How CFOs Are Becoming Chief Storytellers

July 5, 2024 Mimi Torrington

chief storyteller giving a presentation to company

When it comes to the evolving responsibilities of the CFO, the need to be a skilled storyteller has become a hot topic as of late. In this episode of CFO Weekly, Ben Cutting, CFO at Lithko Contracting, joins Megan Weis to explore the evolving role of CFOs as Chief Storyteller Officers and the importance of effective communication in financial leadership.

Ben has over 15 years of expertise in corporate finance, financial planning and analysis, accounting, pricing, and corporate restructuring. He has a proven record of managing finances successfully during significant growth and complex transitions. Previously, Ben served as the CFO of Taylor Corporation and the Treasurer and Vice President of Finance at WorkflowOne.

Show/Hide Transcript

Megan - 00:00:18: Today, my guest is Ben Cutting. Ben has been the Chief Financial Officer of Lithco since 2018. Previously, he was the CFO of several large public and private businesses in high-change environments. Ben started his career in the assurance and business advisory practice of Arthur Anderson LLP. He is a certified public accountant, certified internal auditor, certified treasury professional, chartered global management accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Ben holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Wright State University. Ben, thank you very much for being my guest on today's episode of CFO Weekly.

Ben - 00:01:31: Great to be here today.

Megan - 00:01:33: Yeah, today we'll be discussing the role of CFO as Chief Storytelling Officer. And when it comes to the evolving responsibilities of the CFO, the need to be a skilled storyteller has become a hot topic as of late. And I've actually been curious as to how I can improve my own skills in this area. So Ben, I'm looking forward to hearing your perspective on this topic and learning from your experiences. So let's jump right in.

Ben - 00:01:59: Sounds good.

Megan - 00:02:00: First thing, as always, if you could just kind of walk us through your career and how it is that you made it to where you are today.

Ben - 00:02:08: Sure. What I'd like to do is to go back. To the late 80s. And I had my first job and my first job was a paper route for a local newspaper. And so in that job, I learned a couple of different things. I did the route with my brother. And again, he's four years younger than me, so he was not a good helper. He wasn't as interested in the paper route as I was. So I learned about having good help and bad help and being stuck with the help that you have. The second thing that I really learned in that job was collections. And that became something that hopefully as we go through this conversation today, I've tried to have an orientation towards cash flow. And I think that paper route started it because the way it worked, we'd collect our papers and we had to pay Mrs. O'Shaughnessy some money, basically to cover the costs. But then we were able, if we collected more than the cost, you got to keep it. And so I would have to drop the papers off. And a lot of times nobody would be home. And so if you didn't collect the money, you didn't get paid. And so I would try and stake out the homes of the deadbeats, wait until they got home, chase them as they got out of their car, and try and collect a couple of bucks because that was the difference between me making money or not making money. The other thing that I noticed in that paper route is, even though I think I did it for a year and a half, was that the number of papers that were consumed went down. And that impacted me because I made less money and less money meant I could buy less baseball cards and everything that came with it. And so I knew that something about this, people were reading less of the local newspapers. As an aside, 20 years later, I ended up helping with the bankruptcy of the local newspapers. And so seeing that secular decline because of technology infringement at a very early age, it kind of set up a whole series of things for me. And I can't imagine a better place to start my career than trying to collect receivables from deadbeats and then also dealing with poor help that you're assigned. And I learned all of that in the late 80s doing my paper route. And I think so much of that is I think of all the other things that come with my current job, a lot of it I can kind of put some kind of a thread back to that paper route.

Megan - 00:04:34: So you started your career with Arthur Anderson in assurance and business advisory. And today you're the CFO at Lithgow Contracting. I'm not sure if you just did, but could you maybe highlight a pivotal moment or two within that journey that shaped your approach to financial leadership?

Ben - 00:04:53: Sure. I started at Arthur Anderson and it was a great firm. And a couple of things kind of stood out in me quickly. Number one is I wasn't a very good auditor and I found the audit process boring. And I remember sitting in a conference room going through page after page of questions that they would have these audit checklists. And being not real interested in that, but being very interested in the meeting that the CFO and the president were in one room over where they were talking about different strategies of what they were going to do with the business and leverage that they could pull in order to improve results. And I became fascinated by what was going on in that room and less fascinated by all the machinations of running an audit but before I could even do anything with that, Arthur Anderson had the Enron scandal. And it was a large firm, billions of dollars of revenue, I think 40,000 employees. And it went out of business in a 90-day period. And so I didn't leave public accounting so much as it left me. And so that was my first taste that within chaos always lies opportunity. And so when Arthur Anderson fell apart, the partner that I was working with, he was a really good guy and he cared a lot about his people. And he introduced me to a friend of his that he golfed with who was doing a spin out of a company to the Carlyle Group. And it was an operating unit that was getting spun out on its own. So it didn't have a lot of accounting and finance infrastructure and they were building it out. And so I started in that Carlyle spin out and very quickly I got my taste of being in the boardroom and starting to do transactions to business, had several M&A opportunities. And because I enjoyed that and I didn't mind long hours and travel, I started down a path where almost every year since then for 20 some years later, we've either bought something, sold something or refinanced something. And I just fell in love with the fast pace that comes with trying to turn around businesses in a private equity environment.

Megan - 00:07:07: And your educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Wright State, and you have quite a few very impressive credentials behind your name. So how has your academic experience influenced your perspective on the role of CFO as Chief Storyteller?

Ben - 00:07:23: So I had a bit of a tough hand and dealt to me when I was in college. And so I wanted to get through it as soon as possible because in my accountant's mind, every day I was in college, I was paying, and every day I could get out of college, I would be making money. So I set up a plan to get through as soon as possible. And I got through my undergraduate degree in under three years while I was working three different jobs at the same time. In order to kind of get through college in a quick... Fashion, I would be enrolled in two classes at the same time. And so what that taught me was you're forced to pick not between a good and a bad choice, because the reality, you're not going to get two A pluses if you're enrolled in two classes simultaneously and attendance is part of the grade. So really you have two bad choices and your goal is to pick the least bad choice. And so being overscheduled and having to constantly pick between the least bad choices is something that served me very well. And I learned time management skills and I learned how to make decisions. And even if they weren't great, you had to pick one. So set that expectation up front and then orient your decisions accordingly. And that's something that as I got started in my professional career, it certainly those lessons carried over. Wright State was a great school for me. I actually got into public accounting because one of the professors, Dr. Susan Lytle, had actually worked in public accounting. And she really liked me, even though I wasn't much of a student. She took an interest in me and introduced me to the managing partner at Arthur Anderson. And that's really how I got the job. And what that taught me is that you'll come across certain people in your career that care about humans just a little bit more than everybody else. So when you find them, stay close to them and try and pass that on to others as you go out in your career.

Megan - 00:09:26: Yeah, that's awesome and great advice. So as a CFO, you've navigated through periods of significant change and complexity in multiple organizations. So how have you seen the CFO's role change within these dynamic environments?

Ben - 00:09:42: I think in the dynamic environments, it puts a premium on people that have highly variable skills. In my career, I've had was through two bankruptcies. I was the treasurer of one. CFO of another. I've had instances where we've grown by a billion dollars, instances where we've declined by a billion dollars. And what it requires is you need to have an incredibly broad skill set and you need to try every day to make sure your people and your processes are flexible enough to change with tomorrow, because tomorrow is not going to look like the past. In a high change environment, that's almost all you know for sure is that the future won't be like the past. And so we're going to need to be flexible and we're going to need to be willing to do things different. And that's probably the skill that I think is at a premium when you're in any kind of a high change environment.

Megan - 00:10:37: Most people will work their entire career without encountering any of the complexities you based. So have you navigated your career towards these complex situations or do they just seem to find you?

Ben - 00:10:49: Well, I've always liked the challenge. And I said it before that within chaos lies opportunity. How I got to be treasurer is kind of interesting. I was working really as a special project type of a person for a CFO, doing a lot of mergers and acquisitions and integration activities. It was a large company, over a billion dollars, private equity backed. And the treasurer had gone on vacation and through a series of calamitous events. Missed payroll. So they did not fund the payroll accounts properly. And several thousand people came into work on Friday thinking they were going to get paid, and they didn't. This company was also leveraged and had had some financial difficulties. And so tensions were already high and missing payroll just kind of was a really bad thing, of course. So the CFO promptly fired the treasurer and said, you're in charge of treasury. Don't screw it up. If you do screw it up, you're fired. I'll give you about a week. And so I'd never had any formal treasury experience. I'd never released a wire. I didn't have tokens or access to the accounts. And I had to quickly get in there and figure this out, orient myself, acknowledge the current reality of the situation, figure out friends and foes, what allies I had available to me, and then plot a path out of it. And it was a great situation of just getting thrown into the deep end. And I actually fell in love with it. Mentioned earlier some of the credentials that I have. The truth of those credentials is I never went back and got a master's degree. And I always felt a little self, you had some self-confidence issues about that. And so I overcame it by every time I had a technical area that I was assigned, I would go back and get whatever those credentials were. So when I was treasurer, I went and got a certified treasury professional designation. And it was just my way of proving to myself that even though I didn't have classical training in an area that I could pass multiple choice tests with a bunch of technical questions and kind of prove to myself that I belong there. And after we got kind of the basics figured out, we ended up in that role. I did a free fall bankruptcy as treasurer. And what that means, and it's as terrifying as it sounds, is we filed for bankruptcy. It was a private equity backed company that was sideways with a mezzanine debt hedge fund. And we filed bankruptcy without having debtor in possession financing in place, which is not something you would ever recommend anybody to do. And so that strategy puts a premium on the treasurer's ability to fund the operation while you tumble your way through a court supervised process. And that was another great experience for me. It didn't feel great at the time. So actually bruising and overwhelming at the time, but I learned so much about it. And every time I was put in a situation that was difficult and I dug down and figured out a way out of it. I just got that much more confident. And it taught me that even if it's a bad situation, there's going to be people that want you to succeed, work hard, be deliberate, and you can get yourself out of it and you can learn a lot.

Megan - 00:14:09: And you transitioned a defined benefit plan to the pension benefit guarantee corporation or PBGC during that chapter 11 bankruptcy or a different one?

Ben - 00:14:20: Well, unfortunately, I had to do it twice. The PBGV is obviously they represent in a typical defined benefit plan, they represent on behalf of the pensioners. If you owe them money, they won't negotiate concessions because of the moral hazards association with such negotiations. They won't let you get out of those obligation absent a court order in bankruptcy process. So in one of the bankruptcies, for sure, the largest liability that existed in the company was some unfunded pension obligations. That unfortunately, because of the company's capital structure, some decisions the prior management had made, and really just some industry changes that existed, the company wasn't able to satisfy those. And so they filed bankruptcy. And so you're in court and you're negotiating with the PBGC. And it's a tough negotiation. Fortunately, there's a lot of case law. There's a lot of great advisors and attorneys that help and we try and take a motion out of it. And we try and cut the best deal for all interests. And even if it's a bad situation, if you just acknowledge the facts. And again, there is no good choice. You wouldn't be in bankruptcy. That was good. So you're picking between the least bad choices for everybody. And you're trying to get some kind of a consensus where even if people don't agree, they can respect. These are the facts. This is the only way we can play them. And then a judge kind of ratify those negotiations and you ultimately end up getting your bankruptcy case confirmed, hopefully.

Megan - 00:15:58: So as you're going through that, how do you leverage storytelling to kind of keep the troops calm and ensure that their tension isn't going down with the ship?

Ben - 00:16:11: Sure. What I've tried to do when there's been tough situations in a restructuring type of an environment is, number one, acknowledge the reality of the situation. People respect you if you can just plainly articulate, this is why we're here. And it's no good. It's no fun. I wish I wasn't here. But this is where we are. Can't go back. We can only go forward. So we're in a bad spot. Now, we have some choices that we have to make, and some of those will be painful. But we'll try and do them quickly. We'll have a bias towards action, and we'll tell everybody in an honest manner what we're going to do to the extent we legally can. And I think people respect that it's the unknown that locks people up. And so what I've tried to do is tell a simple story, tell an honest story, and then stay in touch with people on a frequent basis. If possible, I try and do it in person. I've always believed in what I call stand-up meetings. I like getting in front of everybody, letting them hear it straight from me, and then answering any questions that they would have with the goal of trying to keep it very simple and just be honest with people, even if it's a bad thing that we have to convey. Most people appreciate the honesty. Most people don't. People also appreciate the fact that you're willing to tell them in person and answer any questions that they would ask.

Megan - 00:17:28: Yeah, you're so right. Like not knowing is much worse than having bad news delivered, I think.

Ben - 00:17:35: Absolutely. It's the unknown and the human condition always puts the most negative spin on unknown news. It's humans. It's what we do. So in any kind of a restructuring environment or any high change environment, I think try and keep the communication cycle short and try and tell people as much as you can about what you're doing.

Megan - 00:17:59: So you mentioned having gone through that free fall to Chapter 11. So while you were going through that, what was it that got you out of bed during that period? And how did you cope with the pressures of that situation?

Ben - 00:18:13: Well, and... I did two bankruptcies. The first one, I really struggled with everything that you just mentioned. We would have calls at 11 o'clock at night would be the last call of the day. And a lot of times there would be homework that would need to be done before you'd get up in the morning. So it was the first bankruptcy in particular. I'd never been through anything like that. And it was absolutely exhausting. How I got through it was there's always been people, even in a bad situation, that I found in life that really care. And they want you to succeed, and they're willing to give you tips and tricks and skills that you wouldn't otherwise have in these tough situations. And for me, for my first bankruptcy, there was a managing director at FTI. Her name's Gina Gutsite. She's phenomenal. And Gina took me under wing. And even in the darkest days where it was just brutal, the amount of work and tensions get really high because people are losing money in this situation and Gina really taught me how to just slow down, prioritize your day. Have clarity. And again, you're not going to be able to make everybody happy here. So it's really about picking the least bad choice. And when you do that, it opens up the playbook in my mind. And what's interesting in both the restructuring situations that I went through is I always joke my chair had wheels on it because you start off most restructurings kind of working for the private equity side on the equity side of the equation. And the punchline is, is the mezzanine debt hedge funds almost always win. And so at the end of it, they end up running the company. And in my case, somebody who you had been very opposed to in heated negotiations is now your new boss. And so it's somewhat rare for them to keep people around. For me, I always tried to play it straight down the middle and just have a very factual, crisp delivery of what's going on in the business, the associated implications, and to not get emotional and take either side. And that served me really well because I ultimately ended up working both for the private equity and then for the hedge funds. And I think both sides just respected somebody that was a straight shooter and could deal with just the facts such as they were and not get tied up into the winners and losers side of how money actually ends up getting settled at the end of the case.

Megan - 00:20:38: And in your experience managing critical banking relationships during restructuring processes, how is it that you craft narratives that inspire confidence and trust among these financial partners while still addressing that there's challenges and uncertainties inherent in these situations?

Ben - 00:20:57: Yeah, well, very carefully. By the time you're in a restructuring situation, most of the time the banks have moved you to work out. So the friendly person that you knew that was a part of the golf team, that person's long gone and it's replaced by somebody that is just a really harsh individual most of the time. So there's not a lot of friendliness in that relationship. That's what the workout team's really designed around. How you get through that is most of the time they care about cash because that's ultimately what success or failure of any business is really around its cash flow. And so in that process, what gives you credibility is being able to articulate the current state of affairs. It's a 13-week cash flow model. And then how good are you at predicting the next quarter's worth of activity and being able to articulate to the bankers and really all the parties? These are the implications and the variables that we have built into this model. And it's a model, so we know it'll change. But being able to say, this is what we've assumed. These are why these assumptions are reasonable. Here is the upside downside on these assumptions. And this is just the way the cash spills out accordingly. Having a 13-week cash flow model, I've used one for years that was developed by Alex Partners. And it's a cornerstone of most restructuring environments. But now at Lithco, we're very fortunate. Lithco is a high growth company, extremely profitable, has almost no leverage. And so even though we don't have liquidity concerns, we still run a 13-week cash flow model every single week. And we use that as a way to really understand the cash flow drivers and lovers that are available to us. And I feel like that's one of the things that most CFOs... That are in well-capitalized kind of growth, high growth situations, they don't spend enough time on the cash flow models because it's not required per se. You can kind of figure it out. People will loan you money. And so having grown up without a lot of resources and then been in restructuring environments where there was a premium on liquidity. Even though now when I'm in a situation where we have a lot more pleasant things to deal with, I still have a bias towards cash flow and I still have all of the same disciplines in place in this business that I did when things were a lot tougher in a restructuring world.

Megan - 00:23:24: And can you share an example of a time when your storytelling skills were instrumental in rallying internal teams around a strategic financial initiative, particularly during a period of hybrid?

Ben - 00:23:36: Yeah, I think a couple of different things come to mind. I mean, I think it is I think about the construction world. Part of what being a good CFO storyteller is, is to really have some empathy for who are you telling this story for? And each of the constituencies that you have has some bespoke perspective. And so I try and spend some time thinking about what would they care the most about? Now, I always have cash flow in there some way, somehow. I think it has to be. But I try and spend some time of thinking about if it's the sureties, for instance, what are they really interested in? What's their world look like? And as they look at Lithco through their prism, what would they see? And I try and make sure that with that empathy, that we craft a story that is simple and easy to understand, at least the headline news that we give them and I want you to be able to read it on your phone quickly and easily. You give me 30 seconds where you can kind of take away the headline news. Then if you want more details, I generally try and have a robust appendix that if somebody wants to understand why did we come up with the headlines that we gave them or unpack any of the math that we're kind of alluding to, that you can follow along. If you want to spend the time, it's in the appendix. And so I feel like that approach has been very useful to have empathy for what their perspective is, make it very easy for them to understand, assume that they're going to consume your message on their three-inch space of a cell phone. So make sure that it's very easy for them to read and to think about it. They only have 30 seconds to read this. What headlines are they going to take away? And then have them always know that if you want gory details, it's in the appendix and we're always available to walk through them. So that's a methodology that served me well the last several years as Lithco has been in a very high growth, high change environment.

Megan - 00:25:39: And CFOs are, of course, expected to communicate financial performance and strategy transparently to shareholders and the public. So how do you approach storytelling in financial reporting to convey both successes and challenges authentically?

Ben - 00:25:56: Yeah, I think that's, I like how you said both challenges and risks authentically, because that's really key is to have credibility. I try and present both the historical facts, they are what they are. And then as we look forward, we have a projection and try and give everyone the understanding of what could go right with it, what could go wrong with it. And to make sure everyone sees and acknowledges the reasonableness of our assumptions, that's really critical to me. And I think that's a large part of transparency is just telling everybody and showing that your assumptions are grounded in reasonableness. And being able to connect kind of real operational drivers to your forecasting models, I think builds credibility and authenticity in your reports. Early on in my career, I was exposed to McKinsey and company, they did some work for us in the area of data visualizations. And so I Some of those attributes have stayed with me, and I still have a couple of visuals that I still like to show in all of our board presentations to just visually show where we are, where the year's going. Have some kind of a reconciliation between adjusted EBITDA and cash flow. I think that's something that every CFO should be able to do in every single month. And I always like making sure that I stay close enough with our friends in operations so that we can not just talk about the numbers, but actually what were the operational drivers that gave rise to those results. And so I feel like the more time you spend with the operations side of the business, the more you're able to distill down the financial results into business trends and to make those more relatable to the constituencies that you're trying to report out to.

Megan - 00:27:43: And you've mentioned that Lithco is a rapidly growing environment. So within that environment, how do you leverage storytelling to communicate the company's vision, values and strategic priorities to both internal teams and external stakeholders?

Ben - 00:28:01: Yeah, well, at Lithco, what we say is we don't build buildings. We build teams that build buildings. And so one of the things that has allowed Lithco to transform the concrete construction industry is just that simple approach. So we have an obsession with teams. And what does that mean? Well, that means. We are interested in making sure that we provide clarity to the roles of the team member, how they'll be managed. We give them feedback tools. We let them know if they're winning or losing on a daily basis on our job sites. We say we're okay making more mistakes than anyone in the industry. We only want to make them once, and we want to learn about them very quickly. In construction, the sooner you realize there's a mistake, the less expensive it is to fix it and correct it. So we have set up an entire system around ensuring that our people out in the field at the lowest level. Are provided the tools to know on a daily basis that they're winning or losing on their jobs. And when you give people clarity to the role, when you give them the proper tools, when you tell them the game that they're in, how you're going to keep score, what the reward mechanisms are, when you provide that clarity, they don't have any issues being held accountable because they know they're in control and they can see it play out. And so for us, that obsession with teams, an obsession of how we can make teams more successful, that has really been the key to our success. One of the keys for me as that relates to CFO-ism is trying to take change and break it down into daily chunks. And so one of the ways we've been successful from a transactional processing and being able to drive free cash flow is to say, what are the daily behaviors in our business that if honored, will allow us to experience better cash flow, for instance? And that gets into what are you doing literally each day in each role? And can we manage and monitor that process to see did we do the right things today? And if you can get to where you can run your business on a daily or weekly, it's very powerful because many companies, they only know they're winning or losing once a month, maybe once a quarter if they do a hard close. And we want to have process level metrics that allow us to understand on a daily or weekly basis how our teams are doing. And so that would be a challenge I would say that I would put out there for some of your CFO listeners is do you really understand what are the daily behaviors that need to be honored in order to drive profitability or cash flow across your organization or the CFO organization? If the answer is no, probably should. And a lot of those things that you would track and understand, they are not sourced off the trial balance. They come from having a deep appreciation of your processes and to set up collection methods to understand the key performance indicators at a process level that you can monitor on a daily or weekly basis.

Megan - 00:31:21: Yeah, I think that's great. It's so much more empowering when a person knows how what they do every day impacts who they're doing it for.

Ben - 00:31:32: Absolutely.

Megan - 00:31:33: And last question, but as you look out into the future, is there something you're worried about? Does anything keep you up at night?

Ben - 00:31:43: For me right now at Lithgo, scale is what keeps me up. And we're in a high growth, high change environment right now. And so what I'm constantly thinking about is that as I look towards the future and we have so much opportunity and so much growth ahead of us, do I have a structure in place where both my people and my processes will be flexible enough to meet the demands of the future? And those demands will be bigger and there'll be more of them. And so inevitably, as we try and scale our people and our processes, it means that we have to narrow our focus. Where you had one person doing the work, now you're going to have to have two. And that requires you to be able to constantly be out there hiring people, but then also getting people to understand that you can't hold all this work yourself. It's too much. So you have to be willing to narrow your job scope and if you aren't willing to give up control of parts of your job, you just won't be successful. And so that is really what keeps me up at night, making sure that being very thoughtful and delivered and providing the environment for this organization to scale.

Megan - 00:32:55: Ben thank you so much for being my guest today.

Ben - 00:32:58: Well, thank you for having me. I've really enjoyed the podcast each week. I eagerly look for it. You've had some great speakers. I always take notes and have learned a lot. And anybody has any questions, they can certainly send me a note on LinkedIn and I appreciate what you're doing for our industry.

Megan - 00:33:14: Yeah, well, thank you for that. And I've really enjoyed speaking with you today. This has been a fun and fascinating conversation and I wish you and Lithco all the best.

Ben - 00:33:24: Thank you so much.

Megan - 00:33:26: And to all of our listeners, please tune in next week. And until then, take care.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What makes a great Chief Storyteller

  • The art of transparent financial storytelling

  • Crafting narratives that inspire confidence in financial partners

  • Authentic financial reporting

Key Takeaways:

Thriving in Chaos

Navigating dynamic environments as a CFO requires a highly versatile skill set and flexibility. Ben shares that he has handled everything from bankruptcies to billion-dollar growth and decline. The takeaway is to embrace the challenge, adapt daily, and stay flexible because tomorrow won't resemble today. His journey from a project manager to treasurer during a payroll crisis and through a complex bankruptcy without formal training highlights the importance of resilience, continuous learning, and finding opportunities within chaos.

As Cutting said, “I think in dynamic environments, it puts a premium on people who have highly variable skills.” - 09:28 - 14:08

Building Trust in Restructuring

Managing critical banking relationships during restructuring requires a clear and detailed approach. Ben highlights that in these high-stress situations, banks are focused on cash flow above all else. Building trust involves presenting a well-articulated 13-week cash flow model, emphasizing current conditions, reasonable assumptions, and potential outcomes. Even in high-growth, profitable companies, maintaining a disciplined approach to cash flow management is vital for understanding and optimizing financial drivers.

Quote Ben Cutting CFO at Lithko Contracting

“Part of being a good CFO Storyteller is to really have some empathy for who you are telling this story for.” Cutting said. - 24:33 - 27:10

Chief Storyteller: Building Credibility

Building credibility and authenticity in financial reporting goes down to transparently sharing both successes and challenges. Present historical facts clearly and make forward-looking projections that highlight potential outcomes, both positive and negative. Ground your assumptions in reasonableness and connect operational drivers to your forecasts. Employ effective data visualizations to illustrate your points, and maintain close collaboration with operations to ensure financial results reflect actual business trends.

chief storyteller nurturing credibility Quote

“The more time you spend with the operations side of the business, the more you're able to distill down the financial results into business trends.” Cutting claims. - 25:39 - 27:42

For more interviews from the CFO Weekly podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and our RSS or your favorite podcast player!

Instructions on how to follow, rate, and review CFO-Weekly are here.

Empower your inner chief storyteller. Focus on the narrative of your business while our experts handle your time-consuming accounting details. Schedule a free consultation to learn how outsourcing can free you up to tell your story.

Previous Article
Accounting for the Cost of High Turnover
Accounting for the Cost of High Turnover

High staff turnover draining your accounting team's budget? Learn how the hidden cost of turnover in accoun...

Next Article
How Accounting Outsourcing Can Stabilize the Impact of the NAR Settlement
How Accounting Outsourcing Can Stabilize the Impact of the NAR Settlement

Real estate agents, the recent NAR settlement brings new challenges. Learn how outsourcing can streamline o...