. At the same time, you, as a CFO, would spend all your time just talking about numbers, as opposed to creating the environment that you can distribute that information out to all the interested parties.”“Your intellectual curiosity is paramount. Eventually the numbers tell you everything, but they don't tell you everything if you don't spend time understanding how they're built, how they're generated, and what themes are coming out of the numbers. So, you really need to have that intellectual curiosity.”“Part of being a leader is you have to expose yourself. And, it's a little bit of a cliche, but you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You have to put yourself out there a little bit. You have to know that if you put your head out, it might get knocked around a little. But, as long as you can keep doing that over time, you're going to be able to figure out how to lead. And people will look at that as someone that's comfortable taking a risk and pushing them forward.”“Numbers are foundational and numbers give security, but numbers don't tell all people what's actually happening in the business. They don't tell why clients are buying more of something. They don't say why something is seeing really good market penetration. They don't tell you why things aren't happening and you need to be able to, as a CFO, talk to non-financial people or really sophisticated business people who may not be into the numbers. Explain to them what's happening and why, and then support it back with the numbers. And I think when I see the CFOs that just do a phenomenal job, they can just traverse across the whole business environment, seamlessly weaving in numbers, operating metrics, product results, customer impact. It’s just part of a comprehensive narrative of the business.”--------Time Stamp Topics:00:10 Career Path to CFO and Technology’s Pace of Change05:00 Technology in Finance and Capital Markets06:00 Technology’s Impact on Workflows and Software07:00 Development and Accessibility of Finance Systems09:00 Self-serving Technology Tools Bringing Down Information Barriers11:00 Real-Time and Relevant Insights13:45 Listening, Learning and Effort16:30 Being Effective and the Evolving Role of the CFO23:00 CFO Rules of Thumb for Leading27:00 Building the Best Team and Leadership Development30:30 Being a Reliable and Encouraging Leader33:30 Liberating Teams from Administrative Work36:30 Technologies for the Future40:00 Tips for Being a Successful CFO--------Sponsor:This show is brought to you by Soldo, the brighter way to manage business spending and expenses. With Soldo, you can control every expense, track spend in real time, automate financial reporting, and then use those insights to fuel growth. Learn more at Soldo.com--------Links Connect with Ross on LinkedInConnect with Ben on LinkedInThe CFO Playbook Listener Survey
5/19/202247 minutes, 14 seconds
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Becoming an Accidental CFO with Navpreet Randhawa, CFO at Minna

With 7 years of leadership experience, Navpreet Randhawa has a passion for Enterprise SaaS businesses with focus on the financial technology sector. He found himself on the path to being a self-described “accidental CFO” by having a drive to help build companies and be successful. Navpreet has leaned into prioritizing what is best for his business through the help of using technical tools and outsourcing many traditional aspects of a company’s finance department. As CFO at Minna, he strives to be as efficient and effective as possible by being a strategic finance leader that is open to any options that may help the bottom line.To be a successful CFO, Navpreet feels you need to be practical and honest with your time and responsibilities. If you are stretching yourself too thin, then you need to reassess how your role is functioning. He thinks it is important to be open to using outside resources to make your job easier and better supported, searching out the best specialists to handle tasks. This means you need to admit to what you are and are not good at to help you face and solve problems to ensure growth at your company and in your role.Navpreet believes it is important to be willing to rediscover and reinvent the wheel for how finance functions have been run in the past. He thinks you need to try avoiding feeling insecure. If you work hard and continue to educate yourself then you won’t ever fail, you will just be able to learn new things and apply those to new opportunities.In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Navpreet talks about why it is important to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. He provides insight on his path from accounting to founding a company, and ultimately taking the learnings he gained from those experiences to be a forward thinking and open minded CFO. Navpreet explains the importance of prioritization, outsourcing, and why always being driven to achieve success are keys to being a great financial leader.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Navpreet on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.
5/12/202239 minutes, 59 seconds
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Tapping into Technology with Bijan Moallemi, Co-Founder and CEO of Mosaic

Bijan Moallemi has nearly a decade of experience building and leading finance functions at companies like Qualcomm and Palantir. He knew CFOs deserved access to better tools, so he co-founded Mosaic Finance to build the next generation of finance software for CFOs and their teams. Born out of their own experiences in finance, Bijan and his co-founders have built the Mosaic platform as a resource that combines big data and machine learning to provide powerful predictive reporting capabilities.To be a successful CFO, Bijan feels you need the tools and basic technical skills to support your business now and to plan for the future, while reducing the effort required by your team to achieve your goals. He thinks CFOs have historically been underserved, and financial professionals deserve accessible tools that save time and money, while providing key insights and analytics to better your business.Bijan believes that improving workflows that are self-serving, rather than adding to your list of responsibilities, will free up your time and provide more information to make more educated decisions. He feels it is important to have an application like Mosaic that can accomplish that by providing real-time analysis and reporting, giving you perspective on your company’s past, present, and future. Adding automation to data ingestion and processing can help focus your business forecasting and scenario planning to be ready for anything that may come up.In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Bijan explains why it is more important than ever to understand the financial ins and outs of a business to make sure you know exactly what's going on within your organization. He talks about how Mosaic offers a tool that can help financial professionals as they process through pain points with data and analytics, allowing for a faster and more focused financial team that can make a bigger impact on the business. Bijan also explains why he thinks communication, collaboration and culture building are keys to success, and talks about the benefits of opening up your company to a remote workforce as a way to ensure you have access to the best talent pool.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Bijan on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.
4/28/202236 minutes, 21 seconds
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How to be Successful, Happy, and Satisfied in your Role with Anthony Rawlinson, CFO at Papier

Anthony Rawlinson has more than 12 years of experience working in finance. He joined Papier as CFO four years ago, after serving as a consultant for the brand beforehand. Previously, Anthony worked in investment banking with Greenhill & Co. and PwC, providing generalist corporate finance advice. Since he started  as the finance leader at Papier, the team has grown to 20 people. Not only does Anthony lead the finance operations at Papier, but he also oversees Data at the company. He believes it is important to have synergy between the two functions to help better the organization.To be a successful CFO, Anthony feels you need to challenge yourself to take a holistic approach to business and be as forward thinking as possible. In business it is important to not just think about if you can do things faster, but what are the best ways to accomplish your goals and make sure you’re spending your time efficiently. He stresses that however you solve challenges today, it also needs to be done in a way that helps you achieve whatever is being planned for the future. Anthony believes chemistry within your finance team and organization at large is very important. Having an alignment of mission and vision is fundamental to help you lead effectively.  With the finance team, he has adopted a hybrid decentralized approach model to how it focuses on different aspects of the company. The finance team functions as business partners with different areas within the organization to benefit accuracy and efficiency. Anthony thinks you need to go above and beyond and challenge yourself to encourage continued team engagement, being cognizant of culture and experimenting with ways to find the right balance for your team. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Anthony talks about how his path to CFO was led by his interests and passions for the product and autonomy that comes with working for a startup. He explains the importance of having a centralized source of truth for data. This allows the company to have a standard reporting function that sets up the organization for success by focusing on insights and action. Anthony also stresses the important traits that every CFO needs to help them learn and grow personally, drive the company to prosper now and in the future, and how to maintain a content and capable support team.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Anthony on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.
4/21/202238 minutes, 1 second
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Promote Partnerships with Huw Slater, COO at TravelPerk

Huw Slater is hugely passionate about technology that facilitates innovation and enhances both people’s work and personal lives. Currently, he is COO at TravelPerk, a next-generation travel booking and management platform that is pioneering the future of corporate travel. Previously, Huw served as CFO at TravelPerk and Typeform, with a long career in finance, business, and technology. Huw has helped lead his company through the pandemic and into the new world of corporate collaboration and business travel. Through the use of strategic partnerships, TravelPerk is ensuring the future of travel is successfully supported by top-level technology. To be a successful CFO, Huw feels you need to do whatever you can to remove friction and extra effort when driving towards success. This requires that you bring in modern tools to help free up your team and employ people that can be creative and don’t just follow standard processes. You need to be someone who over-indexes on being a leader, focusing on the company’s goals first, and finding ways for your finance team to be as supportive as possible. Huw believes the job of any leader, and specifically the CFO, needs to be focused on gaining a return on investments. He says you need to run towards the flames and not stand back in the face of adversity. You should always strive to raise the bar, help set the direction, and ensure speed and efficiency. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Huw talks about how over-communicating and transparency have benefited him as a leader. He explains why taking on hard tasks and surrounding yourself with great people will help you to be successful. In addition, he provides insight on his career path, navigating a company focused on travel when that was limited due to the pandemic, and how partnerships make companies strong and provide better services to customers. Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Huw on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.
4/7/202244 minutes, 4 seconds
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Driving for Diversity with Tiziana Figliolia, CFO at Hootsuite

Tiziana Figliolia has more than 25 years experience in the technology industry leading a wide range of strategic, financial, and operational functions at billion-dollar global publicly traded companies. Currently, she is CFO at Hootsuite, the global leader in social media management. Having a passion for advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and in the community, she is also the co-founder of Full STEAM Forward, a non-profit whose mission is to tackle inequalities in education. To be a successful CFO, Tiziana believes you need to focus on having a growth mindset. To do this, she feels you need to be customer obsessed, provide the best employee experience, and always build for the long term financial sustainability of the company. Tiziana feels strongly that you need to look at the opportunities that you have in front of you and double down on the investments you have with your customers and partners. To help your organization become world-class as a CFO, you need to get your processes, policies, and systems right. You can help achieve this by supporting your employees, whether it be through building relationships, paying attention to health and wellness, ensuring equality, or providing opportunities for them to improve and grow. It’s also important that, as a CFO, you have a strong relationship with the CEO, with a cooperative commitment to each other to support long term financial success and create equity opportunities for your company. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Tiziana talks about her experience working internationally in China and how it has prepared her to take on the tasks of running finance at Hootsuite, which impacts people and companies across the globe. She discusses the importance of relationships and partnerships within your company and with your customers, as well as the importance of implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in any corporate environment. Tiziana also speaks about digital transformation and why it is important to push yourself to take on new challenges throughout your career.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Tiziana on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.
3/31/202238 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Road to Success is Always Under Construction with Chris Roling, CFO at Coinme

Chris Roling has 35 years of commercial and private equity experience, having served in board, CEO, COO, and CFO positions with a number of global public and private companies. Currently he is CFO at Coinme, a crypto financial services and blockchain technology company that is dedicated to helping the world gain access to virtual currency. A self proclaimed, ‘global nomad,’ Chris has worked across the world for many different companies and verticals. His vast experience in nearly every functional area of finance, and mindset of taking the path less traveled, has allowed Chris to successfully guide and help Coinme prosper as it scales quickly in an expanding industry.To be a successful CFO, Chris believes you need to take chances and get out of your comfort zone. At the same time, he encourages a philosophy of keeping it simple and not over-complicating things. He sees the role of a CFO as someone who provides a common sense approach to their company. Chris feels strongly that variety, networking, and international experiences are keys to learning and success for CFOs. He also views the CEO and CFO partnership as absolutely instrumental to a company’s success, requiring collaboration to focus on the success of the customer, investors, and overall company strategy. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Chris talks about his vast experiences working with companies around the world. He provides insight into the state of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, and how the technology is connecting people and companies throughout the world. As Coinme quickly scales as the crypto industry grows, Chris discusses his approach to working as a CFO with a startup and how to ensure success through a new and emerging market. Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Chris on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.
3/24/202245 minutes, 16 seconds
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Forecasting Finance Functions with Paul Sheriff, CFO at NewDay

Paul Sheriff, CFO at NewDay has over 25 years of experience in financial services organizations spanning banking, asset management and insurance. Paul is currently working as Chief Financial Officer for NewDay, a private equity backed consumer finance business providing branded and co-branded credit cards, including Amazon’s credit card in the UK. His specialities include, finance, operations, financial services, and change management. Paul’s vast experience with large corporations and smaller companies across the world have helped provide insight and expertise to have success in his role today.To be a successful CFO, Paul strongly believes that you need to take opportunities as they arise. He recommends that in doing so you always look forward and be one step ahead so you set up your company and leadership to always look good and be prepared. While technical abilities are very important, how you interact and communicate with others helps you to gain trust and confidence in your team, leadership, and clients.Paul believes that being a good CFO requires you to be level headed in moments of stress and crisis. Having broad access to the technical, business, and commercial sides will help you to build that comfort to lead through knowledge and experiences.In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Paul Sheriff, CFO at NewDay shares his vast experience across different companies and countries. He provides insight on how to approach your first 100 days as a CFO in a new job. Paul also talks about the impact of data and his philosophy on financial forecasting, technology, and progressive approaches to being a CFO.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Paul on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.
3/17/202238 minutes, 10 seconds
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Taking Risks Brings Big Rewards with Charly Kevers, CFO at Carta

Charly Kevers, CFO at Carta, has more than 20 years of experience holding various roles in finance and strategy, including investor relations and corporate development in multiple countries across North America, Europe, and Asia. While he didn’t take a straight path to his current role, his breadth of experience in consulting and the financial world has given him great exposure to different businesses and executives to help prepare him to be a leader at Carta. To be a successful CFO, Charly strongly believes in trying out different roles and opportunities, including learning about mergers and acquisitions and investor relations. This will help you as a CFO to gain an understanding of how investors approach their investments, and how to better communicate with them. Carta takes a unique and transparent approach to their business, being open with employees and investors. While at first, this was a bit jarring for Charly, he has embraced how being open and honest about the business can greatly improve a company’s culture and be a driver for growth. Charly believes that being a good CFO requires you to be as objective as possible and try to not be defensive, no matter if you’re dealing with good or bad situations. It is important to be very clear in explaining your thoughts and processes, reinforcing that you’re trying things in an effort to grow and prosper. He feels that if you aren’t constantly trying new things, then you won’t be able to properly build and expand your business.  In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Charly Kevers, CFO at Carta shares his thoughts on how transparency can build trust and confidence with your employees and investors. He explains why it is important to take risks and try new things. Charly also talks about the importance of embracing technology and how he approaches recruiting and retention for his team.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Charly on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com
3/10/202245 minutes, 54 seconds
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Be Humble and Hungry with Nitesh Sharan, CFO at SoundHound

Nitesh Sharan, CFO at SoundHound, is a strategic finance executive with experience fueling growth and profitability in firms across the consumer, technology and industrial sectors. His diverse background working in many different verticals across multiple industries allows Nitesh to be a great fit for the evolving and expanding role of CFO in today’s business world. He also has a passion for development, diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability for his company and team. Anchored by a variety of experiences in industries throughout the world, Nitesh’s desire to grow and try new things is an asset to SoundHound; an organization that believes every brand should have a voice and every person should be able to interact naturally with the products around them, by simply talking. Nitesh sees the role of a CFO as one that is constantly changing and adapting to a new world of business. He thinks today’s CFO needs to be in tune and involved with many parts of their company. That includes as an advisor to the CEO, encouraging stakeholder success, having a vision for the company’s long term success and near term sustainability, as well as being open to innovation, and helping to set a strong culture within the organization. An important part of supporting that is building a diverse, agile, and innovative team with a range of knowledge and diverse perspectives that have a drive to continually learn and grow. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Nitesh Sharan, CFO at SoundHound, shares why you can’t stay stale and need to continually innovate and update the way your company does business. This ranges in everything from organizational goals and a willingness to utilize new technologies, to being open to who your workforce is, how to encourage their success, and to allow for flexibility in where they accomplish their work. Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Nitesh on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
3/3/202242 minutes, 42 seconds
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Create Options in Everything You Do, with Dynshaw Italia, CFO at Soldo

Dynshaw Italia, CFO at Soldo, brings 20 years of experience working and developing fast growing consumer brands to navigate change and growth. At Soldo, he is using his ability as an adaptable leader to help their mission of lighting a brighter way for businesses to pay for advertising, software, travel expenses, online procurement, and more. Soldo believes businesses deserve better than painful, slow, and costly spending, and is providing a solution that is smarter, faster, and more connected to build an entirely new financial architecture for them.When Dynshaw joined Soldo, he brought with him years of experience working in various disciplines and companies of all sizes. He is using that experience as an asset to help drive financial stability and success for the company. He believes that a CFO should never stand still to be successful - need to have a desire to improve and a willingness to adapt to whatever situations come about. A key to that is pushing for more efficiency and encouraging a mindset of betterment towards profitability within the organization. Attracted to companies with a common thread of entrepreneurial goals, Dynshaw has brought his strategic agility, desire to continually improve, love of technology, and emphasis on building trust amongst his leadership team and employees to provide a vision and roadmap to continued financial success and growth. Dynshaw believes being successful requires a CFO to be involved and understand all areas of the business, serving as a visionary that helps prepare the company for varying competitive environments. He says, “if you fail, fail fast, and move on.” That way, you can quickly define success up front and move on towards improvement. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Dynshaw Italia, CFO at Soldo, shares that trust and accountability is the most important mindset to start with when developing a cohesive, supportive, and successful culture. Flexibility and openness to financial transformations and a willingness to adopt new tools is inherent to improving oneself and the company as a whole.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Dynshaw on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com
2/24/202250 minutes, 32 seconds
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How Great CFOs Hire & Retain Talent

On this episode of The CFO Playbook, we share some of the best advice for hiring and retaining top-tier talent that we’ve received from finance leaders who have been guests on the show.Lessons we cover in this episode:The trends don’t lie: What CFOs are looking for from their candidates (and vice versa).CFOs are looking for technical fluency more than ever, and want candidates that have an understanding of multiple aspects both within the finance domain and beyond. The days of siloed roles are coming to an end.  Talent benefits from an empathetic leader who will provide a clear career path for the finance team member, and this is increasingly becoming a requirement for CFOs.Hiring tips to build a dynamic team of business partners, risk-takers, and those looking for a challenge. EQ is key when you’re hiring a finance team member who will engage with and partner with other lines of business. Be transparent and observant throughout the hiring process to ensure the candidate is a good fit.Expand your talent pool if your company is set up for remote work.Hire a mix of experienced finance experts and green talent with potential.As CFO it’s important to have a balanced team of talent you can nurture and talent that can help you fill in the gaps of your knowledge base.Regardless of experience level, you need to show up as a mentor and leader for your team to help them reach their full potential.Hire for technologyTechnology literacy is as important as technical finance skills.Hiring for automation has the downstream impact of opening up opportunities for your team and making them happier at their jobs.Once you’ve built your team, incentivize them to stick around.Cultivate an employee-first work culture.Make sure your company goals are clear, and that you’ve laid out identifiable career paths for your finance team members so they know what they’re working towards.Tune in to the full episode to get all the best insights on hiring and retention.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com 
2/17/202218 minutes, 45 seconds
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Leading a Transformation with Nick Rose, CFO at Enable

In his role of CFO at Enable, Nick Rose is carrying forward what he enjoyed most working on business transformation projects at Travis Perkins, and is driven by the change he’s able to make happen at a small but quickly growing company.When Nick first joined Enable, he went from having 24,000 colleagues to 70. But headcount is rising fast, and Nick describes the company’s evolution as “a constant state of change” as Enable has gone through two rounds of funding and expanded to three different countries since he arrived. Nick credits his experience in business transformation to help him to shift to a fast moving environment; in fact, he embraces the change that’s necessary to achieve Enable’s ambitious goals.Whether evaluating automation opportunities to layer on top of Enable’s ERP system, or assessing whether a prospective hire is the right fit for his team, Nick takes a forward-thinking approach to his decision making. To help guide these decisions in the present, he and his team rely on measuring objectives and key results (OKRs) on a quarterly basis. As a result, Nick is confident that the finance department and beyond are aligned on the overarching goals of the company and how they’ll work together to achieve them.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Nick Rose, CFO at Enable, shares how he brings a transformation mindset to his role, describes the ways in which he’s building a team that runs towards business challenges, and illustrates why adaptability is such an important quality in a CFO.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Nick on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
2/10/202233 minutes, 1 second
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Laying the Groundwork for Growth with Ross Tennenbaum, CFO at Avalara

Ross Tennenbaum loved working in investment banking, so it took the right opportunity for him to make the jump into his first role as CFO at Avalara, a SAAS company building cloud-based tax compliance solutions to handle every transaction in the world.While in investment banking, Ross learned not only about capital markets and mergers and acquisitions, but about the strategy of the companies he advised on. Ross brought that mindset to Avalara, asking all kinds of questions to drive Avalara’s business forward.Ross is laying the groundwork at Avalara to help match the fast growth of today, as well as tomorrow. He’s doing this by investing in the right technology to help optimize finance operations, and hiring finance team members who have experience implementing automation. As he builds out the finance team in a competitive environment, he’s intentional about facilitating a fulfilling work environment with clear paths of success for the company as well as individual team members. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Ross Tennenbaum, CFO at Avalara, describes why he left investment banking for the lure of CFO, outlines the key components of a high performing finance team, and shares the automation priorities he's focused on for the year ahead.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with our guest Ross on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
2/3/202243 minutes, 46 seconds
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Mentoring Future CFOs with Craig Foster, CFO at Picsart

Craig Foster not only has over 25 years of management experience in finance, he’s also worked on 35 different IPOs over the course of his career. He brings that expertise and more to his role today as CFO at Picsart. Early in his career, Craig was working in an advisory role at a Big 4 public accounting firm when he was approached by one of their rapid-scale clients, LoudCloud, to come in house. The leaders of the company, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, were key players in the dot com boom and took a hands-on approach to leadership training. The “school” of LoudCloud was formative to how Craig would approach his management positions going forward. Being both a mentor and a mentee is important to Craig. Whether working in house or during his time as an adviser, he’s built a network to help increase his learning. When Craig made the decision to transition to CFO for his first tenure at Ubiquiti Networks in 2013, that network helped him stay supported. And today at Picsart, Craig mentors his finance team with a forward-thinking approach and is always looking for ways to maximize their potential through technology.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Craig Foster, CFO at Picsart, talks about coming up under Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz during the dot com boom, shares his philosophy on mentoring future CFOs, and outlines how he is always on the lookout for the right technology to execute finance goals.Take The CFO Playbook Listener Survey to help us improve the show. You’ll also be entered to win your choice of the latest iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S7.Connect with Craig on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
1/27/202238 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Latest CFO Trends with Steve Gallucci, Global & US CFO Program Leader at Deloitte

As the Global & US leader for Deloitte’s CFO Program, Steve Gallucci’s job is to understand all the pressing issues facing CFOs today. He brings over 30 years of experience at Deloitte in an advisory and assurance capacity to the role.Deloitte’s CFO Program delivers forward thinking insights for every stage of a CFO’s career through data-driven research and cutting edge resources. It was developed to offer CFOs and aspiring CFOs a comprehensive “go-to” resource for personal career success as the CFO role continues to evolve to meet the needs of the modern company.Here on The CFO Playbook, we’re dedicated to understanding the needs of and demands on the modern CFO. Steve walks us through the 4Q CFO Signals Survey, which includes the latest insights from 124 CFO respondents. On the whole, they’re predicting tempered expectations for growth, emphasizing the need to prioritize talent/labor, and citing opportunities for embedding technologies and automation into their organizations’ operations. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Steve Gallucci, Global & US CFO Program Leader at Deloitte, shares his view on how to build a successful transition plan as a new CFO, explains how talent is top of the agenda for many CFOs today, and emphasizes why being both a strategist and a catalyst is critical for any successful finance leader.Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.Connect with Steve on Twitter.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
1/20/202234 minutes, 14 seconds
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Be an Intentional Leader with Jared Poff, EVP CFO at Designer Brands

Back in 2015, Jared was being groomed as CFO at DSW and was 8 months into a 3-5 year program when there was an unexpected CEO change and the sitting CFO of Designer Brands decided to exit. All of a sudden, he was thrown into the role of CFO. It was a high-pressure situation, but one which taught Jared many lessons that he’s carried forward to today.It was the future CEO of Designer Brands who recruited Jared to work with him there, and Jared stresses how it’s key to nurture the CEO/CFO relationship. He says that it should be one of trust because it’s the foundation on which strategic decisions are made. And that’s been especially true in the past two years.Retail has gone through big changes over the course of Jared’s career, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the global pandemic in 2020. Whether navigating the bumpy terrain of these challenges or jumping into the role of CFO, Jared underlines the importance of staying calm, being intentional, emphasizing communication, and taking ownership of all that your role entails.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Jared Poff, Executive Vice President & CFO at Designer Brands, talks about jumping into the CFO role unexpectedly early, how he navigated turbulence in the retail sector through the pandemic, and why he’s optimistic as we look ahead to 2022.Connect with Jared on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
1/13/202237 minutes, 51 seconds
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Best Career Advice for Aspiring CFOs

On this episode of The CFO Playbook, we share some of the best career advice for aspiring CFOs that we’ve received from CFOs who have been guests on the show.Lessons we cover in this episode:An aspiring CFO must diversify their areas of expertiseIt’s critical to gain experience outside of the finance function.Finance leaders should be proactive in making themselves partners to other areas of the business.While gaining experience in areas of the business beyond finance is key, it’s also important for finance professionals to diversify their experiences within finance.Don’t be overly concerned about timetable or titles in your quest for the CFO positionYour working life is long, be patient as you build your career over time.You don’t have to rush into the CFO role. If you’re able to, work for a great CFO first and learn.As you cultivate your hard, practical business skills, don’t forget to focus on your ‘soft skills’Great CFOs develop their EQ as much as their technical skills and understanding of the business.Own your strengths and your unique vulnerabilities. It’ll make you a more relatable leader and help you build relationships with your employees.As the role of CFO continues to evolve from being purely an accountant to being an advisor to the rest of the executive team, and a driver of the business generally, it’s becoming more important to focus on these ‘soft skills’ that are required of leaders.On your path to CFO, keep an open mindTake advantage and learn from other CFOs you meet throughout your career.Stay curious, take risks, and keep learning.Tune into the full episode to get all the best insights on plotting your course towards the CFO position.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
1/6/202215 minutes, 52 seconds
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Investing in Automation with Francis Trudeau, CFO at BrainBox AI

Francis Trudeau recently took on the honor and challenge of being the first CFO at BrainBox AI, a tech startup that’s helping to fight climate change by making buildings smarter and more efficient. Coming off of a recognition at COP26 as the winner of the “Tech for Our Planet Challenge,” BrainBox is a leader in leveraging technology at scale for the greater good. Francis came to BrainBox after his first tenure as CFO at a more mature company, Logibec. For this new venture, Francis is tasked with building the operational and technical foundation for the finance department, while also acting as a strategic partner to the CEO and other areas of the business. Francis has jumped into the opportunity with passion for the mission of the company and an entrepreneurial mindset, both of which he looks for in hiring new recruits for the finance department.With valuations for tech companies at an all time high, Francis takes a measured approach as a CFO to ensure he’s able to deliver value to investors over time. With years of experience in corporate development and M&A, Francis brings this expertise to his role as CFO. For him, an integral part of sustainable growth is investing in the right technology and talent upfront.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Francis Trudeau, CFO at BrainBox AI, talks about estimating company value in today’s hyped up market, outlines how BrainBox are fighting climate change through intelligent heating systems, and emphasizes why automation was a key mandate when starting his latest CFO role.Connect with Francis on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
12/16/202139 minutes, 33 seconds
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Think Like an Adviser with David Harutian, VP of Finance @ Qualified

David Harutian started working at Qualified just after they secured their Series A financing, and helped close a $51M Series B in May of this year. His background as an adviser in investment banking and corporate development helped David contribute to the diligence process and puts him in a unique position to nurture investor relationships.Like a lot of tech companies, Qualified hasn’t slowed down during the pandemic. Instead, David’s been there as they’ve tripled and quadrupled their growth. But as he’s forecasting for investors and the board, he emphasizes taking a conservative approach and making sure you’re analyzing the company’s potential while keeping in mind the macroeconomic environment. Heading into 2022, David foresees more growth for Qualified, and consolidation and marketing spend for the industry at large.David structured the finance team with proximity to data as a top priority. He stresses investing in data and analytics, technology, and data scientists early on for a hypergrowth company so you are able to accurately forecast and drive insights. Part of this investment is hiring the right talent that will be able to transform the data to move the business forward. David underlines recruiting for an entrepreneurial mindset and seeks out future employees who are problem-solvers who want to work as part of a team towards common goals.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, David Harutian, VP of Finance @ Qualified, talks about taking the leap from the advisory side to working in-house, shares lessons from Qualified’s latest financing round, and discloses the technology his team has prioritized to help scale finance on pace with the business. Connect with David on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com
12/9/202136 minutes, 45 seconds
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Leveraging Real-Time Data with Christian Lee, CFO of Transfix

Christian Lee has had the unique position of CFO in two industries that have been particularly impacted by the pandemic, real estate and supply chain. Christian left WeWork in early 2021 for Transfix, a hyper-growth startup and leading freight marketplace connecting shippers to carriers. His proximity to these industries has underscored in him the need for CFOs to pay attention to the problems the pandemic has surfaced.While 2022 is indeed a new year, Christian stresses that finance professionals shouldn’t overlook challenges in hopes of a ‘new normal.’ At Transfix, he’s taking a data-forward approach to solving the business problem of inefficiencies in the supply chain as well as leveraging automation on the finance side of the business. Christian emphasizes the importance of finance partnering with the data science team in order to best optimize and drive insights from the data gathered. He says the whole team should be on the same page by having equal access to real-time data, but it’s not enough to simply be in the know: you have to use it as a jumping off point for asking the right questions to move the business forward.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Christian talks about disrupting the supply chain industry in the midst of a pandemic, describes why automation is in his top three priorities for 2022, and underlines why Transfix places real-time data at the center of every decision they make.Connect with Christian on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
12/2/202141 minutes, 23 seconds
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Top Automation Lessons from Finance Leaders

On this episode of The CFO Playbook, we share some of the best advice on technology and automation that we’ve received from recent guests.Lessons we cover in this episode:It’s key to build a structural foundation for finance upon automation and technology: Hyper growth companies view technology as the ‘engine room’ of growth and a critical foundation for scale. The days of thinking that automation is a “nice to have” are over. Building automation can be far more rewarding for teams than following a well-trodden playbook. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, with the right technology for your company: Be deliberate in determining which technology tools to invest in and why. Start by identifying your pain points. Automation increases efficiency and creates more time to harness strategic thinking. If done well, technology beats throwing headcount at a problem. Hiring and managing for automation is vital: Automation can be great for employee retention, but you have to hire the right employees to leverage the technology. Great managers should take advantage of the extra time automation allows to challenge and engage their finance team with creative, mission-critical problems. Over time, the skills and requirements of a finance team are shifting to meet the demands of technology-enabled businesses. The need for and benefits of automation aren’t going away anytime soon: Automation can help CFOs directly. Sharper forecasting, real-time cost controls, and fewer processes can create space for CFOs to focus on company strategy. With the CFO’s responsibilities increasing rapidly over time, automation allows for far more effective partnering with the CEO and the rest of the executive team.  Tune into the full episode to get all the best insights on leveraging technology and automation in finance.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
11/25/202114 minutes, 48 seconds
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Balancing Speed and Discipline when Scaling with Tony Russo, CFO of Imply

Tony Russo took the helm as CFO at Imply in August of 2020 after having been a CFO or dual COO/CFO at over 10 companies in the last 25 years. With multiple successful M&A transactions under his belt, Tony takes a measured and strategic approach to evaluating opportunities, whether with the goal of benefitting the companies he works for or in determining which challenges to take on as a CFO.While assessing risk, upside, and diligence capabilities are all vital components of determining whether a new CFO opportunity is the right fit, Tony stresses the importance of making sure your values are aligned with the mission of the company and the executive team above all else. Believing in the company and getting along with your team go a long way in driving future success. For this reason, Tony also recommends prioritizing values and attitude when hiring for the finance team.  Though the right team members are key, Tony prefers to keep finance lean as the company scales. One way he accomplishes this is by leaning on technology to make a team more efficient rather than increasing headcount. It’s a delicate balance and Tony believes a good CFO keeps an eye on operations to know when new technology isn’t enough to manage workload and drive insights. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Tony shares why company values play a pivotal role in evaluating new opportunities, emphasizes the importance of finance staying lean, and describes why operational discipline is so critical for success.Connect with Tony on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
11/18/202136 minutes, 8 seconds
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Leading with Curiosity: Mark Nasiff, CFO & COO of Lookout

With over 30 years of finance and operations experience, Mark Nasiff has seen the role of CFO evolve over time from one focused on financial reporting and analysis to one that’s not afraid to take strategic risks. As both CFO and COO of Lookout, Mark showcases the keen ability to step back and understand the business operations as a whole, as well as to prioritize digging into the data to drive meaningful insights.According to Mark, data is at the core of all decision making done by the finance team at Lookout - whether it’s used to measure risk, acquired by speaking to members of the sales or engineering departments, or the catalyst for asking better questions.For this reason, Mark is always seeking ways to leverage more data through automation. When assessing the need for a tool, he asks two simple questions: Will it help the finance team be more efficient? And, will automation help us understand the business better? In his experience, efficiencies open up room for critical thinking, which helps the finance team act as a strategic partner to the business.Above all else, Mark views insatiable curiosity as a vital quality for any aspiring CFO. As he looks back at his own career, one of the constants is that he has never stopped learning. In doing so, he’s able to apply that cumulative knowledge to ask better questions and make data actionable.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Mark explains why finance should always be selling, emphasizes why CFOs today are expected to shape company strategy, and underlines the key roles of data in directing decision making.Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
11/11/202132 minutes, 3 seconds
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Scaling Sustainably with Jim Buckle, CFO of Gousto

With a 100% CAGR year over year since 2016, Jim Buckle has seen incredible growth during his time at the helm as CFO of Gousto. And with plans to double headcount for the second year in a row, there’s no slowdown in sight. While some might think that in order to maintain this rapid growth, you have to sacrifice sustainability in terms of people and planet, Jim’s leadership and insights prove this isn’t the case. In fact, Jim would say that businesses need to act fast to “do the right thing” socially and environmentally, or they’ll be left behind by both consumers and investors. Consumers are holding businesses to a high standard, and acting with their dollars. Investors are following suit because they know the market demands it. In his role as CFO, Jim prioritizes forward-thinking so both the company and the finance team thrives for the long term, all while practicing a sustainability mindset. While Gousto has experienced rapid growth that has only picked up speed during the pandemic, Jim stresses that as part of the leadership team, he’s helped structure the business in a way that maintains the flexibility and nimbleness of a startup. When it comes to growing a finance team, Jim emphasizes the importance of personal growth and hiring those that are as future-focused as he is. He believes the role of finance isn’t just to support the business, it’s to drive the business forward and be a key part of what makes the business successful.   On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Jim discusses the value of sustainability for consumers, investors and businesses alike, how to scale your team while maintaining the nimbleness of a startup, and his considerations when embracing automation.Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
11/4/202143 minutes, 35 seconds
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Know Enough to Be Dangerous: How to Be a Well-rounded CFO with Jeannie De Guzman, CFO of 1Password

During her tenure as CFO, Jeannie De Guzman has seen 1Password grow from 180 employees to over 520. That organizational growth has meant large-scale changes for the finance team. And it still means leaders have the ability to have extensive influence across the company. HR, for example, falls under Jeannie’s banner, and it’s helped her learn a lot about the value of soft skills and clear communication. Whether it’s partnering closely with HR or making strategic leadership decisions, Jeannie believes finance’s role is to be a business partner, serving the rest of the organization with a customer service mindset. Viewing her team through this lens means Jeannie values technical, analytical, and soft skills in her team members. She believes finance professionals should embrace opportunities to wear multiple hats and become well-rounded in their financial expertise. She also values clear, concise communication, especially when it comes to budget, and champions the idea that if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough. In addition to being a business partner to the rest of the org, Jeannie also understands the complexities of managing a remote team and cultivating an employee-first culture. She believes that implementing as much technology and automation as possible minimizes repetitive, menial tasks and helps people do more impactful, meaningful work.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Jeannie discusses the importance of finance as a business partner, the balance of soft skills vs. technical skills, and the value of being a well-rounded finance professional.Connect with Jeannie on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
10/28/202136 minutes, 26 seconds
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Raising Over $480M in 18 Months with Lena Loiberg, VP of Finance at Melio

Lena Loiberg joined Melio as Head of Finance in February 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. Lena arrived with a background in finance at companies like PwC, Mobileye, and Jelly Button, ready to build out a team and help lead Melio into its next phase of growth. Within weeks, however, she was forced to adjust every plan she had for the business to account for the external circumstances changing the world as we knew it. During her tenure, Melio’s B2B payments processing platform has increased its monthly processing volumes by 5,000% and she has spearheaded four separate funding rounds totaling more than $480M and culminating in a $4B valuation.Lena is extremely passionate about finance, and she derives a tangible joy from being in the unique position of working for the finance department within a hyper-growth FinTech company. She believes firmly in the value of data, automation, and integration of tools for finance teams, and invests heavily in technology and people to help Melio continue its upward trajectory. Tune into this episode of The CFO Playbook to hear Lena discuss how Melio has matured its finance processes, where she’s finding opportunities to integrate and automate her processes, which tech tools she’s investing in, and the advice she has for aspiring finance executives.Connect with Lena on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
10/21/202133 minutes, 28 seconds
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Illumio | With Anup Singh, CFO

Since Anup Singh was hired to his first CFO job in 2006, he’s seen the role evolve from strictly financial-focused to what he calls “GM of the business.” (That’s general manager, non-sports fans.)The CFO’s main role used to be crunching the numbers, publishing reports, building the budget, and controlling spending. They’re still doing all that, but they’re also expected to be more involved in setting business goals, and helping orchestrate growth. One point on which Anup has never wavered is his commitment to building a culture of trust and transparency. That includes among the people he works with closely. Every quarter he gives someone in the finance department his CFO Excellence Award, for going the extra mile to achieve one of the company’s business objectives. Anup also makes himself available to people working In the rest of the business, through an “Ask Me Anything” Slack channel, and small Q&A sessions he calls The Bottom Line.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Anup explains why he takes the time to explain Illumio’s finances to his non-finance colleagues, what he hopes to use artificial intelligence (AI) for, and why he relies on KPIs to guide business decisions.Connect with Anup on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
10/14/202137 minutes, 34 seconds
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Nuvemshop | With Tatiana Rezende, CFO

Tatiana Rezende joined Brazil-based Nuvemshop, the leading e-commerce platform in Latin America, as its CFO in 2020. Previously, Tatiana worked in private equity and finance in both Brazil and the United States. She began her career as an engineer, and says she still sees the world from that perspective. Instead of construction projects, now Tatiana engineers the creation of businesses, combining her passion for financial markets with her drive to build from scratch. When she came upon the opportunity with Nuvemshop, she jumped at the chance to lead finance for a company that is leading e-commerce into the future. Tatiana is a lesbian, and her experiences as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and being a pregnant woman and mother in the workforce have shaped her perspective on workplace diversity. She says staying true to herself in her career has been empowering, and she wants to help other people in high-level finance roles accomplish the same thing. Tune into this episode of The CFO Playbook to hear Tatiana discuss how to maintain good ties with investors (and why it’s so critical), and why great finance leaders need to have empathy and be authentic. Connect with Tatiana on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
10/7/202137 minutes, 20 seconds
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Corelight | With Russ Keefe, VP of Finance and Operations

Russ Keefe had never worked at a cybersecurity firm before he became CFO of Corelight in 2017. To prepare, he read “a bunch of books” on the history of the industry, which helped him understand the business more deeply — something Russ believes is essential for finance leaders.Russ learned about non-finance roles first-hand when he was given the opportunity to work in sales ops. This experience made him appreciate that financial calculations should be collaborative. It’s not just Russ who’s started to think about finance roles as more than just a numbers game. Today, the brightest finance graduates expect to exercise some entrepreneurial muscle. This puts pressure on the finance leaders who want to hire them, to create a role that allows for input into the business.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Russ explains why he believes transparency is key, his collaborative approach to budgets, and who the finance team's customers are (they’re nearer than you might think.)Connect with Russ on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
9/30/202138 minutes, 41 seconds
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Elder HQ | With Kevin Fleming, CFO

Kevin Fleming is the CFO at Elder HQ, a UK-based company working to revolutionize eldercare by providing an alternative to traditional residential care homes.Since starting this position in June 2019, the global pandemic has changed a lot about the world of healthcare and eldercare. It was up to Kevin to make sure Elder HQ was up to the task of handling it.To Kevin, finance is at the heart of a well-running business with a strong value system. Especially in rocky times, where the future of the eldercare industry — not to mention the worldwide economy as a whole — is in flux, a company with a finance team that’s ready to take the lead is going to have a better shot at success.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Kevin talks about the importance of a knowledgeable CFO, how to make financial technology systems work for you so you can leave the menial tasks to the automation systems, and the importance of agility when working in an industry that’s as mercurial as the healthcare system is right now.Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
9/23/202140 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ada | With Long Dinh, VP of Finance

When Long Dinh joined Ada as the company’s first finance hire, he was thrilled to build the finance function and kickstart growth for the pre-seed startup.Fast-forward three years and Ada has become a powerhouse player in the customer experience space. In this time, Long has helped grow Ada’s employee base by more than 10X and raised over $200M in funding. According to Long, the most important factor in being a successful finance leader is the ability to understand not what the business needs immediately, but what it will need in the quarters and years to come. This forward-looking lens served him well when the unimaginable happened: COVID-19. The start of the pandemic stalled growth for companies everywhere and like many leaders, Long had to make some tough financial decisions. Rather than stalling, however, the AI chatbot company took off as more businesses needed to scale remote customer support operations. In May 2021, the company announced a $130M Series C financing round. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Long shares how he broke into finance, his main considerations when building out a finance team from scratch, and his top two pieces of advice for finance leaders early in their careers. Connect with Long on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
9/9/202133 minutes, 38 seconds
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Luko | With Margaux Gregoir, VP of Finance

Margaux Gregoir started her job as the Vice President of Finance at Luko — a France-based home insurtech startup — right as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The worldwide economy ground to a halt, as did Margaux’s plans for building out Luko’s finance team. As someone who’d just made the jump from advisor to financial director, Margaux could’ve panicked. Instead, she got creative.Margaux used the emergency to take a deep-dive into every aspect of the company, and familiarize herself with its operations. Through this company-wide audit, she learned what Luko could afford to give up for a while, if it meant that the company could eventually achieve the kind of growth Margaux knew it deserved. Having led the Luko finance team through periods of both stalled and intense growth, Margaux now has a better understanding of what she values in her colleagues and in her own work. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Margaux talks about what she thinks is important in a finance leader, the necessity of following a detailed roadmap, and how people who work in the operational sides of a company can stay motivated in their ultimate goal of making customers happy.Connect with Margaux on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
9/2/202135 minutes, 46 seconds
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Snyk | With Ken MacAskill, CFO

Having technical expertise is important, but successful CFOs will tell you that you must go beyond this, to take a step back to see the larger picture. How can you position yourself to solve problems your company is facing?To do this, you must first learn the business. For Ken MacAskill, it’s a mindset he wishes he could have learned sooner in his 20-year career working with emerging and high-growth companies. Over his career, he held CFO positions at five companies before landing as CFO of tech company Snyk in 2019.Understanding the business that you’re in takes patience, according to Ken. Don’t rush the process. He describes his journey as an evolution. With each project, he learned something new from it and used it to inform how to approach the next. Learn not only your own role, but also the role of others, and how they intersect on a large scale.This growth mentality has been integral to Ken’s development over the course of his career, and it’s one he encourages the emerging CFO to keep in mind.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Ken shares his mindset shift, expertise on methodology to achieving success as a CFO, and what to look at when funding growth in the business.Connect with Ken on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
8/26/202132 minutes, 57 seconds
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Lyst | With Joel Stephens, VP of Finance

Joel Stephens’ career at Lyst started in 2015, when the fashion shopping app and website was still a startup and he was its financial controller. Fast forward to 2021, and Joel is now VP2, leading three teams in the finance department. He recently finished heading up the financial part of an $85 million pre-IPO round.Joel has found several strategies that help him get the best from his team. He encourages them to use the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) framework — a concept he learned from the book “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. This encourages everyone to focus on the larger picture, rather than getting lost in the details from the beginning. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Joel explains how his time at Lyst has shaped his leadership style, how the models he used to fundraise during the pre-IPO round were changed by the pandemic, and some of his favorite goal-setting methodologies.Connect with Joel on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
8/19/202137 minutes, 31 seconds
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Moglix | With Rahul Goel, VP of Finance

COVID-19 created unique challenges across a range of industries. Managers and business leaders had the difficult task of finding ways to keep employees motivated amidst all the uncertainty and new ways of working. Motivation wasn’t in short supply for Rahul Goel and his team. Moglix, the B2B e-commerce company where Rahul is Vice President of Finance, sells oxygen concentrators and PPE among other medical and industrial supplies. Knowing that the company provided important medical equipment to fight the pandemic was a great source of motivation for his team and employees across the Asia-based company. Apart from motivating a team, Rahul says being fearless and transparent are key traits when you’re managing people. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Rahul shares insights into how technology and automation can streamline processes, and why you should look beyond financial KPIs. Connect with Rahul on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
8/12/202135 minutes, 41 seconds
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Legendary Entertainment | With Ronald Hohauser, CFO

After starting his career as a computer programmer, Ronald Hohauser stumbled on a chance to join the entertainment industry, and was excited by the opportunities it presented. In 2004, Ron became Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations at Marvel Studios. He helped the studio transition from licensing its products to independently turning the then-niche comic book character Iron Man into a superhero icon — with the help of Robert Downey Jr., of course.Ron is now the CFO of Legendary Entertainment, the studio responsible for blockbusters like the “Jurassic World” franchise and 2021’s “Godzilla vs. Kong.” As Ron worked his way up the ladder in the entertainment industry, he learned that a CFO doesn’t have to do all the work themselves: in fact, they shouldn’t. Ron has got to a place where he’s comfortable relying on his team members, and mentoring emerging financial leaders is a big source of pride for him.In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Ron talks about how he’s used tough times as learning opportunities, how and why he has to accept that some things are outside his control, and why he thinks being personally connected to your team is one of the greatest assets of a CFO.Connect with Ron on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
8/5/202133 minutes, 54 seconds
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GoCardless | With Catherine Birkett, CFO

Catherine Birkett’s career as a CFO started in 2004, when she was promoted into the position at the telecommunications company Interoute. Looking back, she says she sometimes had to struggle to keep her head above water while addressing the large challenges the company was facing. But Catherine pushed forward, and she now attributes her success as a CFO to these experiences. She sees past mistakes and hardships as ultimately putting her on a path to growth. After becoming intimately familiar with her own strengths and weaknesses, Catherine now feels comfortable leading a finance team through tough spots and helping other people grow. At GoCardless, where she has worked as the CFO since January 2019, she was able to take the reins during the COVID-19 pandemic and keep the business-to-business banking service on a growth trajectory as its scope expands. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Catherine details how she grew from tough experiences early in her CFO career, how she maintained control of GoCardless’ financial growth during a global pandemic and recession and how to balance risk taking and flexibility with keeping your company in line to achieve its ultimate vision.Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
7/29/202149 minutes, 32 seconds
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Genesys | With Sharon Virag, Chief Accounting Officer

When Sharon Virag became Chief Accounting Officer of customer service software company Genesys, she had already worked for Fortune 500 companies including General Electric, and served as CFO for NeoGenomics Laboratories.But for Sharon, who loves building out company infrastructure, working with an emerging organization like Genesys was just as intriguing and exciting. With her help, the company has grown and hit financial milestones. Highlights include navigating new regulations and financial reporting requirements, and building strong, diverse teams that work in lockstep with one another.Sharon believes that working on your leadership habits is one of the most important things you can do as a financial chief. This means knowing when — and how — to speak your mind, and figuring out how to delegate tasks to your team, so you can let go of some of the details and see the full scope of the company’s needs. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Sharon talks about her strategy for being a flexible leader, when to think big picture, and how to work with the systems you have to manage your company’s finances with ease and efficiency.Connect with Sharon on LinkedIn. Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
7/22/202143 minutes, 9 seconds
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Bevy | With Maddy Devine, VP of Finance

Maddy Devine traded consulting with multinational corporations for building startup finance teams from the ground up — and she’s never looked back.Her first finance job was consulting for Accenture, and she’s now VP of Finance at virtual conference software company Bevy.Maddy believes that the two key components of building a finance department that fuels business growth are the tech and the people. Not necessarily in that order.Maddy looks for people who share the belief that finance should be about more than making sure what’s going out is balanced out by what’s coming in. Her team outsources that work, so they can focus on strategizing.On the tech side, Maddy won’t settle for a tool that can’t scale along with the business. Researching and implementing software is a significant commitment of time and energy, so you need to make sure you’re not going to outgrow your investment within a few months.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Maddy explains which part of the function startup finance leaders need to tackle first, how to find a balance between protecting your budget and empowering departments on the business end, and the skills she looks for in her team.Connect with Maddy on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
7/15/202150 minutes, 58 seconds
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Hillspire | With Ken Goldman, President

When Ken Goldman became CFO of Yahoo in 2012, he had more experience in business administration than accounting. But he used his background to his advantage, approaching the CFO role from a globalist perspective. To Ken, the relationship between the CEO and CFO of a company is vital to its success. A CFO’s job is to provide objective counsel to the CEO, who can use that information to make informed decisions about a company’s future. Ken values having positive relationships with everyone in the company, including the board members and the engineering and accounting teams. A strong, company-wide rapport encourages collaboration in administrative and accounting tasks, and ensures everything runs smoothly. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Ken encourages people to take a look at CFO roles even if they don’t have a background in accounting, and discusses the importance of software system management, maintaining relationships with activist investors, and work-life balance.Connect with Ken on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
7/8/202151 minutes, 12 seconds
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Connect Ventures | With Mark Pettit, CFO

Mark Pettit joined London-based venture capital firm Connect Ventures in 2016 as Head of Finance. Earlier this year, he was made CFO, and sees his new job as assisting the partners in making strong financial and investment decisions, putting the firm on the front line of SaaS, fintech and digital health.“My role was to come in and take as much of that finance slack away from the partners [as possible] so they can focus on the areas where they can make a big difference,” Mark says.One of his first missions has been driving the team toward using data management software that helps create a more reliable source of truth, which the entire firm can look at when making decisions. Mark has also helped create a KPI framework which Connect Ventures can use when deciding which early stage startups to invest in. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Mark lays out how he manages day-to-day workflow as a CFO, the challenges of growing a small venture capital firm’s finance team, and his outlook on the future of remote work.Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
7/1/202138 minutes, 1 second
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DataStax | With Don Dixon, CFO

Don Dixon has held finance positions in startups and established organizations, been through acquisitions and IPOs, and is now CFO at DataStax. In his experience, rising to the CFO position requires understanding something much more complicated than finance: people.Once you’re at that executive position, managing numbers is a smaller part of your daily job than managing the people on your team.Don is so committed to empowering the people in the finance department that he doesn’t even think of it as managing. He sees his role as closer to coaching. Instead of trying to mold each person to fit DataStax, he helps them improve their all-round skill sets so that they can achieve their career goals.Even if that means employees end up leaving for a higher position the organization can’t currently offer, Don knows he’s done his job.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Don discusses how to help the finance department feel connected to customers and how to give everyone on the team just the right amount of transparency. He also explains why your IPO delivery team should be as small as possible.Connect with Don on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
6/24/202150 minutes, 20 seconds
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Johnson Matthey | With Malcolm Finn, Director of Finance - Global Operations and Control

In October 2020, Malcolm Finn followed his conscience to chemicals company Johnson Matthey, which is transitioning its business model to focus on producing clean energy sources. As Director of Finance Operations and Control, Malcolm has been a key figure in that change.Guiding a company through such a major transition would have been challenging even for a seasoned leader at the best of times. But not only was Malcolm new to the company, most of the team was working from home, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.Everyone has struggled with the world-altering impact of the pandemic to some degree, and leaders can no longer afford to ignore this emotional fallout. In addition, in the midst of such uncertainty, confident assertions that everything will be fine don’t carry the same weight they once did.Now, the best leaders are those who treat their employees with understanding and leniency, while also admitting that they don’t have the answers to every problem.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Malcolm explains the learnings he wants to take from remote work, why companies should question the purpose of digital innovations and why agility has never been a more valuable skill in a leader.  Connect with Malcolm on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
6/17/202136 minutes, 48 seconds
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dotdigital | With Paraag Amin, CFO

Paraag Amin’s route to becoming CFO of omnichannel digital marketing company dotdigital isn’t conventional — but he believes it set him up for success. Paraag started his career as an analyst working for investment banks, beginning at Goldman Sachs and including Citi and RBS. These jobs taught him what makes a promising investment opportunity — and the best way to present a company as a promising investment opportunity.His experience on one side of the transaction helped Paraag transition to the other side. He founded luxury lifestyle platform StyleCard in 2011, and in 2018 he was hired as dotdigital’s CFO. Helming the finances of a publicly traded company brings extra pressure, but knowing the company has a strong business model behind it makes him feel secure.On this episode of the CFO Playbook, Paraag explains why analysts make great CFOs, his inside take on pitching investors, and why knowing an industry before you dive in will help you wrangle with the numbers in your first few months.Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn.Connect with Paraag on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
6/10/202156 minutes, 9 seconds
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Quantilope | With Andreas Melzer, Associate Director of Finance

Andreas Melzer joined the consumer research company Quantilope two years ago and is the company’s Associate Director of Finance, which is similar to a Chief of Staff role with a finance focus. An advocate for helping SaaS startups stay on top of their finances, he published a B2B SaaS finance model that has received more than 8,000 downloads. While determining which KPIs and metrics a company should share while fundraising, Andreas believes in being transparent about the state of the business while keeping things simple.  Quantilope leverages a “land and expand” strategy. As a result, net retention is a main KPI that is a centerpiece of its pitch to investors. Additional data, such as how long it takes to upsell, is also included, “but really net retention is what it comes down to,” he says. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Andreas talks about how he’s scaling Quantilope’s international finance team, why you shouldn’t be tracking more than 10 KPIs, and how he’s carved out a niche as a roving advisor with a finance focus. An avid chess player, Andreas also applies lessons from the chess board to the world of business strategy.Connect with Andreas on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
6/3/202142 minutes, 25 seconds
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Awin | With Virpy Richter, CFO

Now CFO of affiliate marketing network Awin, Virpy Richter has never been the kind of finance professional who prefers to hide in a corner with her spreadsheets. Not only has she worked all over Europe, for startups and big companies, she’s also held positions in human resources and legal departments.Diving into different cultures has taught Virpy the importance of local knowledge, especially in companies with a global reach. Understanding the similarities and differences between how things work in other countries underscored for her the value of adapting to an environment, while also standardizing frameworks and processes for the sake of efficiency.Far from stymying her financial career, these international insights into workplace culture make Virpy more qualified to hold the CFO spot. As she argues, CFOs today need to think more like business partners than number-crunchers if they want to claim a seat in the C-suite.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Virpy explains the challenges and benefits of parachuting into a foreign workplace, why CFOs need to embrace technology for the sake of their employees and how Awin is rethinking its approach to work-life balance.Connect with Virpy on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Ross on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
5/27/202144 minutes, 7 seconds
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How Top CFO's Operate

Lessons we cover in this episode: Successful CFOs look at the big picture. As the source of financial truth, CFOs need to be able to look at any number and know if it’s “true” or not. Decide where you want to be on the spectrum of strategic vs operational. A good CFO needs to be a thinker and business partner, but they also need to be a doer (able to build a team, get work done, etc.). When you first step into a new role, focus on people, process and technology. When you get it wrong, acknowledge it, fix it, forgive yourself and move on. Focus on 2 things as a CFO: growing yourself, and growing your team.
5/20/202111 minutes, 53 seconds
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Top Finance Leadership Lessons

Lessons we cover in this episode: As you progress in your career, your responsibility is increasingly to ask good questions - not have the right answers You should maintain a humble mindset as you grow in your career When you’re a CFO and have a firm grasp on the numbers, you often have the right answer on decisions. But in feeling that you’re right - there can be a temptation to not listen to what others think. You need to maintain a listening posture in your team, even if you don’t agree with all that’s being said As a CFO, you need to take responsibility for your team’s output, be aware of the big picture and the details, and be forward-thinking - you can’t rest on past successes, or simply repeat the plan that you ran last year Find out what your team’s goals are, and help them succeed by achieving their goals The top things that make a great leader To be a great CFO, you have to learn to prioritize and know what you should say “yes” to, and what you should say “no” to. You can’t do everything. The benefits of having 1 on 1’s with your team
5/13/202122 minutes, 54 seconds
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Meet our new host, Ross MacKay!

In this brief episode, Rob passes the torch to the new host of The CFO Playbook, Ross MacKay.
4/29/20214 minutes, 20 seconds
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We’ll be back April 29th!

The CFO Playbook is taking a break until April 29th, but we’ll be back then with an exciting announcement followed by more interviews with some really incredible guests. Until then, we’d love to invite you to catch up on previous episodes at cfoplaybook.com or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, and as always, thanks for listening.
4/15/202134 seconds
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Alpha Medical | With Kelly Battles, Acting CFO

After spending more than three decades in finance, Kelly Battles has come to appreciate that the budget isn’t the only balancing act CFOs have to master. The finance team needs to support the growth of the company, while also knowing when to implement limits. Kelly learned that lesson in her first operational finance role, at internet security company IronPort. Under Kelly’s six-year watch, IronPort’s worth grew from $2 million to $250 million. The company was eventually bought by Cisco for $830 million in 2007.To achieve that balance between growth and restriction, Kelly emphasizes a streamlined approach to data and robust company-wide communication.Data collection and utilization must be as simple, accessible, and connected as possible; this way, different parts of the business will be focused on the same information. As for the human element, Kelly says there are two levels of culture — culture with a “capital C” and culture with a “lowercase C” — both of which are crucial.On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Kelly explains why creating a positive workplace culture is more important than many people think, how to be a cross-functional business partner and how to build a technology infrastructure that best serves the company.Connect with Kelly on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.Full show notes and resources can be found at cfoplaybook.fm.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
4/8/202151 minutes, 16 seconds
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Vena Solutions | With Darrell Cox, CFO

Darrell Cox has 15+ years of senior leadership experience in finance and business development. As a former VP of Finance at FreshBooks, he is no stranger to growth-stage companies. His recipe for finance leadership success relies upon leveraging “Agile CFO” methodology, an iterative process adopted from software development. Now, as the CFO at Vena Solutions — a growing company specializing in cloud-based financial planning and analysis software — Darrell has worked to build a finance team that leverages technology to meet business goals and avoid rear-view mirror reporting. Applying forward-thinking Agile CFO methodology to Vena Solutions, Darrell looked at the company’s five-year trajectory and thought about: 1) where the company wanted to be, and 2) how it could get there while balancing spending and growth. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Darrell discusses his principles for applying an Agile approach to finance, how it can help you become a proactive CFO, and how to cultivate empathy (and why it’s necessary for finance leaders). Plus, he shares what he’s learned about managing and motivating a world-class finance team. Connect with Darrell on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.Full show notes and resources can be found at cfoplaybook.fm. If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, check out Soldo.com.
4/1/202142 minutes, 2 seconds
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BMW Group Financial Services | With Talita Ferreira, Former CFO

Talita Ferreira always dreamed of becoming a CFO before turning 30. She missed this target by five years, but she’s OK with that because she became the CFO of a company far larger than she could’ve ever imagined: BMW Group Financial Services.Talita spent more than 11 years with BMW, where she managed a team of 45 and landed amongst the top 300 leaders of the company worldwide. She served as the CFO of BMW Group Financial Services before becoming the CFO of BMW UK. And she wasn’t just the CFO. Shortly after her promotion, the company’s CEO approached Talita to also head up the people function (HR), which she admits pushed her entirely out of her comfort zone.Even so, Talita excelled, and she learned a lot from her experience — so much that she left the company, wrote a book on leadership and launched her own company, Authentic Change Solutions, where she works with individual leaders.Lately, Talita’s been building online leadership courses, which has involved interviewing 27 of the world’s top leaders. She has distilled her findings into seven shifts and five areas, which she reveals on this episode of The CFO Playbook.Talita also dives deep into her time at BMW — what she learned and why she ultimately left the company — and explains her approach to leadership. (Spoiler: She was able to cut recruitment costs within her first year of implementing this approach because people were sticking around longer!)Connect with Talita on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.Full show notes and resources from this episode can be found here.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
3/25/202142 minutes, 50 seconds
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Business Partnering Institute | With Anders Liu-Lindberg, co-founder, CMO and COO

If you enjoy nerding out over numbers but also consider yourself a people person, Anders Liu-Lindberg, co-founder of the Business Partnering Institute, has a new finance job for your consideration: business partner.“Unlike other roles in finance, business partnering is an interaction between people — whereas if you're an Accountant or a Controller, you mostly interact with the numbers,” Anders says on this episode of The CFO Playbook.Another incentive: more companies are hiring CFOs with business partnering experience instead of finance alone, because the skill set lends itself so well to a high-level role.“You need to be able to influence decisions, communicate assertively, build relationships with people,” Anders says of both the business partner and CFO roles. “That's how you build trust. If you're not trusted, you cannot influence any decisions.”Anders previously worked as the business partner for the Europe and Middle East region for Maesrk, the largest container-shipping company in the world. For him, the feeling that came from providing real support to stakeholders brought a rush totally separate from career advances.“It gives you a high on adrenaline: it's a fantastic feeling when you have these successful breakthroughs within business partnering,” he says. “I wish everyone could experience this rush of, ‘I was a great partner, I created value and I got great feedback from our stakeholders — this thing rocks!’”Also in this episode: the power of a 30-minute lunch, and why good business partners don’t send reports.Connect with Anders on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.Full show notes and resources from this episode can be found here.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
3/18/202144 minutes, 19 seconds
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Dawn Capital | With Raxita Kapashi, CFO

Raxita Kapashi has worked in private equity for more than 15 years. Along the way, she did a stint at fintech consolidator TruFin, where she served as the group’s CFO. While at TruFin, she brought through an IPO and raised 70 million GBP ($96 million USD) in 2018. With this accomplishment under her belt, it’s no surprise numerous venture capital firms sought to bring her onto their team. However, it was the inclusive company culture of Dawn Capital that dazzled and ultimately won Raxita over.An early-stage venture fund, Dawn is Europe’s largest specialist B2B software investor. As the company’s first official CFO, Raxita oversees its $1 billion in assets and 50 investments. That means her day-to-day is filled with financial planning, budgeting and forecasting, cash flow management and performing valuations — plus, tons of meetings. She also monitors Dawn’s portfolio investments to help them get acquired. In this episode of The CFO Playbook, tune in to hear Raxita discuss the process of working on an IPO, her daily leadership framework, the challenges faced by portfolio companies and the metrics and KPIs she tracks. Raxita also breaks down possibilities for the CFO career path and shares tips for working your way to the top.Connect with Raxita on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.Full show notes and resources from this episode can be found here.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
3/11/202139 minutes, 46 seconds
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Pricefx | With Tom Fencl, CFO

When Tom Fencl joined the Pricefx team in late 2017, the global SaaS startup had about 70 employees. Fast forward and they now have close to 400 employees stationed all over the world and have raised more than $131 million in funding. It’s safe to say Tom has played a key role in this growth.“As a CFO, it is your responsibility to make sure data, which is clearly one of the hidden resources of every company, is managed well, and that means centralization and consistency and some sort of hygiene around that,” he says.In this episode of The CFO Playbook, Tom touches on the challenges he has confronted as the CFO of such a fast-growing company, including learning how to develop a team and navigate the global landscape. He also dives deep into what data he uses to track the company’s financials, his unique approach to the reporting process, and how he teaches his team to approach these numbers (hint: It’s with skepticism and a good old-fashioned pen and paper).Connect with Tom on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.Full show notes and resources from this episode can be found here.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
3/4/202139 minutes, 49 seconds
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LogicGate | With Kevin Jacobson, CFO/COO

What exactly is behind the skyward trajectory of a fast-growing software company? Turns out that it’s more than just growth.In this episode of The CFO Playbook, host Rob Norman sits down with Kevin Jacobson, CFO and COO of LogicGate, which develops cloud software solutions for automating governance, risk, and compliance processes. As the first business operations employee hired in the company’s early years, Kevin keeps his eyes not only on LogicGate’s rapid annual growth but also on efficiency and — perhaps most importantly — customer retention.In October 2020, Kevin joined the growing ranks of executives worldwide who combine the roles of CFO and COO. He discusses how his dual role invites him to bring a finance lens to customer service operations, and he shares his insight into slicing the data to learn the most from a company’s financial indicators.Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.Full show notes and resources from this episode can be found here.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
2/25/202141 minutes, 4 seconds
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Capita | With Patrick Butcher, CFO

When Patrick Butcher joined Capita more than two years ago, the international outsourcing company was loaded with debt. Sure, from the outside it seemed profitable, but Patrick, who has been a CFO for 25+ years, took it upon himself to financially transform the company and focus on cash — not revenue and profit.The company generated between $70 million and $80 million in cash. How? A whole lot of change.But getting your team — and an entire company — to buy into change isn’t always easy. Patrick leaned on leadership principles he calls the 5 C’s: Context, Commitment, Clarity, Connections and Compassion.On the premiere episode of The CFO Playbook, Patrick dives deep and explains his strategy for repositioning Capita for growth, how he got buy-in from his team (with a little help from the 5 C’s) and some smart ways to become a better CFO.Full show notes and resources from this episode can be found here!Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn.Connect with our host Rob on LinkedIn.If you want a better way to track and control your team’s spend, checkout Soldo.com.
2/18/202140 minutes, 3 seconds
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Introducing The CFO Playbook

Being a great CFO in the modern, ever-evolving business ecosystem we’re living in, requires much more than excellent money management skills. It requires the ability to implement new technologies, guide business decisions, and help steer the company towards its vision for the future. To demystify how you can do that, Rob Norman, VP of Marketing at Soldo, chats with CFOs and other financial leaders from world-class companies on The CFO Playbook. Each week, you’ll hear insights that will help you grow yourself and your company as you face the challenges of being a modern CFO.
1/27/20211 minute, 17 seconds