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GrowCFO Show

The GrowCFO Show is the podcast produced for finance leaders by finance leaders


#101 How to Become a Great Finance Business Partner with Oliver Deacon, Former FD at Microsoft
Do you want to be a great finance business partner? If so, you're in luck! In this episode, Oliver Deacon joins Kevin Appleby and gives us some great tips that will help improve your relationship with your colleagues in the rest of the business. Oliver Deacon is a member of the GrowCFO Mentoring team. He runs the GrowCFO Business Partnering Boot Camps and is a former FD at Microsoft.One of the most important things to remember when trying to become a great finance business partner is that communication is key. You need to be able to effectively communicate with your colleagues in order to build strong relationships. Make sure you are always clear and concise when conveying information, and take the time to listen to what others have to say. It is also important to be responsive to questions and concerns that your colleagues may have.It is also essential that you are able to build trust with your colleagues. This can be done by being honest and transparent in your dealings with them. Make sure you keep your promises and always follow through on what you say you will do. If there are ever any issues, make sure you deal with them in a timely and professional manner.Remember that it is important to show your colleagues that you are invested in the success of the organisation. This can be done by offering help and support when needed and being proactive in finding solutions to problems. Your job is to sell ideas and provide options. If you can do these things, you will be well on your way to becoming a great finance business partner. Building a strong relationship between finance and the rest of the business is essential for the success of your organisation. Listen in for some great information on how to make things work well between you and your fellow business managers! Links Oliver Deacon on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInGrowCFO Business Partnering for Finance Teams Boot Camps Timestamps 00:43 What is a finance business partner? 02:11 About Oliver Deacon 03:26 How to become a great business partner? Where do you start? 03:59 Relationships and selling ideas 05:38 How do you start forming great relationships? 06:15 Asking questions, showing people you are interested in them 09:43 Can you figure out what your business partners' biggest problems are? 10:39 Stop; Start; Continue 12:16 Turning data into insights 15:40 What are we going to do differently as a business? 16:38 Finance business partnering boot camp 18:48 How is the boot camp structured? 21:17 What's covered in each workshop? 23:32 How do you attend a bootcamp? 24:41 What surprises people most on the boot camp?
26:24 09/27/2022
#100 After 100 Episodes of the GrowCFO Show, What’s Next for GrowCFO?
100 Episodes of the GrowCFO Show, that's 2 years' worth of podcast episodes. Dan Wells, founder and CEO of GrowCFO joins regular podcast host Kevin Appleby to celebrate the milestone, reflect back on the last two years and talk about some new exciting developments in GrowCFO. Dan and Kevin both choose their favourite episodes of the GrowCFO Show. Dan decided on episode 95 where Catherine Clark, head of mentoring at GrowCFO, talked about making the best decision for both you and your business. Kevin selected episode 102, yes an episode that is yet to be published, where he managed to get a guest from his own bucket list on the show. We'll leave you to wait another two weeks to find out who it is. The clue is Kevin talks about her book every time he delivers module 3 of the Future CFO Programme. Three significant milestones arrive all at the same time. As well as the 100th episode of the GrowCFO Show we've published two great new resources. The first is a 100-page book that describes the CFO Competency Framework. The second is a white paper examining the career paths of 500 CFOs and exploring the many different career routes available to get to the top job in finance. Both have just been made available to download on the GrowCFO website Links Dan Wells on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInBecome a free member of GrowCFODan's Favourite episode (episode 95)CFO Competency FrameworkNew free resources: The GrowCFO CFO Competency Framework eBook and Career Routes to CFO reportFuture CFO programme Timestamps 01:40 Two years ago, what was the original vision for GrowCFO? 03:17 How did Dan and Kevin end up working together? 06:02 Working with interesting people who simply want to give something back 07:23 Our favourite episodes of the GrowCFO Show 11:38 Whats GrowCFO all about? 16:19 plans for the next 2 years 17:19 The CFO Competency Framework 21:57 New research: What’s the optimum size for your finance function 24:56 Virtual Boardroom and Fundraising Simulator 25:34 Boot Camps for both Strategy and Finance Business Partnering
29:16 09/20/2022
#99 How to be a Changemaker with Alex Budak, Author, Social Entrepreneur and UC Berkley Haas Business School
Alex Budak joins the GrowCFO show on the same day that his new book "Becoming a Changemaker" is published. Quite a coup for the podcast! The book is an excellent read for anyone wanting to become a changemaker, in particular for finance leaders wanting to enhance their ability to be a catalyst for change. As a faculty member at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Alex created and teaches the wildly popular course “Becoming a Changemaker,” which has quickly grown into one of the most highly-rated courses anywhere on campus. The course is regularly heralded by students as “transformative” and “life-changing” but has only been accessible to students attending UC Berkeley. That all changes from today as the course is condensed into a book accessible by anyone. The Becoming a Changemaker playbook is a guide for anyone looking to lead positive change. It covers the mindsets and leadership skills needed to navigate, shape, and lead change, as well as how to thrive in uncertain times. The book is tailored to millennials and Gen Zers who are leaving school and entering the workforce. It is based on the popular UC Berkeley course by the same name, which students have praised as transformative and life-changing. Links Alex Budak on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInGrowCFO Competency FrameworkBecoming a Changemaker on Amazon UK and Amazon USA Timestamps 00:51 Alex explains his background 02:26 Book being published on 13 September 2022 04:05 Change and the CFO 06:17 Technology and change 10:02 Can the changemaker skill be learned? 10:36 The Changemaker index 12:33 Dealing with resistance to change 15:06 Involving people in the change 18:28 Champions, fence-sitters and cynics 23:03 Impact = (mindset+leadership) x action 25:24 Who is the book aimed at? 28:06 How did you get involved in teaching "Changemaker"?
34:06 09/13/2022
#98 The CFO Driving Business Strategy and Rapid Growth with Jeremy Foster, CFO at Talroo
Jeremy Foster is an unusual CFO, he isn't an accountant and doesn't have a finance background. His origins are in sales and marketing. He changed course following an MBA at Notre Dame and has subsequently become a highly successful finance leader with strong strategic capabilities and significant M&A experience. Jeremy has been instrumental in multiple equity rounds, debt recaps, and a 9-digit platform sale to PE. Jeremy's main interest is working with an organisation that wants to drive massive growth. He will typically be brought on board by a CEO who wants a co-pilot to go on that journey. In this episode, we talk about how Jeremy is currently doing that at Talroo and how that differs from his approach at previous companies Homeward and Kasasa. He explains how he operates as a strategic partner to the CEO and gives us some great insights to the thought process a CFO needs in helping build and drive strategy. We explore some of the key KPIs you need to understand when investing in customer acquisition, and we talk about the theory of constraints. Jeremy shows how the skills he learned as a marketing director are extremely valuable to a CFO too. Links Jeremy Foster on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInTalroo.comGrowCFO Strategy Programme Timestamps 00:53 A background in marketing for a bank 01:29 Did you miss out by not having an accounting background? 02:13 What role do you play as a non-accounting CFO? 04:01 Blitz scaling 05:26 The three big KPIs you need to know 07:53 Profit per customer 10:25 Jeremy Foster's experience growing the business at Kasasa 12:39 What issues do such rapid growth bring? 15:53 Thinking about communication channels 18:38 The theory of constraints 19:50 The importance of good relationships 21:50 The role of a finance business partner 23:03 What advice would you give to a CFO coming through a more traditional route than yourself? 24:55 What's the role of the CFO in driving a high-growth business strategy?
28:42 09/06/2022
#97 My Route to Finance Leader in a Fast Growth Fintech with Danielle Keeven VP Finance at Paddle
Danielle Keeven has had quite a journey to get to her current role as VP of Finance at She has crossed the globe and changed industry sectors. She has gone from roles in large multinationals to working in high-growth startups. Danielle shares her experiences with Kevin Appleby on this week's GrowCFO Show. Originally working in the Caribbean for large US multinationals such as Marriott and Hyatt, Danielle swapped to working in Europe for, then moved out of hospitality completely to work in fintech. This was a huge change and she tells us all about the challenges she faced in the episode. Danielle Keeven is currently VP of finance at Paddle offers SaaS companies a completely different way to sell. Instead of assembling and maintaining a complex stack of payments-related apps and services, Paddle provides an all-in-one solution. Danielle explains how her finance expertise is applied to the design of the product as well as to running the finance team. We discuss in detail the problems that products like Paddle solve for SaaS founders, and some of the mistakes Danielle has seen these companies make. Links Danielle Keeven on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInPaddle.comGrowCFO Future CFO ProgrammeGrowCFO Strategy ProgrammeCFO Competency FrameworkFree Course: First 100 Days in your new finance role Timestamps 01:00 Born in the Netherlands, growing up in the Caribbean 01:42 The accidental accountant 02:59 Hospitality: Hyatt and Marriott 03:45 Move to Europe and the tech side of Hospitality 05:00 Accounts receivable in a SaaS business 06:41 moving from to Messagebird 09:23 Why did you join 11:47 What does Paddle do? 13:18 The complexities of online business and global tax rules 16:13 Will you move on from VP Finance to a full CFO role? 17:19 Roald Dahl's Matilda 19:13 What sort of mistakes do you see fast-growing SaaS companies making? 22:06 Building a strategy for internationalisation 23:15 Giving SaaS businesses the right data insights 25:26 What advice would you give other finance people looking to move to CFO roles 26:41 GrowCFO Competency framework 27:15 The art of delegation 30:33 The finance leader and fraud
33:45 08/30/2022
#96 My Journey to Become a Business Transformation Specialist with Toni Betts, Group FD at The Travel Chapter
The role of a finance transformation leader is a complex one. It requires someone with great technical skills, as well as strong people skills. A successful finance transformation leader must be able to manage and motivate their team, while also being able to communicate effectively with other members of the organization. Toni Betts, group finance director at The Travel Chapter is one of those successful transformation leaders and she shares her journey with Kevin Appleby on this episode of The GrowCFO Show. One of the most important qualities of a successful finance transformation leader is the ability to manage and motivate their team. A finance transformation is a complex undertaking that requires the efforts of many individuals. A great leader will be able to keep their team on track and focused on the goal. They will also be able to motivate their team when things get tough. In addition to being a great manager, a finance transformation leader must also be an effective communicator. This is important because they will need to communicate with other members of the organization, such as the CEO and CFO. They will also need to communicate with vendors and other outside parties. Effective communication is essential for ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that the transformation goes smoothly. Great people skills are essential for anyone looking to lead a finance transformation. A successful leader will be able to manage and motivate their team, while also being an effective communicator. If you have these qualities, then you may be well suited for this important role. Links Toni Betts on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInGrowCFO Future CFO ProgrammeFree Course: First 100 Days in your new finance roleSusan Jeffers - Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action on Amazon UK and Amazon US Timestamps 01:39 Toni's new group FD role 02:04 When did you decide to become an accountant? 04:50 Qualifying in an audit practice 06:52 Toni's first role outside practice and moving on to join American Express 08:10 Being part of a great leadership programme 09:46 Stepping out of your comfort zone: You need to get comfortable with leadership skills and push yourself to use them 11:32 Susan Jeffers - Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway 12:03 Moving on from American Express 15:09 Becoming a finance transformation expert 16:43 Learning from experience 20:24 Some of the practical challenges of transforming finance teams 24:14 Technology is forcing finance to change 25:03 What advice would you give other finance leaders? 27:42 Personal Awareness and feedback from others 29:01 The importance of how you present over what you are presenting 30:45 What does Toni Betts do to avoid stress and burnout? 32:37 What's the biggest challenge in your new group FD role?
35:51 08/23/2022
#95 How to Make the Best Decision for You and Your Organisation with Catherine Clark Head of Mentoring at GrowCFO
Are you in control of your own life, or are the demands of all the other things around you taking over? Too much pressure at work to have a personal life? Perhaps you aren't feeling fulfilled? If any of that describes you then it's time to take control back and make decisions that benefit you and not just your organisation. In this episode, Catherine Clark joins us to talk about the importance of making the right decisions for your own wellbeing. She draws on both her own personal experience as a CFO and the situations she comes across every week when she is mentoring other finance leaders. If you aren't happy with where you are right now it's time to do something about it and take action. Catherine has some great advice to offer about how to find out what you really want and then take the right steps to get there. We talk about the importance of having the right mindset, and the importance of stepping forward even when there might be fear and uncertainty. This is the third episode in a mini-series looking at your well-being. In the previous two episodes, we've looked at resilience with Leanne Spencer and self-awareness with Susana Serrano-Davey. Links Mentoring at GrowCFO with Catherine ClarkSusana Serrano-Davey on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInSusan Jeffers - Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action on Amazon UK and Amazon US Timestamps 01:50 Are you feeling dissatisfied? 03:14 Getting in touch with your feelings 04:00 Go with your gut and your subconscious mind 06:03 Having the right people around you to support you 08:40 Some examples of situations people find themselves in 10:17 The decision isn't about moving on and changing job 12:01 The mindset shift that's needed 14:52 The fear of change, doing things differently, making a mistake 15:50 What do you need to stop doing? start doing? continue doing? 16:15 What do you want? 17:16 Overwhelm 18:12 Feel the fear and do it anyway 20:33 Where do you want to be in 3 years' time? 23:15 Do you stay? Do you move on? 24:50 You can't lose, just make a decision! 27:06 What do you do after you make a decision? 29:32 Some practical exercises you can do right now
36:55 08/16/2022
#94 Self-Awareness as a Cornerstone for Wellbeing with Susana Serrano-Davey CFO Mentor at GrowCFO
Self-awareness is key for well-being. When you know yourself well, you can make better decisions and thrive in all areas of your life - including your career. As a finance leader, it's important to be self-aware so that you can set realistic goals and healthily manage stress. In this episode, Susana Serrano-Davey, our very own Executive Coach & Mentor at GrowCFO joins Kevin Appleby once again to discuss the importance of self-awareness as a cornerstone for wellbeing. We discuss the importance of self-awareness and how it can help you achieve success both professionally and personally. Susana gives some great advice on some practical things you can do to be more self-aware Self-awareness is the ability to see yourself clearly and understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It's an important part of well-being because it allows you to make healthy choices, set realistic goals, and healthily manage stress. When you're self-aware, you're more likely to achieve your goals and be successful in all areas of your life. There are many benefits of self-awareness, but here are a few key ones: When you're self-aware, you can make better decisions. You know your strengths and weaknesses, so you can make choices that are in line with your values and goals.When you're self-aware, you're more resilient. You know your triggers and how to manage them, so you're less likely to be derailed by setbacks.When you're self-aware, you have a better understanding of other people. You can see things from their perspective and build relationships that are based on trust and mutual respect. Self-awareness is an important part of well-being, and it's something that you can work on every day. Susana gives us some practical strategies: Get feedback, how do people perceive you?Understand your feelings, and why you feel a certain wayLearn more about your personalityMake sure you meet your own needs before others Listen to the full episode to find out more. Links Mentoring at GrowCFO with Susana Serrano-DaveySusana Serrano-Davey on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInEpisode 93 with Leanne Spencer on Well-beingEpisode 74 Personality types with Merrick RosenbergEpisode 71 Strengthsfinder with Jim Brophy168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam on Amazon UK and Amazon US Timestamps 00:41 The previous episode with Leanne Spencer about well-being and beating burnout 01:15 No point in achieving your goals and being unhappy 03:37 You really need to know more about yourself 05:22 How others perceive us 10:03 Getting feedback from others 13:45 Becoming aware of your personality type 16:47 Using personality profiling tests (we referenced DISC and Strengthsfinder tests covered in previous episodes with Merrick Rosenberg and Jim Brophy) 19:16 Connect with your feelings 21:43 The link between a crisis and becoming depressed 23:04 Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) 24:34 Understand your needs 28:04 Dealing with recurring issues and problems 30:33 Making time and space for yourself 34:01 Susana's book
35:02 08/09/2022
#93 How to Beat Burnout and Improve Wellbeing with Leanne Spencer
CFOs and finance leaders are under more pressure than ever before. They are responsible for ensuring the financial stability of their company, and often have to make tough decisions that can impact the bottom line. This high level of responsibility can take a toll, and many CFOs and finance leaders find themselves struggling with burnout. In this episode, Leanne Spencer, an award-winning entrepreneur and a key-note wellbeing speaker and burnout prevention expert joins Kevin Appleby to discuss how to better manage stress, prioritize recovery and ultimately reduce the risk of burnout. Burnout can have a significant impact on CFOs and finance leaders. When individuals are burned out, they may feel exhausted, both physically and emotionally. They may also feel cynical or negative about their work and may have difficulty concentrating or making decisions. Burnout can lead to absenteeism, staff turnover, and a decrease in productivity. It can also adversely affect an individual's health. But what action can you take to protect yourself? Leanne has plenty of answers! You need to increase your resilience. But what does that actually mean in practice? Lots of people talk about being more resilient, but few people have their own practical strategies to make it happen. Leanne talks about giving yourself slivers of recovery. Time for yourself every single day. A small part of your overall bandwidth. These slivers can have a very significant impact on your overall wellbeing Links Leanne Spencer on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInCadence: the secret to beating burnout and performing in life and work on Amazon UK and Amazon USRise and Shine: Recover from burnout and get back to your best on Amazon UK and Amazon USMentoring at GrowCFO Timestamps 00:39 About Leanne Spencer and Bear Grylls 01:24 Remember what is first for you 02:34 How does this apply to finance leaders? 05:20 Slivers of recovery 07:20 Learning from elite athletes 10:28 How do you recover when there's always something else to do? 11:30 The golden hour before sleep 16:30 Turn off notifications 18:41 Simple things done every day 23:00 Decompress at the end of the day 24:17 Alchohol, good or bad? 25:26 Cadence, the overall message in the book 27:44 A business book needs to be short and easily digestible 29:24 Cadence: the secret to beating burnout and performing in life and work
30:02 08/02/2022
#92 Mentoring CFOs in Fast-Growing Businesses with Ian Simpkin, CFO Mentor at GrowCFO
As a CFO in a fast-growing business, you have a lot on your plate. You are responsible for ensuring that the company is making money and growing at a healthy rate. But what if you could take your career to the next level by having a mentor? A mentor can help you learn new skills, make important connections, and give you guidance when it comes to difficult decisions. Ian Simpkin specialises in mentoring CFOs who find themselves in that exact situation. Ian Simpkin is one of GrowCFO's experienced CFO mentors. In this episode, he joins Kevin Appleby to discuss how he mentors CFOs in fast-growing businesses. We talk about his career and experiences and how this impacts his approach to mentoring. Ian, a Chartered Accountant (FCA), qualified with KPMG and trained at Insead in their International Executive Program. He has over 25 years of finance director experience and was European CFO of a Nasdaq 100 multinational during rapid growth from $20 to $450m. Ian has a great practical understanding of driving business growth, fundraising, acquisitions and exit planning. Besides mentoring new CFOs, he advises SMEs on financial strategies to help grow their businesses. He is passionate about helping his mentees develop their skills and expertise to realise their potential and provide Board level strategic advice. Links Mentoring at GrowCFO Meet the GrowCFO mentorsThe CFO Competency frameworkIan Simpkin on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamps 00:57 Introducing Ian Simpkin 02:00 Growing a company from $20m to $400m 03:11 Making acquisitions to grow 04:20 What challenges do you deal with day to day as a mentor and portfolio CFO? 05:28 How do you approach mentoring? 06:52 What are the biggest issues you find with CFOs in their first role? 07:57 The CFO competency framework 10:00 The CFO as a strategic business partner 11:48 Ian Simpkin outside the office 13:16 Why choose Ian as a mentor?
14:09 07/26/2022
#91 Building Financial Models in Excel with Giles Male and Myles Arnott, Founders at Full Stack Modeller
One of the biggest challenges of financial modelling is creating models that are accurate and realistic. Financial modellers need to have a good understanding of all of the different formulas and functions in order to create an accurate model. Many people, even experienced modellers, use less than 5% of the functions available. Excel models need to be properly structured too so that others can easily validate them, and they can be checked for errors. There are lots to learn about, and many tips and tricks that can make your life much easier. That's why Myles Arnott and Giles Male set up Full Stack Modeller. In this episode, Kevin Appleby chats to Miles and Giles to discover more about the challenges of building great financial models in Excel and how the Full Stack Modeller training and community of members can help you. We teach financial modelling basics in GrowCFO's finance team training, but if you want to develop really deep specialist modelling skills Full Stack is the place to go. If you want to join Full Stack Modeller's next cohort this coupon code will give you 15% off: GROWCFO15AUG. Registration opens on 8th August. Full Stack Modeller will give you: Excel Mastery. From core function knowledge and confident use of Excel Tables and Pivot Tables, to a truly unique way to develop your shortcut and navigation skill mastery. the major modelling standards, setting you up for more advanced modelling exercises to come further on in your journey.Advanced Financial Modelling. Covering the fundamentals of three statement modelling, valuations, scenarios & sensitivities, and more. Data Visualisation & Analytics. How to use Power BI to analyse data, and we help you understand how best to share your insights with others. These are skills that are rare to find, even amongst very talented and experienced modellers. Listen to the full episode to find out more. Links Giles Male on LinkedInMyles Arnott on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInGrowCFO for Finance TeamsFind out more about Full Stack Modeller (use coupon code GROWCFO15AUG to get 15% off at checkout) Timestamps 01:04 About Full Stack Modeller 03:37 What are financial models used for? 04:50 Don't most people teach themselves how to use Excel? 07:30 Power Query 09:48 What about apps that replace Excel? 11:40 What bad habits do self-taught experienced modellers generally have? 13:12 The problem of too much data 15:05 Data visualisation 18:55 How do you teach modelling when there are so many different applications of models? 20:40 Trapping errors in models 26:34 What are the 5 or 6 key things we really need to know? 29:11 The danger of a single Excel guru in a company
31:52 07/19/2022
#90 Introducing the Virtual Boardroom with Dan Wells, Founder and CEO at GrowCFO
It's no secret that boardroom experience is important for aspiring CFOs. But what happens when you don't have access to boardrooms? How can you overcome this obstacle and get the experience you need? In this episode Dan Wells, founder and CEO of GrowCFO, joins Kevin Appleby to discuss the launch of GrowCFO's Virtual Boardroom. Over 80% of aspiring and first-time finance leaders have little or no boardroom experience. Very few have conquered the most common challenges regularly faced by CFOs during board meetings. This lack of exposure can easily prevent you from landing your dream CFO role, or negatively affect your performance during difficult boardroom situations within your existing finance role. GrowCFO’s Virtual Boardroom provides you with essential first-hand experience of dealing with real-life boardroom challenges that most CFOs encounter early on in their finance leader career. If you're serious about becoming a CFO, don't let a lack of boardroom experience hold you back. There are plenty of ways to gain the experience you need, even if you don't have direct access to boardrooms. The GrowCFO Virtual Boardroom can help you get the confidence you need in the boardroom. In addition you should seek out opportunities to present to boards. Get involved with organizations that focus on board governance, and network with experienced board members. With some effort and perseverance, you can overcome this obstacle and take your career to the next level. Links Dan Wells on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInGrowCFO Virtual BoardroomFind out more about becoming a CFO Timestamps 00:52 What is the Virtual Boardroom? 03:20 The CFO wears 2 hats in the boardroom 04:49 How does the Virtual Boardroom work? 06:08 Does it involve a lot of prep like a real board meeting? 08:52 Dealing with the different perspectives of individual board members 11:56 What time commitment do you need in order to participate? 14:04 The Virtual Boardroom is supported by online learning 16:16 The role of professional mentors in the Virtual Boardroom 17:39 How to find out more
19:43 07/12/2022
#89 Software to Drive Your Business Strategy with Tom Ricca-McCarthy, Co-Founder at Lucidity
As finance leaders, we are always looking for ways to help our businesses grow. But in order to grow, we need to have a clear strategy in place. Without a strategy, it's difficult to set goals and measure progress. And without communication, it's impossible to get everyone on the same page. That's where strategy software comes in. Strategy software helps you document your strategy and communicate it effectively to everyone involved. In this episode Tom Ricca-McCarthy, Co-Founder at Lucidity joins Kevin Appleby. We talk about how to build an effective strategy and how the Lucidity software app can support you in documenting and communicating the strategy. There are many benefits of using strategy software. Perhaps the most important benefit is that it helps you document your strategy. This is crucial because a documented strategy gives you a roadmap to follow as you execute your growth plans. It also allows you to track your progress and make changes as needed. Another important benefit of strategy software is that it helps you communicate your strategy effectively. This is essential because, without communication, it's impossible to get everyone on the same page. Strategy software makes it easy to share your strategy with your team or stakeholders and get their feedback. This way, you can ensure that everyone is on board with your growth plans. Tom relates the story of needing to present the strategy for his own business and everything he needed was scattered across a whole collection of slide decks, spreadsheets and word documents. Lucidity was born out of the need to have a single place to document and then communicate everything to do with the strategic plan. GrowCFO is running quarterly strategy bootcamps. In a series of workshops over the course of a week we help you get to grips with building a strategy for your business and documenting it using Lucidity. There's a link below if you want to find out more. Links Tom Ricca-McCarthy on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInFind out more about Lucidity strategy softwareThe GrowCFO Strategy ProgrammeJoin a GrowCFO Strategy Bootcamp Timestamps 01:23 About Tom Ricca-McCarthy 02:50 Putting a turnaround strategy in place in one of his former companies 04:12 The idea for Lucidity 05:44 Strategy is a broad activity using lots of different tools 08:30 Why you need everything in one place 10:18 SWOT, PESTLE, 5 Forces scattered across multiple documents 14:07 Its not just the analysis, it's about executing the plan too 14:31 Tracking the KPIs and milestones 16:30 Scenario planning 17:45 GrowCFO strategy bootcamp 23:17 The CFO strategy survey 25:30 The communication challenge 28:23 Stop Start Continue 30:06 A single source of the truth 34:21 What's next for Tom and Lucidity? 38:30 A balanced set of objectives and OKRs 44:48 The strategy execution gap
47:12 07/05/2022
#88 Performance=Potential-Interference with Julian O’Neill, CFO at Ardent Hire Solutions
This equation is a simple but powerful way to think about success and how to achieve it. Julian uses P=P-I every day to get the best out of his finance team and others that work with him. We discuss the factors that contribute to interference and how you can eliminate them to reach your full potential.
36:33 06/28/2022
#87 Bridging the Strategy Execution Gap with Benjamin Wann, Author of Getting Shit Done
Do you have a strategy? If so, congratulations – you're ahead of the curve. Many businesses don't take the time to develop a strategy, and as a result, they struggle to achieve their goals. But having a strategy is only half the battle; the other half is making sure that your strategy is executed properly. In this blog post, we'll talk about how to close the strategy execution gap and turn your plans into results! Benjamin Wann is an expert at closing the strategy execution gap. He is a CPA and has written several books, including Getting Shit Done: The No-Nonsense Framework for Closing the Strategy Execution Gap which is the subject of this episode of The GrowCFO Show. The strategy execution gap is the difference between where a company wants to be and where it actually is. This gap can be caused by a number of factors, including unclear goals, inadequate resources, and poor communication. But regardless of the cause, the result is always the same: Your company isn't achieving its full potential. So how can you close the strategy execution gap? Here are a few tips: Define your goals clearly. If your employees don't know what they're supposed to be working towards, they can't possibly achieve it. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).Allocate the necessary resources. Your strategy won't get very far if you don't have the people, money, and time to make it happen.Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure everyone involved in your strategy knows what their role is and what they're supposed to be doing. regular check-ins will help keep everyone on track.Be flexible. Things will inevitably change as you're trying to execute your strategy. Be prepared to make adjustments along the way. Closing the strategy execution gap can be a challenge, but it's worth it. By taking the time to implement a solid strategy, you'll ensure that your business is able to achieve its full potential. Listen to the full episode. We dive deep into these points and many more. Links How GrowCFO can help you build and execute your strategyGetting Shit Done: The No-Nonsense Framework for Closing the Strategy Execution Gap on Amazon UK and Amazon USBenjamin Wann's other books on Amazon UK and Amazon US168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam on Amazon UK and Amazon USABenjamin Wann on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamps 01:02 Introducing Benjamin Wann 02:46 Everything in life is a project! 03:15 Ben's books 06:22 Getting Shit Done 08:15 You have designed the strategy. What comes next? 08:42 Many organisations don't actually have a strategy 10:57 In its most basic form, what is a business strategy? 12:09 The strategy execution gap 13:57 Who does what and by when? 16:39 Time is limited. How do you prioritise? 17:16 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam 19:47 Mindset for achieving the milestones you need to reach 23:10 Napoleon's army and empowerment 23:47 Strategy lessons from the US Civil War 24:54 The need for flexibility in the plan 26:48 What gets measured gets done 28:00 Rats in Hanoi: Why linking measurement to reward can be very dangerous 31:44 It's all about communicating effectively 35:00 Use e-mail properly 36:19 Create the right culture 40:00 The role of the CFO in strategy execution
44:19 06/21/2022
#86 How to Embed Strategy in Your Business with Susana Serrano-Davey, Mentor at GrowCFO
Strategy is the backbone of any successful business. Without a strategy in place, it can be difficult to make decisions and achieve your goals. Many CEOs try to implement the strategy on their own, but this can be difficult if you don't have the right tools and resources. In this episode, we will discuss how to embed strategy in your business and make sure that it is a part of everything that you do! The strategy should be embedded in every facet of your business, from the way you set goals to the way you communicate with customers. By embedding strategy into your business, you will be able to make better decisions, achieve your goals, and improve your overall performance. There are a few key steps that you can take to embed strategy in your business: Define what strategy means for your business Without a clear understanding of what strategy is, it can be difficult to implement it effectively. Take some time to sit down and define what strategy means for your company. What are your goals? What are the most important things that you want to achieve? Once you have a good understanding of what strategy is and what it means for your business, you will be able to start embedding it into your operations. Make strategy a part of your decision-making process One of the most important ways to embed strategy in your business is to make it a part of your decision-making process. Whenever you are faced with a decision, big or small, take some time to think about how it will impact your strategy. What are the risks and opportunities associated with this decision? By taking the time to consider these things, you will be able to make better decisions that align with your strategy. Communicate your strategy to everyone in your company It is important that everyone in your company is aware of your strategy and knows how it affects their day-to-day work. Hold strategy meetings, send out regular emails or memos, and post your strategy on your company's intranet. The more people that are aware of your strategy, the more likely they are to help you achieve it. These are just a few of the ways that you can embed strategy in your business. We talk about much more in the episode, so listen in and find out more. Susana Serrano-Davey is an experienced CFO and a member of the GrowCFO professional mentoring team. If you are interested in having Susana as a mentor then please get in touch using the link below. Kevin Appleby is GrowCFO's business strategy mentor and runs the GrowCFO Strategy Programme. Links How GrowCFO can help you build and execute your strategyMentoring at GrowCFO with Susana Serrano-DaveySusana Serrano-Davey on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamps 01:30 What is strategy? 03:55 How do you go about building and deploying a strategy? 04:01 Three typical scenarios 05:28 What about the business that's in trouble and needs a turnaround strategy? 08:04 What does the CFO need from the strategy? 08:59 The objectives are clear, but how do we achieve them? 09:50 The power of a simple SWOT analysis 12:32 Achieving a balance between growing revenue and cutting cost 13:42 The role of the Zero-Based Budget 17:24 The need to be constantly aware of new challenges and adapt the strategy 19:34 The danger of not implementing change in the good times 21:53 The difficulty of restructuring when the business is losing money 24:34 Strategy and the high growth business 26:38 The CFO as the challenger of strategy 28:07 Measuring the right things and understanding cause and effect 30:02 What are the 3 or 4 most useful tools to use?
32:10 06/14/2022
#85 My Journey from Big 4 Auditor to CFO with Jimmy Vassilas, CFO at SantéVet
Jimmy Vassilas started his career in Montreal, Canada. He qualified as a Canadian Chartered Accountant with Deloitte majoring in high tech and telecoms. High tech has remained the focus of his career ever since. Jimmy's CFO roles include Receipt Bank; Zappi; and most recently SantéVet. Jimmy joined Autodesk and then moved to Europe temporarily to cover maternity leave. The person on maternity leave never returned to work and Jimmy never returned to Canada. In the episode, we reflect on how unexpected things like this often have the biggest impact on your career path. His journey takes him from external audit to internal audit. Subsequent job changes take him into FP&A and several senior management roles. Jimmy achieved many of these by moving horizontally rather than vertically within Autodesk, eventually becoming Autodesk's finance director. Links Jimmy Vassilas on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInGrowCFO CFO Competency FrameworkFind out more about becoming a CFO Timestamps 01:21 Jimmy's early career in audit 05:35 Internal audit to FP&A and 17 years in Autodesk 07:35 Are horizontal moves worth taking? 08:49 The 9 competencies of a CFO 09:29 The number one complaint CEOs have about CFOs 11:26 Is 17 years too long in a single organisation? 14:00 So why leave after 17 years? 16:07 Becoming CFO in an organisation funded by venture capital. 19:04 SantéVet and a move to France 20:46 The challenges of being CFO in a high growth tech company 21:49 The importance of shared values within the business 23:11 The importance of being a business partner 25:00 What's the best advice you would give somebody at the start of their journey? 29:00 The importance of networking and maintaining connections
29:45 06/07/2022
#84 My Journey to CFO in the Entertainment Industry with Retired CFO, Richard Haywood
Richard Haywood left school at 18 and started work as a trainee accountant in a manufacturing business. He studied for the ACCA qualification on day-release. His route to qualification took 5 years and he moved to become a financial controller in the record industry at a time of huge change from vinyl to CD. His challenge, keep his manufacturing unit viable and one of the last vinyl production facilities operating. Polydor Records gave way to the Mecca Organisation. Richard became responsible for the finances of nightclubs; bingo halls and restaurants. It introduced him to the world of mergers and acquisitions. A move to CFO soon followed. Richard took a job in the Bahamas at a leisure park and Zoo. Not many people can say they have been CFO of a Zoo. Richard Haywood can! Back in London, Richard continued his career as a divisional CFO in several business units in BT Global Services before moving on to become CFO in a much smaller communications company. In the episode, we talk about the skills you need to deal with people. Those people range from trade unions to investors and board members. We talk about managing change and the advice Richard would give to a mentee or to a younger version of himself. Links Richard Haywood on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInFind out more about becoming a CFO Timestamps 00:57 Starting accountancy training at 18, straight from school 01:57 The first job change 05:18 Changing the business model to survive; learning to manage conflict and deal with trade unions 08:42 Richard's goal to become a CFO 10:00 Bingo Halls, Nightclubs and Restaurants; learning about M&A 12:48 How to move from manufacturing to entertainment 14:52 What makes a good CFO? 16:49 The skills needed to deal with investors and board members 20:31 Richard's first CFO role. A Zoo in the Bahamas 27:05 Moving back to a Telco in London 26:17 Cost review of a Zoo 29:36 What advice would you give a mentee about managing change? 34:05 What's in it for me? 37:07 What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?
38:47 05/31/2022
#83 My Journey to CFO in a Single Organisation with Portfolio CFO, Tony Fossey
Many people gain experience by changing jobs and moving between organisations. Tony Fossey took the opposite approach and forged his early career rising through the ranks in a single company. He joined Halliburton, part of civil engineering giant KBR when he left school in 1976 and remained in KBR for the next 29 years. Tony took advantage of the size of the organisation he joined to get a wide range of experience in both finance and commercial roles. He worked internationally in several different roles with increasing seniority. Tony is highly experienced and has operated at the CFO level for well over 20 years. He shares some great insights into what makes a good CFO and the type of experience a prospective CFO should seek out as their career progresses. Listen to the full episode to find out more Links Tony Fossey on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInFind out more about becoming a CFO Timestamps 01:08 Leaving school and joining a finance team 03:02 Tony's first commercial role 06:30 FD, CFO, and VP of Finance. Is there a difference? 07:56 The importance of a professional qualification 10:08 Length of time between qualifying and taking on a number one finance role 13:10 What makes a good CFO? 16:48 Working with the board and non-executive directors 19:30 Get away from your desk and out into the organisation 21:33 Developing a reliable number two 22:18 How often should you change jobs? 25:35 Where does Tony Fossey work these days? 28:54 The importance of having fun and enjoying what you do
30:13 05/24/2022
#82 My Journey to CFO via Sales and Management Consultancy with Manu Gupta, CFO at GridDuck
Manu Gupta has acted as CFO of several high growth businesses including MyDrive Solutions, GridDuck, and Brisk. He shares his unusual journey to his first CFO role and becoming a board advisor. Manu isn’t from a traditional accountancy background. He started his career in sales. A finance-based MBA then took Manu into a career in management consulting. He chose to leave consulting and move to a startup. The startup needed a finance team ahead of a Series A investment. Manu’s job was to create that team. Manu regards himself as a generalist and really enjoys the variety of challenges the CFO role offers him. We talk about how to become sufficiently rounded to do all the things a generalist CFO needs to do well. We also examine Manu's skills as a management consultant and understand how he applied those to be a dynamic finance leader. Manu talks about the attitudes and skills a modern CFO needs to bring to the role. He has much to share. Listen to the full episode to find out more, including passions and lessons learned that come straight from the cricket field!  Links Manu Gupta on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInFind out more about becoming a CFOThe CFO as co-pilot to the CEO Timestamps 00:59 How did you become a CFO? 02:35 From sales to finance 03:35 Manu’s mantra: “I find myself in places I’ve not been before” 04:36 Becoming a well-rounded generalist 05:00 An MBA in finance leads to a career in consultancy 06:10 Opportunity to work in a startup and create a finance team ahead of a Series A fundraise 07:16 Advantages & disadvantages of an accountancy qualification and background 09:22 Leveraging skills learned as a consultant 11:06 What attitudes and skills do modern CFOs need? 11:45 Being a business partner and helping others make decisions 13:36 How to engage with others 16:04 Managing your energy 17:13 Managing situations with customers 20:40 Working with the SLT beyond just finance 22:21 Acting as a non-exec alongside being an operational CFO 25:27 Having an impact 25:51 Ben Stokes - lessons from the cricket field 28:45 What are you passionate about? 31:31 The Godfather and the CFO
33:31 05/17/2022
#81 My Journey to CFO via IT Director and CEO with Julian O’Neill, CFO at Ardent Hire Solutions
It's a very small world. As guest Julian O'Neill and host, Kevin Appleby discovered in the first few minutes of the episode. 20 years ago they both worked for PwC Consulting and were on the same client project in the Ministry of Defence. Before that, they were both accountants in manufacturing businesses. But since that brief spell working together their careers have been very different. Julian has operated at the board level for a number of big-name brands before taking up the role of CFO at a high growth start-up. Julian qualified as an accountant in industry. He then briefly worked as a management consultant. Next, his journey took him to IT Director and a number of CFO roles in divisions of large corporations. Julian joined Arcadia Group and ended up doing a commercial role. He stepped away from big brands and joined a startup as CFO, taking over as CEO when the original founder was forced to step down. After the sale of that business, he took on his current CFO role, preferring that to another challenge as CEO. Julian O'Neill reflects on his experience, sharing lessons he learned at each stage of his career. He adds that his time outside finance, in commercial roles has been invaluable. Listen to the full episode and hear Julian's full, and extremely fascinating, story. Links Julian O'Neill on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInFind out more about becoming a CFOThe CFO as co-pilot to the CEO Timestamps 01:48 Accountancy and finance open a lot of doors 03:40 Early career in telecoms; qualifying as an accountant in Cable & Wireless 06:18 Spicing things up at General Motors 11:30 Doing an MBA at Warwick Business School 12:10 First role outside finance at Siemens 13:25 Joining PwC Consulting 15:42 The decision to leave the big 4 17:00 Pizza Hut 17:30 First director role 18:20 The challenge of being an IT director 26:25 Arcadia, as a divisional CFO 30:50 CFO of an airline 32:20 Moving from a big brand to CFO at a £2m turnover high growth business 34:50 Taking over from the CEO 37:30 Finding a new job while selling the business 38:28 Back to a CFO role in a small business 39:00 Small startup vs big corporate 40:54 The importance of getting experience in commercial roles outside the finance function
42:35 05/10/2022
#80 How to Manage Conflict with Susana Serrano-Davey, Mentor at GrowCFO
Conflict is a natural and unavoidable part of life. It can arise in our personal lives, with friends and family, or in our professional lives, with co-workers. No matter where it happens, it's important to learn how to manage conflict effectively. If not handled properly, conflict can lead to hurt feelings, damaged relationships, and even lawsuits. In this podcast, Susana Serrano-Davey and Kevin Appleby discuss some tips for managing conflict in both your personal and professional life. One of the most important things to remember when managing conflict is to stay calm. This can be difficult, especially if you feel like you're being attacked or accused of something. It's important to remember that getting defensive will only make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and try to see the situation from the other person's perspective. Only then can you start to find a resolution. Beyond this though, Susana has four great lessons for us, and she goes through each of these in turn. Listen to the podcast to find out more. Susana Serrano-Davey is an experienced CFO and a member of the GrowCFO professional mentoring team. If you are interested in having Susana as a mentor then please get in touch using the link below. Links Mentoring at GrowCFO with Susana Serrano-DaveySusana Serrano-Davey on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamps 00:57 What is conflict? 03:15 The danger of unresolved conflict 05:34 Step 1: Take precautions, don’t respond in the heat of the moment 06:50 Write the reply email but delete it before sending 09:02 Don’t feel pressured into an immediate reply 12:16 Step 2: Some basic assumptions - nobody comes to work to intentionally create conflict 14:22 Don't jump to conclusions 14:37 Step 3: Take some time to think 18:09 It’s rarely a case of one person is right and the other is wrong 18:30 Step 4: Listen to the other person 22:30 Choose a relaxing, neutral environment for a conversation 28:30 What do you do about a historic conflict that still gets in the way? 31:00 Make the other person feel it's their solution, not yours
33:30 05/03/2022
#79 Finance for Non-Finance Leaders with Asif Ahmed, Co-Founder, The Finance Department and Acclivity Advisors
As a finance professional, you are often required to provide financial information to people who are not finance professionals. This can be a challenge. It is important to communicate the information in a way that is easy for non-finance leaders to understand. In this podcast, Asif Ahmed, author of The Finance Playbook for Entrepreneurs joins host Kevin Appleby. We discuss the issues involved in providing financial information to the entrepreneur and the rest of the business leadership team One of the challenges of providing financial information to non-finance leaders is that they may not have the same level of understanding of finance concepts as you do. This can make it difficult to communicate the information in a way that is easy for them to understand. One way to overcome this challenge is to use simple, clear language when explaining finance concepts. Another challenge is making sure the rest of the team understands what financial information is important and what isn't. Asif and Kevin spend time talking about cash vs profit, and the need to understand some financial numbers that aren't immediately obvious from the profit and loss account. This includes customer acquisition cost, customer lifetime value, and that often 20% of customers generate 80% of the profit. Asif Ahmed is the founder and managing director of Acclivity Advisors and co-founder of The Finance Department. He is also group CFO at Labrys Group and an advisory board member at HM Revenue & Customs. Links The Finance Playbook for Entrepeneurs on Amazon UK and Amazon USAThe GrowCFO Competency FrameworkAsif Ahmed on LinkedinKevin Appleby on Linkedin Timestamps 00:43 What does The Finance Department do? 03:27 Communicating financial information to early-stage entrepreneurs 06:23 What information does an early-stage entrepreneur need? 08:47 Information needed for raising funds 10:08 Covid-19: Bootcamp for learning the financial basics 12:15 You can't manage the business using historic data 13:47 Financial vs non-financial data 16:56 Understanding lead generation and the cost of customer acquisition 21:13 Customer lifetime value 24:00 What else do entrepreneurs need to understand? 27:53 Cost of retaining an existing customer vs cost of acquiring a new customer 29:21 Understanding product costs and the tendency to over cost the simple and under cost the complex. 31:40 What's the right time for a startup business to employ its first CFO? 37:05 The importance of instilling the right financial culture and practices 41:06 If 20% of your customers produce 80% of the profit, do you know which customers make up this 20%?
44:33 04/26/2022
#78 CFOs Supporting Each Other with Chris Fry, Group CFO at SISTER
Chris Fry has the best CFO job in the world. He's group CFO at SISTER. SISTER is the organisation behind recent TV blockbusters "The Split"; "This Is Going To Hurt"; and "Chernobyl". So why is the CFO of a TV production company the best job in the world? First of all, it's a very demanding position that comes with a lot of responsibility. But if you're up for the challenge, it can be extremely rewarding. You'll have a hand in the creative process and you'll be able to help shape the future of the company. Chris has certainly been up for that challenge. He's an accomplished CFO but he also recognises that there's always something new to learn. Chris was one of the founder members of the CFO Programme within GrowCFO, having previously been involved in something similar during his time working in Australia. He talks about the programme in the podcast and why it has been so useful for him. He tells us why he has found the support from Catherine Clark, the programme leader, and from his fellow CFO participants, invaluable.  Links Find out more about SISTERThe CFO Programme at GrowCFOCFO MentoringChris Fry on LinkedinKevin Appleby on Linkedin Timestamps 00:42 Who is SISTER? 02:18 What exactly is your role as Group CFO of SISTER? 03:22 What are your biggest challenges? 05:50 What was your career path before SISTER? 08:50 How did you get the experience to break through to the CFO level? 10:10 Using your influence 11:12 Why did you join the CFO programme at GrowCFO? 13:39 The role of mentors in the CFO programme 15:22 Why do you want to extend the CFO programme beyond the initial 6 months? 16:41 Where does Chris Fry aspire to be in 10 years' time? 19:07 The importance of enjoying what you do 20:16 Advice to a new CFO coming to grips with the first CFO role 21:34 Would you advise a CFO to have a mentor?
22:32 04/19/2022
#77 Balancing the Relationship With Your Boss with Susana Serrano-Davey
Who is your boss? Do you have more than one boss? Perhaps you are number 2 to the CFO and you report indirectly to other people too. Maybe you are the CFO and you need to be mindful of the needs of both CEO and investors in the business. Getting the relationship right with all those people is important. Finding the right balance between your needs from the relationship and their needs is key. It's no secret that the relationship between you and your bosses, whoever they might be, can be a tricky one. It's often difficult to find the right balance between being respectful and assertive, humble and ambitious, compliant and determined. When you report to more than one person you get the added complication of competing needs and being pulled in several different directions at the same time. In this podcast, Susana Serrano-Davey and Kevin Appleby explore some of the challenges that come with trying to maintain a healthy relationship with your boss. We'll offer some tips on how to handle common situations, as well as how to stay sane while working under someone else's control! Susana breaks the problem down into 4 areas: Mutual responsibilitiesSeparate the job from the personFinding your VoiceProfessional to professional relationships We explore each of these in turn and provide some practical examples to illustrate the key points. Links The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by  Don Miguel Ruizon on Amazon UK and Amazon USAGrowCFO Show episode 74 discussing personality types as birds with Merrick RosenbergGrowCFO for Finance TeamsThe communications module within GrowCFO for Finance TeamsSusana Serrano-Davey on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamps 01:04 Everyone has a boss unless you are the CEO 03:18 Building or balancing relationships 04:48 Susana's personal experiences 06:08 Introducing the 4 areas for balancing relationships 06:49 Mutual responsibilities 13:37 Separating the job from the person 15:10 The four agreements book 21:55 DISC and the 4 personality types 25:02 GrowCFO for Finance Teams - communications course 25:42 Finding your voice 30:37 Tackling conflict 35:44 Professional to professional relationships
42:27 04/12/2022
#76 What’s Happening in FP&A with Paul Barnhurst, The FP&A Guy
As a finance leader, you are constantly juggling responsibilities between financial and non-financial analysis. On one hand, you need to make sure the company is meeting its financial goals and obligations. On the other hand, you may be called upon to provide insights into non-financial areas such as operations, marketing, or human resources. This can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and strategies in place, you can successfully balance both worlds. Paul Barnhurst, The FP&A guy specialises in planning and reporting. In this episode of the GrowCFO Show Paul provides Kevin Appleby with a great overview of business planning and analytics; how to integrate financial and non-financial data; and the tools that are available to help you. Links GrowCFO for Finance TeamsPaul Barnhurst on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInSubscribe to the GrowCFO Show with your favourite podcast app. The GrowCFO show is listed in the Apple podcast directory, Google podcasts and many others. Timestamps 00:52 Day one of a brand new business 02:10 What exactly is FP&A? 03:26 Which areas will Paul be working in? 04:31 Excel: are spreadsheets the best way of doing things? 05:14 What are the planning tools available? 09:51 Selecting the tool that's right for you 12:59 Should non-financial measurement sit in finance? 15:52 The importance of a single version of the truth 20:16 What does day 100 look like for the FP&A guy? 21:13 What are the biggest things on the horizon for FP&A in general 22:47 The problem of too much data
25:16 04/05/2022
#75 How to Manage Your Workload with Helene Brichet Herbinet
As a finance leader or CFO, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. From ensuring that the company is making money to managing the budget, there are a lot of tasks you must complete on a daily basis. On top of this you will be involved in change projects. Then there is your role as a trusted advisor to the rest of the management team. You need to manage your workload. You need to make sure that the important tasks are given sufficient emphasis while making sure the urgent and routine things don't swallow up your whole agenda. Managing your workload doesn't have to be difficult. With a little bit of planning and organization, you can stay on top of everything. Helene Brichet Herbinet, part of the GrowCFO mentoring team joins Kevin Appleby on this episode of the GrowCFO show. Together they give some great tips for both increasing your personal efficiency and maximising your personal effectiveness. By following these tips, you can make the workload more manageable and get back on track. If you're finding that your workload is unmanageable, it may be time to seek out professional help. There are many CFOs who specialize in helping others manage their workloads effectively. By hiring someone to help manage your workload, you can free up your time to focus on more important tasks. If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online. With a little bit of research, you can find the help you need to get your workload under control. Within GrowCFO we have a team of professional mentors ready to help. Premium and corporate members have an entire course on personal effectiveness they can access in the GrowCFO training library. Links Find a GrowCFO mentorGrowCFO for Finance TeamsHelene Brichet Herbinet on LinkedInSubscribe to the GrowCFO Show with your favourite podcast app. The GrowCFO show is listed in the Apple podcast directory, Google podcasts and many others. Timestamps 00:40 Personal effectiveness or personal efficiency? 01:51 How do you manage your workload? 02:43 Being intentional about how you allocate your time 05:46 Keeping your to do list under control 07:20 Separating work life and personal life 11:59 When other people take over your agenda 14:20 Setting expectations 16:51 Reviewing the quality of your own work 20:27 The art of challenging plans budgets and forecasts 23:53 What should you do yourself and what should you delegate 25:53 Developing your finance team 27:19 The RACI model 30:28 Multitasking 33:29 Social networks and the danger of always being switched on 36:08 Managing deadlines What tips do you have for managing your workload? Why not share the things that work for you in the forum?
39:21 03/29/2022
#74 Communicating With Different Personality Types with Merrick Rosenberg, CEO of Take Flight Learning
It's no secret that communication is hard. We've all been in a situation where we just can't seem to get our point across. And it's even harder when the person on the other end of the conversation has a different personality type than us. When you're trying to communicate with someone who has a different personality type than you, it can be easy to get wrapped up in your own perspective. It's important to remember that everyone experiences the world differently, and what makes sense to you might not make sense to them. You must try to see things from their point of view and adjust your communication accordingly. But adapting your style isn't easy. In this podcast, we take a look at the common problems with communicating with different personality types. DISC is a personality assessment tool that can help you understand yourself and others better, and Merrick Rosenberg, CEO of Take Flight Learning, has adapted the DISC model into 4 birds: eagles, parrots, doves, and owls. The behaviour of each bird is easy to grasp and remember. Merrick has found the majority of finance people are owls. The owl needs to adapt to work with the other three birds. He shares some great strategies that will really help you understand how to do this, so make sure to check this episode out! Links GrowCFO for Finance Teams The communications module within GrowCFO for Finance Teams"What got you here wont get you there" by Marshall Goldsmith on Amazon UK and Amazon USMerrick Rosenberg on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamps 00:46 Why use birds instead of the DISC letters? 01:20 The eagle 02:05 The parrot 02:20 The dove 02:35 The owl 02:45 Which style are you? 04:15 Finance are predominantly owls 05:23 Finance working with sales; owls and parrots 06:47 How does an owl get the parrots and eagles to provide the detail that's needed? 08:50 Owls dealing with doves 10:15 The history of DISC 11:25 75% of your organisation has a different style to you, you need to communicate in all 4 styles 13:12 How each style manages change 15:20 Owls need detail so can be perceived as barriers to change until they have the information 15:40 Owls can actually be incredible champions of change 16:50 How do you communicate change? 20:09 Adapting your style as your career progresses 21:17 "What got you here wont get you there" by Marshall Goldsmith 22:43 How easy is it to develop the other 3 styles? 24:15 Bill Gates the owl 26:17 Working with organisations 30:19 Alternatives to DISC 35:31 Relationship building 38:09 What about children? When do the 4 birds start to emerge? 40:23 The danger of imposing your own style on someone else
43:49 03/22/2022
#73 What’s Wrong with the P&L Account with Susana Serrano-Davey
As the finance lead, you probably present the business profit and loss account at many of the business meetings you attend. You place huge value on the financial results of the business each month or each quarter. But is that correct? Does the P&L account tell you what you need to know? Does it paint an accurate picture of business performance? Sometimes it does, but quite often it doesn't accurately reflect the economics within the business. The P&L account tells you what you spent money on, your cost centre structure likely tells you who spent it, but neither tell you why you spent it. Is an adverse variance really bad? Is a positive variance good? The answer is not always. Unless you know the why, and also understand the economic engine of the business you don't know. You probably grappled with the two fundamental accounting concepts of prudence and accruals when you passed your accountancy exams. Accruals are all about matching costs with revenues, while prudence is about taking account of liabilities as soon as they arise. But we are in strange times where we seem to like capitalising our empty office blocks and hardly used company cars while we write off our investment in digital sales-generating assets as soon as we spend the money. In the podcast, Kevin Appleby and Susana Serrano-Davey discuss these and other issues and conclude you need many more metrics than those in the P&L account and a much deeper understanding of your business through an economic rather than an accounting model. We didn't mention it in the show, but Doug Hicks has written an excellent book about what's wrong with the P&L account and why you need an economic model of the business. It makes excellent further reading on this topic. Links Mentoring at GrowCFO with Susana Serrano-DaveyI May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It: How Accounting Information Undermines Profitability by Doug Hicks on Amazon UK or Amazon USAEvergreen Assets by John Lamerton on Amazon UK or Amazon USA24 assets by Daniel Priestley on Amazon UK or Amazon USAListen to Next 100 Days Podcast with John Lamerton talking about Evergreen AssetsSusana Serrano-Davey on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamps 00:59 The P&L account is a key tool 01:53 A history lesson; one set of accounts for investors and for the taxman 03:53 Modern systems and the ability to cut the data in different ways 04:28 Accounting standards and the 4 core accounting concepts 06:23 Are your fixed assets really the assets that drive business performance or are they just hidden future costs? 07:40 Evergreen digital assets 10:46 Depreciation 11:38 The pressure to report a better picture in the P&L 15:51 Unrealistic budgets 20:39 No surprises; don't hide the truth 23:30 The P&L account doesn't tell you why you spent the money 26:21 An economic rather than an accounting model of your business 29:41 Assigning costs to activities gives you a better understanding of customer and product costs 31:07 The tendency to over cost the simple and under cost the complex 31:39 An activity-based costing example
35:48 03/15/2022
#72 Are you Ready to be a CFO? with Dan Wells Founder of GrowCFO
Are you ready to be a CFO? To step into your first CFO role. How do you know if you are ready to make the transition to that number one role in finance? That's the question Kevin Appleby posed to Dan Wells on this episode of the GrowCFO Show. Kevin asked Dan if there is any such thing as a CFO readiness indicator or CFO readiness index. Dan doesn't believe there is one single measure of CFO readiness. He goes on to explain the various skills and levels of experience you need to be a successful CFO. These vary according to the type of CFO you want to become and the nature of the organisation you plan to work for. Are you ready to be a CFO? Some questions to ask yourself If you feel you are ready to be a CFO then as a minimum you should be saying yes to the following five questions: Do you have a strategic mind? As a CFO, you will need to think beyond the numbers and see the big picture. You need to be able to develop strategies that will help your company achieve its goals.Are you are a good communicator? As CFO, you will need to communicate with different stakeholders within your company. You need to be able to explain financial concepts in a way that non-financial people can understand.Are you comfortable with change? Change is inevitable in business. As CFO, you need to be comfortable with change and be able to adapt quickly to new situations.Are you a good problem solver? As CFO, you will be faced with many challenges. You need to be able to identify problems and find solutions quickly.You have leadership potential? As CFO, you will need to lead your team and inspire them to achieve great things. You need to be able to motivate and mentor your team members. But feeling ready is just a start. Listen to the show and hear Dan explain the other dimensions of CFO readiness, why one size doesn't fit all, and why there is no easy way to measure CFO readiness or have a CFO readiness index. Links Landing Your First CFO Role: CFO Readiness GuideJoin a taster session for the Future CFO ProgrammeTake the CFO competency framework assessmentFind out more about the GrowCFO mentoring team and how they can support you in your CFO roleDan Wells on LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedIn Timestamp 00:41 How do you know you are ready to be a CFO? 03:06 The skills every CFO needs 04:00 The three types of CFO 04:10 The financier CFO 05:37 The strategist CFO 06:52 The operator CFO 08:02 The GrowCFO competency framework 09:13 Which competencies are most relevant to you as an individual; Module 3 of the Future CFO Programme 11:29 Which type of CFO do you want to be? 13:30 3 Different scenarios for your first CFO role 17:56 The relationship with the CEO, and the cultural fit 19:54 A proper action plan, not a CFO readiness index 22:18 The things we cover in the future CFO programme 25:30 What are your next steps?
28:04 03/08/2022