11 #048: How to Make a Difference with the 3 Languages of Finance – Strength In The Numbers

Our Guest Mentor:

Steve Rosvold who following an extensive finance and accounting career spanning 4 decades within both multinationals and SMEs then founded CFO.University which is a community of member-scholars, companies and trusted advisors committed to the development of Chief Financial Officers.

Steve holds an MBA in Finance from Chicago’s Booth School of Business and is also the owner of KRM Business Solutions which provides a range of CFO advisory services and competencies. Steve is currently based out of Vancouver, Washington  in the western United States.

Key Quotes From the Episode:

“[On Importance of Building Relationships] The challenge I have is having people tell me what their real issues are and I can help them solve their issues once I know what they are.” [03:55]

 “[On the need to become multi-lingual] One of the big improvements we can make is to become bi-lingual and what I mean by that is understand the commercial aspects. So in your business your sales people, your operations people, have in your industry a different language that isn’t about debits and credits it’s not necessarily even about revenues and costs. So learning that language and the next steps is about communicating your information in their language not financial language and that’s a hard thing.” [07:21]

“[On communicating in the language of the business] We know the results. That’s what we’re good at being able to communicate in a way people understand. That is really important.” [08:40]

“[On our really important roles as teachers] We have this universal language that helps us understand economies, any economy whether it is a business or in personal finance and we’ve learned this knowledge and being able to deliver that to other people helps them understand and get better.” [10:15]

“[On the fundamental role of Finance even in the presence of all the latest digital Finance technologies] I have a friend who calls it the shiny object syndrome, the shiny object, always grasping for that but there is a foundation that all of this needs to be built on.” [18:51]

 (Other resources and how to connect with Steve below).

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Key Points From the Episode:

  • Share the key skill involved in building relationships.
  • Why it’s important to be multi-lingual in Finance and also the 3 languages that help us make a difference to the businesses and communities we serve.
  • The role of finance professionals and accountants as teachers.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[02:03] – Steve’s journey within multinationals and CFO advisory to his current role.

[03:16] – Shares the importance of building relationships.

[04:22] – Shares the key skill to be able to hone in on the businesses real challenges and build relationships.

[05:52] – What’s exciting him most at the moment about accounting and finance.

[07:09] – Why one of the key improvements we can make is to be multi-lingual in Finance.

[08:00] – Steve recalls an early experience of using multi-lingual finance.

[10:01] – The role of finance professionals and accountants as teachers.

[11:35] – The importance of gaining some exposure to different dialects and experiences (even outside your business/industry).

[12:07] – Steve is candid about one of his early faults.

[19:21] – The two best bits of advice Steve has ever received.

[22:04] – The resources and book Steve recommends to listeners

[23:35] – How to have more constructive conversations and for people to share their thoughts.

[26:20] – Steve’s closing thoughts.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Absolute Honesty: Building a Corporate Culture That Values Straight Talk and Rewards Integrity (2003), by Larry Johnson and Bob Phillips
  • CFO University Website (website)
  • The Association of Corporate Growth (website)

Connect with today’s guest:

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