Business Finance Friends Interview: Building Financial Systems for Startups

Burkland on-demand CFO, Peter Chouinard, discusses building a finance team and financial systems. He lays out 10 steps every startup should tackle.
Burkland Podcasts
Burkland Podcasts
Business Finance Friends Interview: Building Financial Systems for Startups

Business Finance Friends, is a podcast hosted by Kate Wilson and Derek Cheng of Tipalti. In this episode, Wilson and Cheng interview Peter Chouinard, Managing Director of Burkland’s consumer group and an expert on-demand CFO.

Peter talks about his experience in pure finance and accounting. It’s this breadth of experience that has made him a terrific on-demand CFO providing practical advice.

Peter notes finance insights can challenge certain strategic planning decisions. Do you have 24 months of cash on hand? If not, you should, especially if you’re interested in VC funds within the next several months.

He discusses what finance leaders do within the context of a startup’s leadership team. His answer is collaboration around critical data-driven decisions, and CFOs should be changemakers.

Peter’s 10 Recommendations for Designing Financial Systems for Startups

  1. Customer value is first
  2. Simplify your architecture
  3. Design technology for the unknown
  4. Engage with your workforce and think about culture
  5. Adopt a services mindset
  6. Plot your journey
  7. Organize by capabilities
  8. Be user-centric
  9. Invest in resources to make change stick
  10. Partner with people with shared values

Podcast Interview Questions Include:

  • What do you enjoy the most about being a CFO?
  • What is the role of finance in a high-growth company?
  • What are the biggest challenges finance is facing today?
  • How do you choose technology for financial operations successfully?
  • What do you think success looks like for a finance team?
  • Does finance need a culture?
  • How do you introduce innovation to a finance team?
  • What personal mission are you most excited about?
  • After we overcome the recession, what skills will people be looking for in the future?

This podcast ends with Peter recommending checking out scenario financial planning. Burkland provides financial scenario planning information in a series of articles.