Tell us a little about your career path
After the first few years working as an accountant I made the decision to build a broad commercial and strategic skill set and capability rather than defining what I thought my perfect job or ultimate career goal would be. I also never set any timeframes but took the opportunity to do many roles (even within the same organisation).
I started my career at Coopers & Lybrand in the undergraduate program whilst completing my accounting degree spending 10 years at PwC. After advising Flight Centre on the acquisition of a corporate travel business in the UK I joined the company and went onto spend 12 years at Flight Centre in Global Finance. I joined A.P Eagers Limited in July 2015 as the CFO and was appointed to the Board of Directors in March 2017.
What keeps you awake at night?
I am always thinking about what I need to execute over the next week, month or beyond in my role. It doesn’t keep me awake at night because it’s a continuous journey that will always have twists and speed bumps along the way.
Any career lows?
Probably not taking time off to enjoy the long service leave I built up in my last two roles.
How has the CFO role changed over the last decade?
The role of the modern CFO is continuously broadening from the traditional role of getting the numbers right, compliance and reporting. That is essential but a given. It has shifted to contributing to the development and execution of strategy. Our role is to deliver our insights, discipline, and deep knowledge of both the business and the industry sector to our organisation. Furthermore the digital revolution is forcing us to deliver innovative finance solutions to our business with real time reporting and analytics.
Do you believe technology will further disrupt the CFO role?
Digital disruption is at the forefront of discussions in many industries including automotive retailing. As CFOs we will need to continue to deepen and broaden our roles to navigate these opportunities and deliver commercial solutions to our operational partners. It is exciting times as the finance function becomes embedded in the operational success of our companies. We need to be agile, flexible and adaptable to continuous change. It becomes an everyday mindset rather than a planning process with set timeframes.
Why do you mentor?
Mentoring is a fantastic way to step out of your everyday life, whether from a personal or work perspective. In our busy lives we don’t often take the time to invest in our own personal growth. For the finance executives I mentor our time together is all about them. They decide what they want to talk about. My role is to listen and share my insights and experiences.
How do you switch off?
I enjoy running which gives me time to think and share banter with my friends. I have completed a number of marathons and ultra-trail races. Sadly we are still completing the occasional event, albeit a lot slower and with a lot less training than I would recommend
Can you share a personal productivity tip?
Striving to achieve a reasonable work life balance keeps me productive and refreshed. Don’t make excuses it as it is in your control.