That we are bean counters and all we do are taxes. I am an expert in numbers, not English, but math can also tell a story. One of my goals every day is to leave a meeting and provide someone further insight into something they didn’t know before. When I began in finance, I thought I could offer the most value by making all the decisions through my lens. What I’ve learned and didn’t expect was that I am most valuable when I am not needed, because that means everyone has the tools they need to succeed on their own. So now, I try to provide avenues for my business partners to get their own answers—through automation of reports and giving them access to their own budget versus actuals, along with finance training. For example, using Workday Composite Reporting, I am currently showing people how to work with project reports so they can understand things like budget versus actuals each month to track their spend.
What skills and qualities are required of today’s finance professional?
Communication and people skills are crucial. Finance needs to know all the major decisions being made across the organization, and that requires having conversations with people. Half of my job is trying to get data out of people’s heads that they don’t realize they have.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a young professional, what would it be?
I would tell myself that it’s not about the job you have, but how hard you work at the job, because the effort you put in gives you the reward. You can positively impact your future by living in the moment, knowing you have to put in your dues, and believing good things will happen. Entitlement is the toughest thing to overcome, but know that everyone is replaceable. So bring your A game every single day.
(Learn more here about how a unified view of workforce and financial data with Workday helps AAA NCNU employees understand how the business runs, and empowers them to make better decisions.)