CFO: Growth and Data Transparency Inseparable

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Although the management of a fast-growing company has its own set of requirements, the need for better data to help decision-making is among the most important.

“It’s about using your systems in the digital age to enable key stakeholders to get better data and make better decisions – that’s what we do at a top-notch finance organization,” Schellman CFO Andy Goldstein said in a recent interview with PYMNTS, noting the challenges of serving different stakeholders, such as the business and customers of major constituents.

For its part, Schellman is a provider of attestation, compliance and certification services and, under the direction of its new chief financial officer, is entering its next phase of growth, including new initiatives around mergers and acquisitions (M&A), international expansion and automation.

Goldstein joined the firm in September, bringing 22 years of experience in financial management, the technology industry and high-growth companies.

Interviewed for the PYMNTS series “A day in the life of a digital-first CFO,” Goldstein said Schellman went from a founder-led company to a private equity-sponsored holding company in 2021 .

With his experience as a seven-time CFO for private equity-sponsored portfolio companies, Goldstein was driven to create top-notch financial operations.

“When you’re in a high-growth organization like Schellman, there’s just a lot of initiatives that are going on at any given time, and I have to make sure that we leverage some of those efforts and make sure they happen. all to timely completion and they lead to what is in the best interests of the company, customers and principal constituents – all at the same time,” Goldstein said.

Complete a 90-day assessment

When he arrives at a new company, Goldstein conducts a 90-day assessment of people, systems, and workflows. Then it is ready to rebuild or modify any of these three areas.

In Schellman’s case, he discovered that the company had an excellent accounting team that had been expanded just before his arrival, a top-notch general ledger (GL) system, and accounts functionality. Receivables (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) which was in good shape and mostly automated.

For the procure-to-pay process, for example, the company has a robust GL system as well as an expense management and approval approach that aims to have the correct thresholds so that people’s time does not not be lost.

“So the good news for me is that we were able to tick some favorable boxes on all of that at Schellman,” Goldstein said.

Work abroad

Both Goldstein and Schellman have experience working remotely. The company has an office in Tampa, where it is headquartered, but as a professional services firm that has most of its service providers with clients, most don’t need to show up at an office. .

Goldstein works remotely and finds Zoom and Teams to be effective. Since he and the team are constantly building analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs), they can communicate better with screen shares.

He goes to the office once or twice a month to meet and build the corporate culture.

“I was there all last week and it was really funny – when we were in one of our normal weekly meetings and we were all sitting across from each other, we were laughing if we had to use our laptops or not,” Goldstein said.

Seize growth opportunities

As an IT compliance and security provider, Schellman’s customers demand the audits it provides for their own customers, so customers need these services even in adverse economic conditions. Most of its service lines are provided on a recurring fixed fee basis.

“So while I wouldn’t say we’re recession-proof, we’re well positioned given the ever-increasing IT compliance and cybersecurity demands of our customer base,” Goldstein said.

With Schellman already experiencing rapid growth, the professional services firm sees further opportunities to capitalize on the inbound leads that are currently arriving, to increase the number of leads that are coming in, and to make acquisitions both nationally and abroad.

The company is in growth mode, so it continues to spend. Schellman’s finance team is implementing a new sense of forecasting for the business and will develop some contingencies on the cost side in case they are needed.

“We will be cautious if headwinds occur, but we haven’t seen any yet,” Goldstein said.

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