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What Have You Done For Me Lately…?

November 24th, 2014 Comments off

While I don’t think that I’ve ever used this line in any seriousness at any time, it’s also a line that I strive for in my pursuit of results and ensuring that I can assist others in any way I can. The difficult part for any Finance professional is qualifying the results that you deliver to a company and the value that you continue to build. I specifically say “qualify” as we are constantly quantifying company results in the form of Budget objectives, KPI’s, and every other indicator we use to determine of the company is financially healthy and moving in the right direction.

However, in order to get to the point that you are delivering healthy financial performance, you need to have the right team and the right infrastructure in place. For our Sales team, there is only one metric for performance and answering the question posed above….it’s the continual stream of purchase orders. You’re either successful in delivering….or you’re not. Pretty straightforward. From a Finance perspective, I’ve always been fortunate to have a strong relationship with the President and the rest of the Executive team. Based on my feedback from this circle I’ve always outlined the deliverables that I would be putting in place for the Quarter, which are always supportive of that team, and ultimately, the strengthening of the company and its underlying foundation. I solicit feedback to ensure if there are any other items that I might not have on the radar and if I need to tweak my Quarter objectives at all. Hopefully that is never the case, but it’s always a good exercise to adopt.

As I’ve been interviewing more candidates lately for our next hiring push, it’s given me a reminder of where we’ve come in the last 2.5 years and the foundation we have been able to put in place. I still laugh at coming fresh off an SAP implementation at Quiksilver only to be handed a laptop at Cylance on my first day and being told it already had Quikbooks installed. At that point I knew we had a lot of work to do. As I look at where we are now with what I believe is a very robust platform with seamless integration between platforms, it actually surpasses many of the systems I have had at previous companies. As we continue to grow, our needs become more complex to manage and we adapt. We’ve recently just finished the implementation of our Deferred Revenue module, and with barely a break, are now kicking off the Commission module to manage variable compensation at multiple levels. I’ve also recently completed a complex forecasting module that models out a multi-layer deferred revenue view. This is not an offline Excel model where you’re just updating a few cells, but taking into account all the critical aspects of the business and surgically forecasting proforma cash levels.

As we move into our next hiring phase, we’ve also put into place a very solid recruiting and onboarding process. Also an element of a previous Quarterly goals layout. With this in place we can effectively fill our open positions as we continue to operate in a lean environment, but also without having to rely on outside recruiters that are more than happy to deliver a five figure invoice for each position they’re able to fill.

What I strive for daily is the ability to close each Quarter, and like the salesman that totals out his POs, I can tally up the deliverables I qualified at the beginning of the Quarter and know that myself and the team have pushed the Company forward in a healthy way and have delivered a solid level of support to the broader organization. That the efforts of the team have not just been about staying busy the last 90-days, but have been strategic and surgical in their efforts to strengthen the company. Hopefully that’s what we’ve done for the company lately…

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

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