Joining me today is Mark Neil – VP Finance at A+E Networks UK, with more than 25 years of experience working in media and telecommunications companies, Mark has a lot in store for us about finance, CFOs and technology.
“You are not just the finance guy” – Finance professionals must understand the business too…
Finance is the fulcrum of any business.
Being a finance professional is not just about presenting spreadsheets and charts. It is understanding the business as a whole and knowing what the business wants. As what Mark says, “The quicker we can provide strong and correct information then we are more ahead of the game.” And this will only happen if you have a reliable team. It is about the right people doing the right jobs.
Join us in this episode as Mark and I discuss about automation of finance roles, building a team that you can rely and trust, and hear Mark’s advice for young accountants when it comes to accelerating their career path.
“Once you have a foundation and professional qualification like accountancy, it does make you very mobile”
“It is trying to understand the context of someone’s question. If they give you the context, then you can provide the answer much quicker”
“Sometimes finance can be seen in a very old school way – pay bills, collect money among others”
“Finance is a value-adding function… It is the fulcrum of any business”
“Automation frees individuals to do other things, and those things should be value adding”
“The quicker we can provide strong and correct information then we are more ahead of the game”
“Finance can fail if you do not have the right people doing the right jobs within the team”
“Get out of your finance mindset and start to understand what the business wants”
“I still believe that you have to put the time in. There are no shortcuts”
“I do not think there are any limits unless you limit yourself”
Listen to Learn
05:49 Getting to know Mark Neil – career journey
10:58 Neil’s experience working outside the finance department
13:30 Working in the telco industry (Blackberry)
16:10 Critical moment in Neil’s career path
18:28 High 5 Questions
21:11 Neil’s daily functions as a finance professional
24:54 Strategic business partnering
27:36 Automation of finance roles
33:07 Dynamic culture and innovative workplace
36:55 Building a team that you can rely and trust – right people doing the right jobs
38:15 Understanding the business – “You are not just the finance guy”
42:28 Neil’s career path advice for finance people/young accountants
47:24 Where does the CFO role going in the next 10 to 20 years?