Succeeding as a Strategic CFO

January 04, 2022 By Matt McKinlay

Tyler Ploeger is co-founder and CFO of payroll and business payments platform Everee. Tyler joined Everee at its inception in 2018 and is a seasoned finance executive with more than 13 years of experience in financial analysis, technical accounting, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, and audit services.

During the 2021 Intermountain CFO Summit, Tyler focused on 15 ways to Succeed as a Strategic CFO.

  1. The best CFO’s have the right people to enable the CFO’s to spend as little time as possible on transactional items.  
  2. The best CFO’s spend lots of time running scenarios and financial models.  Learn how to prepare for activities before they occur, just as a football player trains before a game.
  3. Learn how to model … and model everything.  Spend lots of time modeling the various what-ifs in your business.
  4. Learn to follow bread crumbs (the data), read tea leaves (make predictions), and have the courage to trust your gut.  At those times you rely on your gut, you will need to model scenarios of what you see to convince the organization.
  5. Find the KPI’s that matter most to the business owner.  Model around those.  “Though we can’t direct the wind, we can adjust the sales.”
  6. CFO’s should be much more than a scorekeeper.  Make sure the KPI”s influence the organization.
  7. Vision:  Determine what the true vision of the company is and build your team around that vision.
  8. Spend a lot of time asking the organization, and each department, “Why aren’t we winning?”
  9. Do not allow a zero-sum game to exist.  Solve problems.
  10. Consider what department in your business can help your business the most, and spend your time focusing in that area.  It could be sales, operations, etc.  Learn it and get involved.
  11. Most CFO’s have underfunded growth.  This is a mistake.  CFO’s should reward performance.  Don’t constrain the business if you don’t need to.  
  12. Unit economics – learn them, and know them.  Answer the question:  What is this customer actually worth?
  13. Know your strengths.  Know what areas you need to improve.
  14. Develop professionals in every aspect of your business.
  15. How do you want to be remembered?  Work toward that goal.

Are you ready to make finance

a competitive advantage?