Lynne Taylor, is an actively licensed California Certified Public Accountant and is an MBA with a Finance concentration from San Diego State University. Lynne is currently the Principal at Cloud Applications and Accounting Services for Enterprises (CASE) and Chief Administrative Officer of Relocation Services International (RSI Relo).
Some time ago, I set up a Google news search on keywords that I want to be notified about automatically. Every day I get a nice little summarized digest of the latest articles to hit the internet that contain my keywords. One of those keywords is FinancialForce.com, so I often receive the latest press release from the company or quarterly earnings data or some other company specific article. What caught my attention the other day though was a link to a Forbes article by Alana Glass with this headline:CFO Christine Driessen: The Financial Force Behind ESPN Alana’s post combined three of my most favorite things: finance, sports and great stories about people who revolutionize an industry or their workplace. (My other favorite thing is wine but unfortunately it was missing in this article!) But the headline of the piece – and its subject obviously – got me thinking. Who or what exactly is the “Financial Force” at most companies? And what does that mean exactly?
I’ve spent the last four years evangelizing cloud accounting and appreciate FinancialForce.com because as a company, they really get what it means to stop the “siloed” accounting madness and strive to open those previously closed doors between sales and finance. But I believe many accounting departments – busy doing their daily accounting transactions and reconciliations – often do not get the chance to consider how their work impacts their company and adds value to it.
That is why stories like the Forbes piece about Christine Driessen are so important. Here is a woman who left public accounting and took a risk on what was essentially (at the time) an unproven 5 year old start-up – 28 years ago. Christine has worked on or been involved in nearly every strategic decision ESPN has made since that time. She has been a large contributor to the growth and success of the company. Reading this article, there is no doubt that finance is integrally linked to marketing, sales and operations at ESPN.
What I took away from Christine’s story was that integration and communication are key elements of success for a company. No organization can be successful if all of its “parts” are not working together seamlessly and towards the same goals. And that is how I’ve always looked at FinancialForce.com – because seamless integration on the force.com platform is at the core and heart of what the company is about. It’s like it was “baked” into its DNA.But much as I love that concept, the reality is that accounting applications and their use are only one part of the story. At the end of the day it is the people who use those applications and the data within that are really the “Financial Force” behind a business or an organization. So we all have the potential to be a “Financial Force” like Christine, even if our companies are not a cool sports media business like ESPN!