1. Planful Product Video
  2. Being Planful: Next generation FP&A | Chris Ortega
  3. Being Planful: Current trends in planning with Howard Dresner
  4. Being Planful: FP&A as a Strategic Partner with Glenn Snyder
  5. Winning Your Whitespace With Data | Michael Zambetti
  6. Special Projects in FP&A – FP&A Fridays
  7. Being Planful: Managing high growth with Kevin Zell

Planful Product Video

[Music],continuous planning is a framework for,faster smarter more agile financial,planning and decision making in a,business,it recognizes that business is,continuous and therefore planning and,decision making should be continuous too,the antiquated idea that planning is,something a business only does once a,year will increasingly spell disaster,for many businesses in the future,because change is becoming the norm,business advantage,especially in the world we are living in,today comes from being nimble,agile and smart with resources business,leaders need to be able to respond to,changing conditions at a moments notice,faster than competitors in order to,capitalize on new opportunities,protect against threats and take the,lead in their markets,to do that they need the ability to make,fast agile and confident decisions all,the time,regularly course correcting the business,lets unpack what continuous planning,means more specifically,we think about continuous planning in,terms of three key elements,compressing cycle times in every corner,of the business in a connected and,collaborative way,planful works with your companys data,allowing you to plan the way your,business needs to plan,and break down silos across finance and,your organization,this easy to implement solution will,enable you to seamlessly plan and,collaborate across your business,lets take a deep dive into the planning,process with planful,well take a look at how i as the budget,owner for sales would work within the,platform,from my task manager im able to easily,navigate to where my input is needed,within the application,planning is like the nuts and bolts of,the finance budget its made of things,like opex your workforce planning,capex all of which are common across all,companies and industries,plus the more operational models that,let you run your business your way,what could normally take months to,complete planful customers are seeing,these cycle times compressed by upwards,of 80 percent,templates are created once and shared,via the application theres no need for,multiple versions as centralized,security ensures users only interact,with the data relevant to them,successful adoption is directly tied to,the ease of use and intuitiveness of the,platform,pre-built out-of-box templates are,available for those nuts and bolts type,processes that i mentioned,planful offers a simple user interface,and a natural experience,its the way you commonly look at this,type of planning with the familiarity of,excel,our customers have nothing new to learn,no complex coding is required,both as a user making inputs or as an,administrator setting up any,calculations within the templates now,here i have a headcount driver,which is flowing in from our workforce,plan notice that its just a value in,the database,there are no manual links just,confidence in your numbers,planful users require flexibility and we,meet those needs,behind our professional fees we provide,a breakout of these expenses,these specifics are captured in the,system not in disconnected spreadsheets,making life easier for whoever will be,reviewing them down the road,continuing with providing the thought,process behind the numbers i can also,add any comments or attachments to,supplement my plan,i can collaborate and communicate,directly inside the system,the true value here continues throughout,the year from our variance reports im,able to drill down to the details,whether it be to the transactions for,the actuals or the common sub lines of,the plan,all this in a platform that gives me,confidence in my numbers as they,dynamically aggregate across the,business,planful also extends its reach across,the organization,different functions are able to leverage,the drivers and the specific layouts,that are relevant to them,here i have a unit forecast where i can,plan by customer,by product whether i want to make inputs,by month where i can again,interact in a natural setting with,dynamic models calculating all summary,information,as we see below or perhaps all products,across,all customers need to be set to 325 000,powerful modeling capabilities in,planful make this all extremely simple,im able to work top down and apply a,variety of spread methods,the modeling engine will now update the,units down to the customer and product,level,all in seconds rather than days of,error-prone number crunching,whether im a user who prefers the web,or im familiar with excel,planful brings a best of both worlds,approach,everything is connected to the same,database,as i refresh all of my values flow,through but i have the ability to make,inputs and top-down adjustments,adoption equals success give your users,a choice theres no need to force them,into a box,customers are seeing incredible value,and are up and running in as little as,20 days,[Music],you

Being Planful: Next generation FP&A | Chris Ortega

(upbeat rock music),The show for FP&A leaders and planning experts.,(upbeat music),Christ Ortega, welcome to Being Planful,,nice to speak with you.,- Thank you, thank you for having me today.,- So its a real pleasure to have you on the podcast today,,one of the things that we talked about,in preparation was just talking a lot of the transformation,that youve led in the past and how others can lead,that transformation.,Before we get into that meaty topic,of finance transformation,,I wanted to ask, what brought you into finance?,How did you become a finance professional?,- Yeah thats a great question.,And for me, I would say Im a non-traditional finance,person, but when I originally went to college,,ironically enough, I starting off as a marketing person.,So I love the four Ps, I love the creativity aspect,of it and then Sarbanes-Oxley happened, Enron happened,,and it was like Oprah Winfrey when it came to jobs,in accounting and finance.,And Ive always had a passion for numbers,and connecting the dots and story telling on that,so given that the whole purpose of going to college,,was you know, you want to get a job,,and jobs were coming in demand,,and thats when I switched over my first semester in college,over to accounting and finance.,And ever since then, Ive been on this accounting,,finance, FP&A road ever since.,But for me, I would say, Im a sales person,in a finance job.,- Right selling the success of finance, right?,- Definitely, definitely.,- And so, you know, where did you grow up?,How did you get yourself to college?,- Yeah, so for me I come from a humble background.,I grew up in a single parent home, here in Indianapolis,,Indiana, I grew up in not the best areas,,I have a can big extended family.,I also have a twin sister,,so part of me growing up man,,was just all me and my sister and my mom,,all together, my mom, actually instilled in me,all the hard work, dedication and just honestly,love of numbers.,My mom always carried three or four jobs,,she always budgeted down to every single cent,,cant pity a cent.,So even at a early age, I knew my mom was a controller,before I even realized it and I think,a lot of that fell upon me and then going to college,,I was fortunate enough to go to a minority diversity program,groups GROUPS, and basically what it does,is it allows low income, first generation college students,to have the opportunity to have all of their education paid.,So luckily my sister did that program,,I did it and qualified for it,,so all of my college and academics,in undergraduate was actually paid for,,which was such a tremendous blessing for me,and my family because, outside of that,,my mom could no way or my family could support us,going to college.,- Yeah.,- And that was an awesome thing to be able to do.,And then, for me, Ive always been based in Indianapolis,,a lot of my friends have ventured off to New York,,California, you know for me, but this has always been home.,And the thing I love about the Indianapolis market is,it has a high I.Q of finance, accounting,,FP&A professionals, focused in the space that I am,which is high growth, entrepreneur, startup technology,companies.,So for me, its having the opportunity to have,those companies and those industries here,,but also have a way of being able to shape the narrative,in that community.,So thats important to me and you know,,Im Indiana through and through man, so go Hoosiers.,- Excellent, well its interesting,,I grew up in a very similar environment to you,,single mother, just me and my brother,,who was about 20 months older than me,,and we were, in Australia, its slightly different,with the college track because the government,luckily run a program we call,the Higher Education Contribution Scheme,,where they pay for your college,,you just pay them back in tax over time.,It ultimately pays off for the country,and it helps people get into college and get things going,like that.,But I certainly know that feeling,,my mum was an accountant for a retail store,,and she was implementing ERPs and SAP,,and she definitely was the controller of the house,,like you described your mom.,So, you know, really interesting there.,- Thats awesome man.,- So you know, I saw Emarsys where you work today,,were recently named a Magic Quadrant Leader,in Realtime Personalization,,so congrats to you and the Emarsys team on that,,thats always a significant achievement,and I know the hard that goes into that.,So congrats.,- Thanks man, thanks.,- And you know, in terms of that,,youre obviously blending that market experience,that you got in your first couple of years,and that college experience into finance,,so tell me how you use that within your organization,at Emarsys now.,- Yeah so I think for me, part of it is,,when you think about accounting, finance and FP&A,professionals right, specifically in high growth,,entrepreneur and technology companies,,we wear a lot of different hats.,Like right now, as the director of finance,for our Americas operations, I lead all the accounting,,finance an FP&A for our US, Canada and South American,operations,,but Im not just the accounting, finance,,and FP&A person, Im the legal person sometimes,,I jump on customer calls, I help on marketing,,I help podcast stuff that we do,,I help in operations, so for me,,having that ability to not just be solely focused,on fiance, but to have a touch point,in all the different areas, is something hugely important,to me.,And I think when you compare that,to what a marketers job is,,youre talking about a hard job, right,,marketers are finance people, theyre strategic people,,theyre marketing people, theyre operations people,,to have another profession that I think closely aligns,to that, what I do in accounting, finance and FP&A,,it is 100% for marketers.,So, for me, our entire value proposition from,a software perspective is making their jobs easier,,getting them turnkey solutions for them to implement,in days not months, and actually being a forerunner,in implementing A.I and machine learning,inside of our platform.,I think when you think about marketers,,all the different, send time optimization,,when is the right email to send,,offline, online, all the different experiences,,definitely nowadays of what that customer experience,is gonna be, and how do you reach that customer,,how do you drive that behavior,,you wanna have a solution and a partner,thats fully invested with you in that.,So for me, I think being in the marketing space,from a SaaS perspective, with the technology,that we sell and go to marketing with,,but also connecting to our customers,,and making sure that we understand that,we know the pains, the opportunities,,and the strength and weaknesses that you had,inside of your organization.,So for me, I always love that we take the approach,of not being another technology vendor,,we wanna be a technology partner.,And I think thats something echoes in all of our services,,whether youre in accounting, finance, marketing,,customer support, client success, implementation,,marketing, SDRs, all across the board,,we have as a company value, we love our customers.,And I think through the time that Ive been at Emarsys,,which will be four years in October,,but it feels like eight,,when youre at a high growth company,,like startup, it goes fast, so I think those,are really things that I really love about,what we do from a tech stack perspective.,But also, at the end of the day, man,,we really realize all the way from the leadership down,,and this is you know, from our CEO, CFOs,,and all of our senior leaders in the Americas,,we know behind everything that were doing,,theres a person.,How I serve our external customers, right,,I think one thing that for me is really important,is having partnerships across the entire organization.,One place when Im just like constantly in lockstep with,is our commercial organization.,So being a SaaS based business,,existing business and new business and bookings,is the driving force around everyth

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(groovy music),- Hi, Im your host, Rowan Tonkin,,and welcome to Being Planful,,the show for FP&A leaders and planning experts.,(groovy music continues),Hi everyone, and welcome to Being Planful.,Today, Im joined by Howard Dresner,of Dresner Advisory Services.,Welcome to the show, Howard.,- Thanks, Rowan, its great to be here.,Thanks for having me.,- Yeah, not a problem at all.,Well, its an interesting time in the world,,and weve got some exciting stuff to be talking about.,Certainly, the impact of COVID,on the planning slash EPM space, as you call it.,Before we dive in, I wanted to give you,the opportunity to introduce yourself to our audience.,- Yeah, sure, so Ive been in this market segment,for as long as that, most of my life,,actually, (laughs) as it turns out.,So Ive been covering things like business intelligence,and performance management for quite some time.,I spent 13 years at Gartner,,where I was a research fellow,,and I was the chief strategy officer,at another EPM company that no longer exists.,And since then, for 13 years now,,Ive led Dresner Advisory Services,,and we focus on primary research,for performance management, business intelligence,,data science, machine learning, and related areas.,- Excellent, and I know you published,a really amazing annual report,,and you do a monthly survey.,So were gonna dive into some of that information,today for our listeners and viewers.,So in terms of, why we asked you to be here,,its because of that deep expertise.,I mean, youve seen a lot of change,in this space over the years.,Im sure youve been through some,of these types of situations before,,hopefully not as impactful in terms,of our way of life changes,,but in terms on the impact on the economy,,its been really interesting,in how businesses have responded.,So what we wanted to do today was deep dive into that,and talk about some of the market trends,that youve been seeing.,So I know youve got some slides to prepare.,- Yes. – And for those,,to share, sorry, and for those listening,,we will try and call out some of the slides,,but dont forget to watch on video too,,if you have a moment.,So firstly, Howard, I know you do a monthly survey.,How can people interact and engage with that survey?,- So we do a number of surveys,,but most recently, weve been having,or hosting a COVID-specific survey.,So covidbusinessimpact.com, and you can go there,,and fill out the survey, and itll actually,give you instant analysis.,So youll actually see how you compare to your peers,in the industry around business impact,and a number of other factors,,and well continue to collect this data,,well, I guess, as long as the coronavirus is with us,and the pandemic is in place.,So who knows how long thats gonna be.,- Yeah, well, its certainly valuable information,,and I look forward to sharing,that to the audience today with you.,So for those that want to get that analysis,and understand how their industry is being impacted,,feel free to go and take Howards survey.,As we jump into some of this data,,I do wanna mention that, some of the ways,that different organizations are categorizing,the impact and the phases of this challenge,,and the pandemic is different.,One of the ways that were gonna,be talking about it today,,and weve been using this analogy here at Planful,,really since the middle of March,,is this three-phase approach.,The first phase that we saw was what we called the Ambush;,everyone felt that this was a big surprise,,the impact was huge.,you didnt know where the impact was coming from,,you couldnt really see the forest from the trees,,and everyone was really trying to quickly,assess, triage, and make really fast business decisions,to really protect themselves quite quickly.,The second phase that we see occurring,,and some businesses are in this,,and others arent yet in this,is what we called the Regroup.,And thats where people are making,more short and midterm decisions,based on what theyve learned,about their business through that Ambush phase.,And the final phase is what we called Recovery.,I dont think theres many businesses,in the Recovery phase except maybe technology,like were using today.,I know that that that industry has seen a boon,,and its probably not even called Recovery,,its called thriving, but theres not many,businesses out there that are thriving,,so we wont talk about that too much.,But in those distinct phases,,we have seen some changes, and of course,,it is really, really industry specific,,and thats something that well talk,a little bit today as we go through.,So Howard, why dont you tell us some,of the market trends that youve been seeing?,- Yeah, absolutely, I think that once again,,we started surveying the marketplace back in March,,once it became evident that the coronavirus,was gonna be around for a while,and was gonna have a significant impact.,So were just looking at three months worth of data,,April, May, and June, just looking,at the business impact of COVID-19.,And we can see that, to some degree,,things are looking perhaps a little bit better,to your point, and maybe theyre starting,,folks are starting to regroup,,and things are starting to stabilize a little bit.,So you can see, the bars on the right,,so less organizations are saying,that theyre temporarily closed down.,And if you go to the far right,,those that say theyve sustained a loss of revenues,or customers is maybe going down slightly.,Certainly it went down a bit in May,and is stabilizing, but you can see,its almost at the 60% level.,- Yeah, so a drop in 7% from April through to June,,so not a huge shift, obviously.,- [Howard] No.,- But an important shift nonetheless,,and we hope to see that trend to continue.,- Yeah so well see, obviously,,as we progress through June and this July,,if that does improve, were hopeful.,But at least, we have three data points here,,so we can suggest maybe things are starting,to settle down a little bit.,- [Rowan] Yeah.,- And then, this ones a little bit more hopeful,just since March asking about the impact on budgets,and projects that you can see the impact,of the light blue shaded bar,sort of peaking in May,,and then, its starting to decrease.,Now, granted its still around 66,,67% of organizations are saying,that their budgets and projects have been impacted,,and that impact, by the way, can vary.,It could be, very simple,,it could just be delays, or it could be cancellations.,We have more data on that as well,,but its still some signs of improvement.,- Absolutely, and I think,,for those that are still in the annual operating plan,,I think you feel like youve probably,been in the annual operating plans since March,,as many organizations are just continuously,changing those plans as we learn more,,and as we start to shift in those distinct phases.,- And then, specifically impact on budgets.,And so you can see going back to April,,a significant number, almost 50%,,said budgets were reduced.,And then, you could see in May,,its starting to calm down a bit.,And then, here in June, there are more folks,saying that budgets are unchanged from last year.,So once again, more evidence that organizations,are starting to come to terms with the coronavirus,and its impact upon the business.,And to your point, maybe at the point,,where theyre starting to regroup.,- Yeah, absolutely.,- Im gonna look at employment impact,,and no surprise, if you look at the bars on the left,,yeah, a lot of people are working from home,unless youre in specific industries,,or if youre in retail, or food service,,youre probably not working at home,,depending on your role.,So thats been pretty much stable.,Clearly, thereve been reductions,in force that is continuing,,its a minority of organizations certainly.,You can see the hiring freeze go down a little bit,for the last couple of months,,but its interesting to note,that some organizations, anyway,,are starting to acquire new employees,,and those organizations, I would suggest,are probably better run, have a better persp

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Being Planful: FP&A as a Strategic Partner with Glenn Snyder

[Music],hi,im your host rowan tonkin and welcome,to being planful,the show for fp a leaders and planning,experts,[Music],hi everyone welcome to being planful,today im delighted to be joined by,glenn snyder glenn is the head of fp,a at global growth and hes had a raft,of amazing,experiences at some some fantastic,brands,uh whether that be in roles of fp a or,in strategy,so glenn welcome to the show thanks,rowan appreciate you being here,having me here yeah no problems we love,having guests like yourself that uh that,can help our audience,listen and learn and understand the role,of fp a better,so why dont you tell the audience a,little bit about some of those,experiences that i just mentioned,sure so i started my career what feels,like a very very long time ago,at a at a large regional bank on the,west coast of the us,and i was a commercial loan officer for,about three years,and as my position became more about,bringing in business i realized i was,not really the sales guy but i love,doing the analysis,i love doing the underwriting so i took,a little pivot my,career went over to a company called,franklin templeton,i spent seven years at franklin where i,was,uh my first two years an international,financial analyst in the fb a group,and then moved into a group for my last,five years,its called global portfolio services,and with basically a combination of fpa,and corporate strategy,specifically focused on the portfolio,management trading side,of franklin templeton and uh their,portfolio management operations all over,the world uh,after after my time at franklin i moved,to visa,where at the time visa was a,not-for-profit company and i was hired,as the director of profitability,so that was a little weird uh but i was,making a bet that visa would,go through an ipo because mastercard had,announced that,and two years later visa did go through,their ipo so all of a sudden i was the,director of profitability for a company,that was learning how to become,profitable so that was pretty cool,uh my last year at visa so i actually i,should say i was in that role for about,four years,and then my last year at visa i moved,once again into strategy,specifically a global consumer product,strategy,so i was doing a lot of the planning,analytics strategy,around consumer credit debit and small,business which made up about 90,of visas global revenues after visa i,moved over to,uh another financial services company,called charles schwab um i spent,five little more the five my first two,and a half years within corporate fpa,supporting a whole bunch of different,organizations,including the international group i was,about to move into a larger role,and move away from international when,the executive vice president,international,said to me hey wait a second i dont,want to lose you how about you come over,report to me and run my strategy team,at which time i said you dont have a,strategy team and she said yeah how,about you build one out for me,so that was a pretty cool opportunity i,so i built out and ran,international strategy for charles,schwab for my last two and a half years,and then i left schwab and went to,another public company that most people,havent heard of its called digital,realty,they are the second largest data center,reit in the world,uh theyre in about 19 20 or so,different countries,uh almost 300 different data centers,that they own and manage all over the,world,and uh theyre actually in the s p 500,but they had no corporate fpa team at,all so i was hired,as the vice president of corporate fpa,to build out a team from scratch,which was really exciting because i got,to really help mold,and and change the way the company,looked at internally,the the internal management of its,corporate finance,area and i was there for about three and,a half years,and then i was approached to go to where,i am now which is global growth holdings,it is a private equity firm and i am the,head of fpna,uh global growth itself has about 1.2,billion or so in,annual revenues and owns about 125 ish,operating companies in 18 different,countries,wow thats um,what whats really struck me there glenn,was,um how youve uh i dont know danced,is maybe the right word or maybe the,wrong word but but dance between,fp a and strategy roles your your whole,career,um you know different stints across,there,i id id love for you to talk about you,know,fp a and its,its similarities its differences um some,of the nuances between that,and strategy or whether you,fundamentally believe they they are one,of the same,theyre definitely not one in the same,but theres overlap uh you know when,youre in fpna,its more about the numbers youve got,things that are core to fpa,budget variance analysis running budgets,running forecasts those types of things,its really about the financiality,revenues the expenses,you could bring in business metrics and,that starts to now bridge,some of that gap between core finance,and strategy because now youre talking,about whats driving the business,on the strategy side its really about,more the external marketplace,where are you where are you going very,much kind of like a budget,but to do it not necessarily around,financials but around the business,itself,how do the competitors come into play uh,what about the different market dynamics,are there different regulations in,different locations,those types of things that you have to,have a much bigger broader perspective,and to be honest with you rowan the way,i look at it and the way i try and,manage an fp,18 is to sit right on that line between,strategy and fpna,because when youre going over and,youre helping your business units,you know whether that be marketing or,legal or sales or operations or whatever,that,the business unit is and youre helping,them achieve their goals,you cant just do it from only a finance,perspective because then youre a,one-trick pony,you have to go over and look at in a way,the whole circus,and say you know what is the customer,aspect the product aspect the market,aspect,help that business leader achieve their,goals and now you become a much more,valued,and trusted partner to the business than,just being their finance support,yeah so uh you you mentioned before you,know fp,a and strategy arent the same but,theyre you know conjoined you know,in the middle of the venn diagram you,love to sit in the middle of that venn,diagram,you know joining both right,thats thats it exactly uh you know it,is sometimes its a fine line to walk,uh i had an executive that uh he was the,the senior vice president of fp,charles schwab and he called me into his,office one day and said hey glenn you,know what i feel like youre getting a,little too close to the business,we have our priorities in finance you,have to be supporting finance,and i explained to them i said totally,understand that what we do in finance is,we bring a certain discipline,we know how to analyze data we make sure,everything ties out,right we want to make sure that the,numbers are aligned,but when you could go over and get,closer to the business and take their,strategies their ideas the direction,that theyre going,and you apply the finance discipline,that line if you could,stay on that line is very very powerful,yeah a hundred percent uh you know we we,talk a lot on on this show,about the the partnership and the the,advisory that fp,a brings to uh to the business units and,and thats what youre talking about,there,the interesting part is you had an,executive basically tell you that youre,being too partnery uh right youre,providing you know almost crossing the,line,so to speak and how do you,how do you find uh sorry sorry to cut,you off there,how do you find that that balance right,between,being fp a and strategy and,what are some of the crucial skill sets,that you need to straddle that line,successfully that that you talked about,you know the number one thing is,something that,i was awful at at the beginning of my,career and its empathy,its understanding your business partn

Winning Your Whitespace With Data | Michael Zambetti

[Music],hi im your host rowan tonkin and,welcome to being planful,the show for fp a leaders and planning,experts,[Music],hi everyone welcome to being plan for my,name is rowan tonkin your host and cmo,here at plan for today im joined by,michael zambetti uh he is a finance,manager of uh data analytics as well in,his role at national dcp,so firstly michael welcome to the show,and uh secondly,how do you also end up with a finance,and data analytics title,thank you very much for having me here,rowan really excited to be able to,introduce you to kind of how ive gotten,into this kind of bizarre role you might,say,so i obviously started out in finance,ive been with ndcp now for about five,years so,just kind of giving you a little bit of,background ndcp we do all the supply,chain management for dunkin donuts so i,started out in the operation space and,doing all the analysis and trying to,improve our productivity do variance,analysis forecasting and budgeting,and,that was obviously my bread and butter,and i continued to progress in that,route and started coming up with,different strategies to automate our,processes and dive into different areas,that had never been seen before,and as i continue to progress down that,route,i had an opportunity presented by my,management to,kind of break away from finance and just,dive head on into the analytics realm so,start learning python these different,coding languages to,further open up the realm as far as what,i could automate so i wasnt bound to,finance i actually wasnt in finance at,all during that short that short stint i,had the flexibility to,automate processes throughout the entire,organization so i had a lot of white,space and a lot of opportunity to use my,creativity to just improve the,organization,without any type of buying to finance,and eventually i was able to combine,that with more of like a corporate,finance manager,uh responsibilities as well,so now,and so now with that that component i,was able to kind of combine the,analytics piece and doing all the,process automation,and looking at these massive sets of,data and then put like a financial,outcome to it and so i feel like the,combination of those two are very very,powerful if you can use them together,yeah absolutely i mean i think uh you,know our listeners will probably uh,agree with me here when you know one of,the top challenges when im speaking to,folks uh in fpna is getting clean and,accurate data and timely data uh inside,of whatever forecast or whatever theyre,building up right and,you know various models its like data,access is always the biggest challenge,and so having that sit within finance in,in some ways must give you a real uh,advantage uh than maybe some of your,other peers have,oh yeah no absolutely and i think,another point to that as well is that,at in finance some of the hardest part,is identifying where that data is so if,youre already very in tune with where,that data is coming from never mind the,whole automation piece with analytics,but if you are aware of where that data,is coming from and youre aware of what,is available to you and what is not,available to you you can,unlock a whole new realm of financial,analysis which may have never been,touched by your organization before,yeah and one of the the words you used,before was white space so tell me a,little bit more about what you mean i,mean most most of us know white space,analysis is where are my opportunities,in my you know customer base where are,my opportunities in my prospect base,sounds like you you have a different,frame of reference for that,a little bit a little bit so i find my,terminology for white space to be,the most fun and exhilarating part of,finance so,as everyone knows within finance we have,our typical cadence reporting so its,just a part of the job in which we have,to do reporting to demonstrate the,financials and the overall health of the,company in certain aspects,the white space is where it gets really,fun so thats where you go and you,you have extra time to exhibit your,creativity and go and find different,strategies and exploit those and youre,able to go and find opportunities for,the company to ultimately drive that,value add to the bottom line,do you have any specific examples that,you can share i mean were on a podcast,here so um you know any examples that,you can share of where you found those,white spaces and and what that,represented a to the company or what,value that may have represented to a,business stakeholder,yeah yeah absolutely so i did i did one,analysis which it was actually coupled,with,my,operations experience in that background,and so what i did was i was able to,identify by pulling in all these,different sets of data i was able to,identify that were spending a lot of,money to these third parties,and it took these 30 parties logistics,firms because,obviously we know supply chain is,is kind of chaotic right now and so we,had to use them more than,we otherwise might have and so what i,was able to do is i was able to combine,that data and identify how much cost we,were spending on this third party with,how we could possibly do it ourselves,and how much money that would be able to,save and so for instance what we would,do as opposed to,spending the money to them to be able to,bring that product in-house we would,deliver product from one distribution,center to the other distribution center,and then we would save money we would,generate income by delivering product,for maybe like whether its other,companies or back to our own company and,picking up that product from the vendor,ourselves,so,so by having that extra time to be able,to look at that that wasnt any task,that was provided for instance but being,able to have that data available to us,and really see full picture and not be,tied down with just month-end clothes it,enabled me to really start digging into,the business and find this stuff and so,the overall outcome of that is you know,it was an outcome which presented,hundreds of thousands of dollars of,potential savings per year and it,actually opened up managements eyes not,only to that example specifically but,honestly at even a larger scale because,now that that was unveiled we were able,to take that in in another direction and,think how can we do this not in this one,transfer situation thats on our east,coast but how can we do it across the,entire network,yeah,and and so you know given some of what,you said today it sounds like you you,have the bandwidth uh to go and explore,these white space uh opportunities,and uh when i when i speak to a lot of,people theres some people in your camp,but theres a lot of people in the oh my,god if i could if i only had eight hours,imagine what i could do with it so how,have you ended up in this position where,youve got that time to do that real,value add that,a lot of finance leaders actually really,want to get to but theyre still stuck,in that um you know that monthly,quarterly yearly cadence type work,yeah so,i would say it all originates from that,original capability to automate your,processes and provide that time savings,so we have continuously done that for,the past,decade weve done tons and tons of,automation but by doing the automation,were not necessarily cutting heads what,were doing is were reallocating those,resources so previously we may have been,very uh,a lot of our resources may have been,tied up in more transactional kind of,stuff whereas now we may have a lot of,those time savings so we dont need as,much of the transactional stuff but we,still have the same head count so what,were doing now is we have that extra,bandwidth because it takes our typical,month end close like our month-end close,process for instance is only,about three to four days so its a very,short time frame so we have now that,weve automated that process and it,started out,actually it used to be like 20 days i,want to say about seven years ago and,then it was about six days when i or six,or seven days when i firs

Special Projects in FP&A – FP&A Fridays

[Music],good morning everyone happy friday it is,hot hot hot across the country and uh we,have some fire dropping people here,today weve got chris ortega from,amasses and we have glenn schneider from,global growth welcome gentlemen,welcome,all right today weve got an awesome,topic something we talk a lot a little,bit about you know we kind of nudge in,every now and then and talk about,special projects that fp a can lead and,participate in and today we want to go,deep on that on that topic normally,were kind of covering,core aspects of fpna but today we want,to jump in and see where we can send the,special ops teams do the things that are,really going to make a big impact to the,business and talk about,you know what benefits you get out of,doing that what experiences you can get,out of doing that some risks associated,with doing that and how to how to,account for them and plan for them um,and uh and and you know where else can,you go like how how is an fb a person,can you go out into the business and,really try and um,provide that that superpower that fp a,leaders have so,um chris id love to start with you what,are some of the special projects or,special ops uh projects youve youve,tackled or had your team tackle before,yeah i think uh you know im really,excited about this topic because i think,its so important for us to realize that,uh fpna and accounting and finance dont,go the traditional route right so like,my first project wont be going to the,sales wont be going to the marketing i,want to change it up and mix it up i,think the first place that a really,special ops fp a project that you can go,work with is directly get aligned with,your hr and your people management right,the people aspect of our businesses are,the most important and if you want to,find a business partner inside the,organization that serves a lot of the,collaboration communication a lot of the,frustrations theyre the blunt of,everything come into the business go,talk to hr so one of the great projects,that i got to work on that is,really like outside of the box when it,comes to fp a accounting and financing,you wouldnt expect us to be leading,this was i had the opportunity in my,career to completely revamp a human,capital strategy right a human capital,strategies basically we we in accounting,financing fbna we were a small team we,were the legal people we were the,finance people we were the county people,we were the risk people we were the,benefits people we were the eighth we it,was four people on the team and we wore,all these differences that were like the,office manager uh and even sometimes i,would get like,lunch and and and snacks for clients or,for our employees so this project we got,to work on was a human capital strategy,and it basically was a project,management role that we took upon to,guide our organizations our teams our,functional roles right getting,functional roles aligned getting,functional roles to know what their,career progression could possibly be in,the role that theyre in getting those,roles aligned to compensation right like,we did a complete valuation of our,compensation models like some people,were on variable compensation some,people werent bonuses some people were,on spiffs they were all across the board,and ultimately we did all of this human,capital planning benefits compensation,titles job descriptions right this may,sound crazy but we had like everybody,had their own job description like you,had a customer success manager that was,saying they were a you know it was just,all across the board so we standardized,our roles we standardize our functional,responsibilities we we level set,peoples compensation to get a more,consistent structure about what the role,that they were doing but all of this was,driving towards the focus of our,business which were the strong kpis,around driving revenue increasing uh,decreasing costs,making sure were more efficient and,optimized and building collaboration,inside the business so we marshaled this,entire effort right and it let me just,be transparent right it was a 250 300,employee organization right theres no,way that that would have scaled if i was,trying to do this in an 8 000 10 000,uh person organization or team that was,a part of but,that those what we brought to the,business was this alignment and this,connective uh collaboration to all the,strategies that we were talking about as,a leadership team cascading it all the,way down and one way we were able to do,that is we didnt have knowledge experts,in benefits management compensation,management we leveraged great partners,so where we were weak when it came,around benefits and how do we get the,best benefit packages how are we making,sure we get the best insurance rate how,we finding little perks and options for,our employees to have we said hey were,not knowledgeable in this so we got a,great partner to help us in that process,so it gave us the horsepower it gave us,the expertise and it also gave us the,way to know like were making sure like,were raising our hands saying were,weak in this area but were gonna find a,partner thats strong and that was that,was a transformative uh aspect of our,business it literally transformed that,business that um eventually was acquired,uh well after that i left one of the key,highlights from the cfo and the,leadership team that they share with me,is like chris theres no way we would,have been at the point of this,acquisition or know our business well,enough to align our functional roles to,hire the talent to compensate them and,to have them focused in our business,which led to,ultimate acquisition for them theres no,way we could have done that if we didnt,have this human capital strategy so a,little bit outside the box and some,people may be like chris thats like,thats not in my job description to go,work with hr to develop a human capital,planning and roadmap but as a,specialized project and really really,connecting to the people in the business,it was a tremendous project to work on,yeah chris we weve talked a lot on uh,on fpna fridays before about you know,finding the the time in the business to,do certain things and sounds like that,was a business that had grown probably,pretty quickly things had gotten messy,and that was the time to go and level,set the organization in order to scale,that next set of growth and and so,thats why those types of projects are,so important at those moments in time,right figure out what the special ops,project is thats most important to the,business at the time and and to scale,after that you needed that that,framework that structure that level set,that that existed after you did that,that work,most definitely yeah it was it was that,point and we were 250 then and then we,catapulted to about three three four,hundred people in like two years like it,was rocket ship,and it was high level growth but it was,that scale that we needed to to make,sure we maximized the investment that we,were getting to maximize the the go to,market strategy that we were having it,was a fundamental block amongst a lot of,dominoes that needed to fall to get,ultimately to that business where it was,acquired by a competitor and without,that fundamental legwork theres no way,that business would have been at the,position it was to get acquired and some,people got some nice paydays out of that,well that always helps right so glenn,what what have you seen you know youve,been in fpna for uh for a long time im,not trying to date you there im just,trying to give everyone your experience,what are some of the amazing special ops,projects that youve seen and tackled,and and maybe cherry pick a couple of,great ones for us,well its really covered,the full spectrum ive done a lot of the,stuff that chris talked about with hr,because hr is such a valuable partner,but,one of the things that and im going to,take a little step back and kind of,think big picture here for a second,one thing that i always like to do when,it comes to putting

Being Planful: Managing high growth with Kevin Zell

(upbeat music),- [Rowan] Hi, Im your host Rowan Tonkin,,and welcome to Being Planful.,The show for FP&A leaders and planning experts.,(upbeat music),Welcome everyone, Im your host, Roland Tonkin,,and welcome back to Being Planful.,As you know, weve been recapping,some of that great sessions,from the Planful for virtual tour.,And today is no different.,Im really pleased to be introducing you to Kevin Zell,,Strategic Finance Manager at Carta,,along with Brian Martell, Product Marketing Director,here at Planful.,Really looking forward to this session.,Without further ado, over to you, gentlemen.,- Thank you, Ron, and Annette.,And thank you all for joining our fireside chat today.,Sorry we couldnt bring you live fire,,but we are going to bring you a great conversation instead.,So we hope you all enjoy.,Im excited to welcome our guest, Kevin Zell from Carta.,Carta is a high growth technology company,out of San Francisco.,They help companies manage their equity plans,and cap tables.,And Kevin leads their strategic finance team.,So, Cartas in a state of very high growth,,theres a lot of exciting stuff going on at the company.,And so were really excited to hear about that growth,from Kevin and to hear about how the Planful platform,has helped support and facilitate that growth,and distribute your financing.,So with that, Id love to take it over to Kevin,to say hello, and tell us a little bit about Carta,,a little bit about yourself,,and a little bit about your journey.,- Thanks, Brian, super happy to be here.,Appreciate that quick intro I can give a little more color.,I joined Carta about two and a half years ago,to lead our strategic finance team,,and we were about 300 employees at the time.,Were up to almost 1000 today.,So, Ive been through quite a bit of growth,over the last two and a half years,,and happy to kind of talk through how Planfuls helped us,manage that growth as well as kinda transition,out of traditional DNA and spreadsheets,and into a more kind of dynamic planning,and connected universal across both finance,and kind of other groups within our company.,Prior to Carta, I did investment banking for a few years,,and have been really excited,to kinda work with such a high growth company,and excited to talk to you all today.,- Awesome, well, hey, I love for you to start,and just by telling us a little bit,about a little bit more about Carta,,a little bit about the state of the union,,if you will, when you first got there,and in sort of this high growth environment,that you entered when you joined the team,,and sort of what life was like, and what was the impetus,really for the change you were looking for,when you started evaluating FB&A software,tools like like Planful?,- Sure, so when I joined, it was a very lean team.,I reported directly to our CFO,,and we were kind of just starting,to build out what your traditional FB&A function,might look like.,Doing our first kind of annual planning cycle,,putting together a lot of our board reporting,and kind of standard monthly and quarterly metrics,reporting those types of things.,And it was all being built in spreadsheets,,using a variety of different kind of disaggregated data sets,and a number of kind of different tools,,it didnt always work well together.,So, we kinda stayed in that state,over the next year and a half,and continue to iterate on those processes,and make them better, but they remained in spreadsheets.,And as our team started to grow, in the middle of 2019,,we added a couple of analysts on our team.,And it became very apparent that it was just not feasible,to continue to do this in spreadsheets.,So, we began looking for a tool,and kind of looked at all the players in the space,that you might think of.,Planful really stood out to us for a couple of reasons.,The biggest is just that its so Excel, Excel,,like we all have a better investment banking background,and our team and grew up in spreadsheets.,So, getting out of them was a bit of a,,would be a bit of a shock to us.,So, Planful allowed us to kind of merge both.,An online cloud platform,with a lot of the native Excel functionality,that we were really used to.,So, that was a huge plus for us.,Additionally, reporting became very important.,We are growing so fast,,theyre getting metrics and data in front,of our execs as quickly as possible,is really the core job of my team.,And having a tool where it was a really,intuitive reporting system and allowing people,to kind of come in and drag and drop,and build their own reports,,really allowed us to get, to value quickly.,And so those are the two main factors that kind,of helped us Planful when, in our buying decision.,And as well as just were really impressed,with kind of the overall customer support and sales process,compared to some of the competitors.,- Thats great, its great to hear.,So, let me let me ask you this,,because I know you guys have had a lot going on over there.,Youve expanded business lines and product lines,,and I know your team plays a really instrumental role,as sort of strategic advisor to those teams.,Tell us a little bit about what that dynamic,is like between your team.,I believe you call it the trifecta.,So, maybe you can share with us what it what is the trifecta,and what that relationship is like with your team,,and how you thought about that relationship,in your evaluation of an FP&A software platform.,What was important to you to make sure,that you were building a solution,that would really support those relationships.,- Yeah, absolutely, thanks for that.,Its actually another really good point,that I missed during the quick intro,on why we picked Planful.,In my two and a half years of Carta, weve reordered twice.,So, when I joined we were in a business unit,type organization structure,,that was split by kind of product line,that we were servicing.,About a year into my time at Carta,,we transitioned into more of a traditional function based,org where engine product are separate,from delivery and sales, et cetera.,And about nine months ago, we made the switch back,to this mode of big structure.,And these kind of constant business evolutions,with a huge cluster plant as well,,we can now make these kind of changes,on a much quicker basis and kind of interact,with the data in a much more dynamic way.,But to your point about the trifecta,is the way we build our business model,in kind of business units,,is we believe that every business,that were going into, needs a kind of business lead,,an engineering lead and a product lead.,They essentially control the full P&L for that business.,And so, its really my teams job to serve in the CFO,for each of those many business units,and help them evaluate business decisions,and kind of make trade offs.,So, planful really allowed us to do this,by kind of getting them in the winds.,And we actually rolled out budgets,for the first time yesterday,,and we really received great feedback,and kind of what its like to interact with Planful.,They can now go into a tool and see things,and ask questions in real time,versus asking one of us to kind of pull a spreadsheet,together for them.,Maybe interacting Google sheets for a while.,Its just a much simpler kind of cleaner way to interact.,And our objects are really feeling more empowered,that they can kind of in real time, go in and see,,how their business units performing,,and then get on a ball with us,and help us, help them think through scenarios,and what it might look like if they,invest a dollar here versus a dollar there, et cetera.,So, its been really helpful in this business unit model,,and really helps my team, spend less time,putting together reports have more time actually doing,the fun part of our job, which is being advisors,and helping the executive, each of our businesses,kind of think through how they wanna run their business.,- That is fantastic.,I, first of all, congratulations on the go live.,And Id love to come back to that in just a second.,But before we go there,,I thin

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