Recently, the podcast “CFO Thought Leader”, created and hosted by Jack Sweeney, welcomed Trintech’s CFO, Omar Choucair to discuss both his past and current experiences in the office of finance.
Omar Choucair graduated from Baylor University in Texas and began working at KMPG, where he remained for the next ten years and picked up valuable lessons that he later called upon when he became a CFO. After KPMG, Choucair worked for a few companies in the radio broadcasting industry, and then as a CFO of various Service-as-a-Software (SaaS) companies until he became the CFO of Trintech in 2019.
In the thirty-minute podcast, Choucair and Sweeney discuss his positions, what knowledge he gleaned from them, as well as his current position with Trintech. One topic Choucair speaks about at length during the interview is the importance of KPIs to not only the finance department, but entire organizations.
Formatting Your Data Analysis
First, he speaks about how the existence of data analysis is critical to the value of an organization, and how understanding that derived data helps strategize organizational trajectory in a way that second-guesses factors driving performance. Choucair asks the question, “Why did this [outcome] happen last week or last month, versus three months ago?”
Additionally, he believes that formatting your data analysis properly is extremely important. “To put it this way,” Choucair says, “instead of looking at a 200-page document, you can look at a two-page document and extract the data.” This helps Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams mine “the golden nuggets” from that analysis, whether it’s from bookings, revenue, expenses or any other area.
FP&A as Right Hand
Choucair says that a CFO has two right hands, each with different functions, but both are significant to the success of a CFO and an overall finance team: the controller and FP&A. The key role of FP&A is being extremely curious and asking as many questions as possible.
“How does this information help us make a different decision? Just because we might have made this decision [a certain] way in the past doesn’t mean that, in the future, it needs to be made the same way.”
Choucair says that FP&A teams should be going back and improving the information they have, in addition to the way they present that information, especially for leadership. The correct presentation of FP&A’s information allows leadership to find and zero in on the issues quickly, and subsequently make decisions quickly.
Choucair goes on to discuss other topics, such as metrics he believes are critical to the office of finance, hard lessons he had to learn as a newly minted CFO and how things he learned at KPMG came into play later on.
Listen to the entire podcast here.
Written by: Ashton Mathai