Executive Briefings

How the Company Bean Counter Can Really Demonstrate His or Her Value

Brian Holland, the CFO and president of Fleet Advantage, a truck leasing and big data firm, was trying to put his finger on what it means to be a finance chief at the kind of fast-growing, sales-driven companies that have employed him over his more than 20-year career. And then he thought of something a former boss had said to him: “You’re one of the few bean counters that I can even stand to be around.”

How the Company Bean Counter Can Really Demonstrate His or Her Value

Holland still doesn’t know whether that was a compliment or not. But for him, the exchange “really highlights the challenge faced by a lot of CFOs and financial executives — which is, how do you make yourself relevant within an organization?”

Traditionally, the finance function has been relegated to keeping score, according to Holland. “I’m very operational minded, very entrepreneurial spirited, and so I want to be involved in helping to drive the future of the business” rather than just overseeing finance, he says. “You bring a lot more value by being outside of the financial domain.”

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Holland still doesn’t know whether that was a compliment or not. But for him, the exchange “really highlights the challenge faced by a lot of CFOs and financial executives — which is, how do you make yourself relevant within an organization?”

Traditionally, the finance function has been relegated to keeping score, according to Holland. “I’m very operational minded, very entrepreneurial spirited, and so I want to be involved in helping to drive the future of the business” rather than just overseeing finance, he says. “You bring a lot more value by being outside of the financial domain.”

Read Full Article

How the Company Bean Counter Can Really Demonstrate His or Her Value