Every week, CFO Weekly brings you experts from the finance industry--from execs at Big Four Accounting Firms sharing their career experience to CFOs in corporate accounting--in conversation with our wonderful host, Megan Weis. Each episode, you hear tips and tricks, and get some great advice on how to navigate the finance industry, especially in the crazy times we’re going through right now. You may have noticed that Megan always asks her guests, “How did you get to where you are today?” and "What the turning points in your career?"
Careers in accounting are so varied that inevitably, the guest answer leads to a pretty interesting story with a career path shared that other accountants can follow. However, what about our host, Megan Weis?
What was her career journey like? How did she get where she is today? What were some of the key moments in her career that stand out to her, and what has she learned along the way?
On this episode of CFO Weekly, you’ll hear from Megan Weis. Megan is the VP and General Manager of Finance and Accounting Outsourcing Services at Personiv. Megan spends some time touching on the highlights of her career, why she made the switch from one of the world’s largest professional services companies to a small company, and what it’s been like leading her department at Personiv.
Starting off Her Career With Big Four Accounting Firm Experience
After graduating from Kent State University with an accounting degree, Megan passed the CPA her last semester before graduation and went to work for Deloitte & Touche in their Cleveland office.
As a part of their auditing practice, she spent about three years there and worked with some incredible people. “Deloitte really is a company that excels at finding great talent,” Weis said. While she enjoyed her time there, she realized that ultimately it wasn’t going to be a good long-term fit.
She enjoyed the consultancy aspect of the job and being able to help clients improve their operations and processes. Moving to a new client every few months provided new challenges, and the work was never boring. But for nearly four months out of the year, there was no flexibility, and she was expected to work 80 hours a week. And that wasn’t something that she was interested in.
The Move to Corporate Accounting
From Deloitte, Megan went to work with British Petroleum, otherwise known as BP, as a financial analyst. Again working with some incredibly talented people, and getting to do some incredibly interesting work.
But a company as big as BP has very mature processes and she didn’t feel challenged. She was excelling at her work but didn’t feel like BP offered her much in the way of challenging work or a career progression.
The Switch to Outsourcing
Accenture brought about some new challenges. Throughout her 13 years at Accenture, though she held many different roles, for the most part, her job was to help Accenture contract some of their largest Business Process Outsourcing deals.
But again, as had been the case at BP, at the time Megan was there, there were nearly half a million employees at Accenture, and she didn’t feel like she was making much of a difference. It can be hard to feel like you’re really helping turn a ship as big as that one.
“When I left Accenture, they were an organization that was about 450,000 people strong. And I really didn't feel like I was making much of an impact in an organization that size," Weis said.
So after completing the global executive MBA program at Duke University, getting to travel the world and meet amazing people, she knew that she wanted to work for a small company. For a company where she could really make a difference, where she could wear multiple hats and have her hands in a lot of different pots.
Accounting Roles in Smaller Firms After Obtaining Career Experience in a Big Four Finance Firm
She moved to Everest Group, gaining some incredible experience there, and finally, in 2017, she joined the team at Personiv as their VP & General Manager of FAO Services, helping to build a world-class finance and accounting offering. This is what Megan has been doing ever since. In fact, when clients of Personiv sign up for a virtual accounting talent solution, Megan ensures that their customized program goes off without a hitch, has the right talent hired and has the essential processes and KPIs in place to bring about long-term success.
“Because of my background in accounting, I do understand the pain points that are involved in the finance and accounting department," Weis said.
This serves Megan well every week as well as she hosts CFO Weekly and talks with finance execs to bring their knowledge to the masses.
It’s been nearly three and a half years into her journey at Personiv, and she’s just getting started. She’s looking forward to many more years at Personiv, helping clients to outsource, save money, get access to amazing talent, and drive efficiency throughout their accounting processes.