#078: What’s your Finance extra?

with Paul Sweeney

Our Guest Mentor:

Paul Sweeney is a director at Flexxus Business Solutions and has leveraged his finance training to help small and medium sized enterprises gain maximum value from their ERP systems, whether this is via consulting, implementation or support with his hands on experience in financial and operations system development.

Paul is currently based out of Vancouver, Canada.

Key Quotes From the Episode:

“[On forward planning ERP capability] We would all like to have a Ferrari, and buying the Ferrari is quite possible, but keeping it on the road is something completely different- so when you go out to buy software, it’s a similar thing: buying it is one thing, installing it and getting it running is one thing. But then what’s your plan for keeping it running and continuing to get value out of it? ” [08:28]

 “[Successful People in the context of curiosity]One of the things that I have seen in my experience is that people that are really successful are not so much knowing the answers, but knowing who to ask the question to” [13:00]

“[On what successful finance operations look like] …Where I see it working well is when the finance group is less focussed on the transactions, and more focused on creating value on what the transactions are showing.” [15:00]

“[On what relaxing and fun can do for your career] The one thing that I would convey to people, finance professionals is that your title might say finance, but you are in sales too. Because if you want your organisation to change like for example, hey this software is not working for us, we need something new: well guess what, you ‘re in sales because you have to convince a whole bunch of other people to agree with you- that’s sales. Right, if you want a raise, you’re in sales” [17:30]

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

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Key Points From the Episode:

  • Why your finance professional extra matters and how we can practically go about delivering it.
  • We deconstruct the Finance professional’s approach to technology and attitude to development around technology.
  • Paul shares some great advice around Excel, Salesmanship and a great question he got from his father.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[02:10] – Paul discusses his career journey from Commerce & Accounting to ERP consulting.

[04:15] – We discuss whether vendors oversell of systems to the customer, or does the customer overask?

[07:45] – Paul suggests an approach to forward planning technology capabilities without overbuying.

[09:44] – We deconstruct the Finance professional’s approach to technology and attitude to development around technology.

[14:30] – What successful finance operations look like and how to have a solid future in the finance profession (hint: it relates to value).

[15:26] – Paul shares where he sees the future of the successful finance professional (What’s your extra).

[19:11] – Paul shares what excites him most in his work.

[22:22] – Why there needs to be a meeting of minds between generations in Finance.

[27:30] – Best piece of advice Paul received [specifically external vs internal validation].

[29:37] – Shares a personal story about how he practically applied this to a big decision he had to make.

[32:38] – How to connect with Paul.

[33:00] – Paul examines the two types of reporting and which is best of Excel.

[36:30] – Why salesmanship skills are important to finance professionals in avoiding business failure.

[37:30] – What Toastmasters has to do with good salesmanship.

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with today’s guest:

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Credit: Edited by Mitan Patel & Andrew Codd