Rank #1: 536: Finance & the Big Shift | Brian Swartz, CFO, Cornerstone OnDemand
When asked about the experiences that prepared him for a finance leadership role, Brian Swartz, CFO of Cornerstone OnDemand, doesn’t hesitate to mention his tour of duty as controller for EaglePicher, a collection of businesses founded in 1842 that stubbornly has reinvented itself from one century to the next. However, as the small conglomerate was entering the 21st century, it found itself burdened with enormous debt, which led to a bankruptcy filing and a transformative restructuring—all of which controller Swartz got to observe firsthand after the company’s CFO and treasurer made a hasty exit.
“I kind of stuck around. While I would never want to work in that environment again, in that type of situation you do learn to understand all of the reasons why we have contracts and what all of the provisions in the contracts mean. The reality is that the provisions are not relevant until things do not go as planned, and that is basically what a Chapter 11 is,” explains Swartz, who ultimately helped to lead EaglePicher’s finance function through the Chapter 11 process and out of bankruptcy.
Reflects Swartz: “The experience made me think about things differently as I moved on to become CFO of Apollo Education Group.” He would serve as AEG’s CFO for eight and half years before leaving the multibillion-dollar provider of education services to enter the software technology realm. Today, Swartz characterizes his departure from mission-driven AEG as a distinct milestone in his career—one that required him to leave behind a role that he had found enormously satisfying in order to be challenged in new and different ways inside the data-addicted but always inspiring technology sector.
Oct 02 2019
Rank #2: 345: ASC 606: Ready for Action | Steve Giusti, Controller, Xactly Corp., John Dunican , Armanino, LLP
Believe the hype. ASC 606 is one of the biggest compliance changes for business since Sarbanes-Oxley.
The new revenue recognition standard goes into effect at the end of 2017 for public companies and at the end of 2018 for private companies. The new standard is based on one overarching principle: When goods and services are transferred to the customer, companies must recognize revenue in an amount that is proportionate to what has been delivered at that point.
Join us as Steve Giusti, VP & Controller, Xactly, reveals the path that Xactly blazed to meet the challenges of the new standard while avoiding added cost and time. Next, presenters John Dunican, CPA, and Ricardo Martinez, CPA, of Armanino LLP will explore some of the specific challenges that ASC 606 poses to finance teams and highlight a number of industry-specific approaches for companies inside the real estate, high tech, manufacturing, life sciences, professional services, and software industries.It’s no secret that the mix of skills and experience demanded by successful finance teams is quickly evolving, and at no time has the need to attract, grow, and retain talent competencies inside the finance function been more critical to finance leaders.
Nov 22 2017
Rank #3: 353: The Expressive CFO | Kelly Steckelberg, CFO, Zoom Video Communications
Dec 27 2017
Rank #4: 338: Building Your FP&A Muscle | Sydney Carey, CFO, Apttus
Oct 30 2017
Rank #5: 245: Using Analytics to Explore a Company’s “What If” Questions | Ron Knutson, CFO, Lawson Products, Inc.
Ron Knutson, CFO, Lawson Products, Inc.
Sep 09 2016
Rank #6: 232: Paul Auvil, CFO, Proofpoint
Paul Auvil, CFO, Proofpoint
Jul 05 2016
Rank #7: 483: Making FP&A a Road Map for the Business | Glynis Bryan, CFO, Insight Enterprises, Inc.
There was a time when Glynis Bryan imagined herself someday retiring from Ryder System, Inc.—a company she entered as an intern and would later exit as a senior vice president. Along the way, she credits the transportation logistics giant with having exposed her to complex M&A transactions and innovative capital structures—two areas that she believes have made a hefty contribution to her post-Ryder success as a CFO. However, the Ryder experience she recalls most fondly was inside the FP&A function at what was her first destination on a finance career journey and one that has served her well at Insight Enterprises, Inc. There, shortly after being appointed CFO in 2007, she energized her team's FP&A ambitions and set a course that would forever transform the technology services company's notion of strategic finance. "I think of the FP&A function as being the road map within the finance function that helps each one of the senior leaders across the organization by supplying them with tools and actionable data that they can use to see where the business is going," she observes. Meanwhile, in 2012, Insight overhauled its internal systems, establishing a single platform from which to integrate acquisitions and satisfy its appetite for growth and helping the company to better unite its North American and Asia-Pacific operations. It's a platform that Bryan has gotten to know well as she routinely weighs the obstacles and advantages that future merger partners may bestow.
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Apr 03 2019
Rank #8: 319: The CFO as Driver of Efficiencies | Matt Monzo, CFO, Tri-M Group
Aug 03 2017
Rank #9: 290: The CFO Work Ethic: Six Finance Leaders Explain Why There is No Substitute for Hard Work
Mar 13 2017
Rank #10: 248: Anatomy of a SaaS Finance Function | Chuck Best, Vice President Accounting Operations, BlackLine, Karen Gift, Vice President of Finance, BlackLine
Sep 20 2016
Rank #11: 370: A CFO's Strategic Instinct | Kurt Abkemeier, CFO, Fidelis Cybersecurity
Feb 28 2018
Rank #12: 206: Tom Stewart, CFO, SecureAuth
Tom Stewart, CFO, SecureAuth
Feb 24 2016
Rank #13: 356: The Power of Optimal Capital Allocation | Sean Quinn, CFO, Cimpress
Jan 10 2018
Rank #14: 357: Establishing Your Data Culture | Phong Le, CFO, MicroStrategy
Jan 14 2018
Rank #15: 361: Acquiring Operational Smarts | Art Barter, CEO, Datron Communications
Jan 28 2018
Rank #16: 321.5 Afterpod | Brad Dickerson, CFO, Blue Apron
A distinguished finance leader answers our question: When you entered the CFO office for the first time, what’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you?
Dickerson: As far as leadership goes, I keep coming back to self-awareness. Where are you going to add value in the organization and where are you not? Build around those to balance out the competencies you need in your group to be successful. The thought here is that weaknesses are not necessarily a bad thing, and the biggest strength is understanding what they are and building the right competencies and the right attributes around yourself so that you have the right balance around your team to be successful overall.
I also think that patience is very important. Patience to learn and develop. Put the time and energy into developing your skillset so that when you do become a CFO, you’re ready for it. Too often today, I think, people want to jump that learning curve a little bit, and they are very focused on taking on as much responsibility as possible. I’ve seen too many examples of people who have moved up the learning curve too quickly, and they didn’t appreciate the time required to develop and learn.”
Aug 13 2017
Rank #17: 464: Shortening Your Customer's Time to Value | Gordy Brooks, CFO , FinancialForce
One of FinancialForce CFO Gordy Brooks’ most valuable early career-building experiences began by butting heads with his CEO. The chief executive insisted on issuing sales commissions on a weekly basis – an ask that would have most finance chiefs pulling their hair out. After the CEO stuck to his guns in the face of counterarguments, Brooks spent two weeks carefully unpacking the problem behind his CEO’s requested outcome. He discovered that the root cause of the request involved ineffective operational processes (sales territory assignments and compensation plan design) and inefficient comp and payroll processes. When Brooks presented those findings with a significant process improvement proposal, the CEO embraced his systemic solution. “The CFO role is not only about metrics and business models,” Brooks notes. “It’s also about the human touch.” Brooks – who possesses two decades of finance executive experience with VMWare, BEA Systems, Citrix, Microsoft and other notables – shares his takes on current comp challenges, the importance of early public-company experience, and the high career returns on international assignments.
Jan 27 2019
Rank #18: 205: Erik Wissig, CFO, Hixme
Erik Wissig, CFO, Hixme
Feb 19 2016
Rank #19: 469: A Strategic Leader Gets His Bearings | Jim Peters, CFO, Whirlpool Corporation
When Whirlpool CFO Jim Peters joined the company at the director level 15 years ago, he was thrust into the thick of a pivotal M&A deal that also wound up generating extraordinary value from a career development standpoint. Originally assigned to help manage the accounting facets of the proposed Maytag acquisition, Peters swiftly expanded his assignment to include tax, post-deal integration planning and other dimensions. His ability to take on additional responsibilities “gave me exposure to senior leaders within whirlpool,” Peters recalls. “In a very short period of time, I went from being someone who stepped in at the director-level to interacting with our CEO … on a daily basis.” The intense work, learning and exposure subsequently propelled Peters, a former EY consultant who also worked for Limited Brands prior to joining Whirlpool, into a series of increasingly senior corporate finance positions. His previous roles include serving as the CFO of Whirlpool EMEA and as chief accounting officer for Whirlpool Corporation. Peters talks about the numbers – those related to Whirlpool’s financial performance as well as to the company’s unique commitment to sustainability – he examines over his first cup of coffee each morning
Feb 13 2019
Rank #20: 228: Dan Crumb, CFO , Kansas City Chiefs
Jun 18 2016