Episode #7

FP&A Career Secrets: What the Pros Wish They Knew Sooner

Bryan Lapidus, Director, FP&A Practice at Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) shares what finance professionals wish they knew before starting their FP&A careers. We'll cover topics like how to build relationships with key stakeholders, how to manage your time effectively, and how to deal with stress. We'll also discuss the importance of continuous learning and development, and how to stay ahead of the curve in this ever-changing field. If you're a new FP&A professional or you're thinking about a career in FP&A, this podcast episode is for you. Join us as we learn from the experts and share their insights on success.

"For most companies, the number one asset is data. The more people you have touching your number one asset, the more productive they can be. So get your people involved, get them engaged, get their hands on what you use to make money. And if they’re stuck in spreadsheets, they’re not on that gravy train of how you guys make money and you have to make the investment."

Please note that the transcript is AI-generated and may contain errors. Podcast is not intended as advice and is meant for informational and entertainment purposes only.

Chris Ortega (00:16):

What’s up everybody? Today I’ll be joined with Bryan Lapidus, the director of FP&A practice at the AFP, the Association for Finance Professionals, as he shares his thoughts on FP&A career secrets, what the pros wish they would’ve known sooner, and why it’s important for FP&A professionals to not only change their skillset, but their mindset shift when it comes to serving the business. Bryan is a great friend of mine. He has always been such a mentor and very thought leader in finance, FP&A and CFO. Bryan, welcome to CFO TRENDS.

Bryan Lapidus (00:51):

Chris, always great to talk to you. I don’t know how much of a mentor I am. I feel like I’m always trying to keep up with what you’re working on and what you’re talking about. It’s definitely a two-way benefit there.

Chris Ortega (01:01):


Bryan Lapidus (01:01):

Love hanging out with you.

Chris Ortega (01:02):

Yeah, man. For sure, dude. And the topic we’re going to talk about today for all the listeners is FP&A career secrets, what the pros wish they would’ve known sooner. And I think this is so fitting, right? And tying back, I was talking to you before we kicked off the conversation and when I look at how FP&A has evolved, I was actually going back to the vault and looking at some of our previous conversations, years ago when we were talking about FP&A, right? And FP&A has evolved so much, it’s evolved in technology, it’s evolved in software, it’s really evolved a lot of different elements. So one of the first questions I want to lead off is, as you think about the skill sets and mindsets of FP&A professionals, what are the top three things? What are those? And I know you do a great job of a sand table stakes, but what are those really top three to five things that are going to level up finance and FP&A professionals for the future?

Bryan Lapidus (01:58):

Yeah, I think before I get into that, one of the things you talk about is how the FP&As have changed and the role has changed. I think what’s happened is this CFO role has changed and that’s filtered down into the FP&A position. And then because it serves the CFO function, what the CFO has to do. And it’s just funny, I did some research on this recently and how the CFO role didn’t really exist until the 1970s. And so it hasn’t been around that long. So it’s still trying to find itself. Before that, if you do a Google search or you look at other research on who actually had that position, what that position was called, it was just called the chief accounting officer. And so what’s happened since then is a combination of factors, I’ll just list them out quickly.


Tax law changes, macroeconomic factors like inflation and global trade and hedge funds and trying to convert all of that into meaning for the business. This idea, actually, there’s a big thing that happened with private equity. Now we call it private equity, but back then it was leveraged buyouts and raiders. And this question of how do you unlock the financial value inside the company? And then you’ve got the whole data positioning and the ability to do more. So those big macro trends have defined the role of the CFO as somebody who can unlock financial value, is the steward of capital in the company and can help place that next dollar of capital to its most efficient use. So when you start at the top, you say, “All right, the CFO role is changing. I need to have more people on my team than just accountants and treasury and audit and tax. I need somebody with that forward-looking view.” And that’s where you develop this FP&A role.


So now to your question, what are the most important skills that you have to have? I’d say it’s really three. And this is how we’ve arranged our FP&A maturity model. Number one, you have to have finance skill. You can’t get away from that. If you work for the CFO, the chief financial officer, you have to have some financial acumen in what you do. Otherwise you don’t work for the CFO. You could be analytical, you could be thoughtful, but you have to have that view of capital. Number two, you have to have data fluency. You have to have the platforms and the data and the ability to work with that. Because for what we do, that’s our raw material, that’s our source input of what we create. And number three, you have to have some communication skill.


And whether you call that business partnership or communication or negotiation. Once you have your brilliant finance insights deriving from the data, you have to be able to get it out and have an impact and influence your organization. And so there’s lots of different ways to package those soft skills. But if you press me for one, it’s the ability to communicate your insights.

Chris Ortega (04:59):

Most definitely, man. And I love how you walk through those macro themes and you go right into the micro pieces of it. And when I always look back at FP&A. To me, it’s similar along the same lines. FP&A before, in its inception of what you talked about, it came in as that CFO needed that financial planning analysis person. They needed that person that’s able to do the analysis, do the planning, give the models, give all those different things. And that landed and expanded really well. That’s what the value added of FP&A was, right? And now you’ve transitioned. We had an economic crisis happen. We had a pandemic happen, we had instability in the treasury markets. There’s a lot of ground that’s changing in that office of the CFO. And now that FP&A is what you talked about.


You got to have that finance, you got to have that data, and you got to have those people. And to me, I think that really encapsulates the next phase of FP&A, which is financial partnership and advising. And if I’m being, talking about fresh FP&A, when I was thinking about my business and I get a lot of people’s, “Hey, how’s that a fresh perspective on financial planning analysis?” I’m like, “That’s not even the same lens, man.” We’re bringing that fresh perspective on financial partnership and advising and it dovetails all those different things. You have to be that finance in that F, right? You have to be that partner. And maybe you’re trading in that advisory for that analytical because you’re leveraging the data.


And to me, that data aspect of it and technology, this is where I think technology platforms have also, I would probably add another macro factor that you mentioned is the evolution of technology. I think technology has evolved so much from a macro perspective that it’s changed the value proposition that finance has in the organization. So talk to me a little bit more about, let’s dive deep into the technology side. How does the technology compliment those major skills that you mentioned, which is the finance, the data and the communication.

Bryan Lapidus (07:02):

The progression that I see is when you can do more, you do more-

Chris Ortega (07:07):


Bryan Lapidus (07:07):

It’s that simple. And so what the tools have created the capability, so we have new tools which have led to new capabilities, which have led to this new business model. If you don’t have those tools, if you’re spending all of your time just bashing together spreadsheets, you don’t have time to give that partnering and advisory services that you’re putting in your fresh FP&A. You’re spending all your time doing these mundane tasks. And, all right, so someone on my advisory council gave me this quote and it’s not flattering, but it’s so true. And I’m sure some people who are out there are going to start nodding their heads. “If you don’t get your data right, if you don’t manage the effort and the technology on the backend, you’re going to have high IQ people in finance, all of you, everybody who’s listening, doing low IQ work,” and we all know what that looks like-

Chris Ortega (08:04):

That hit me in the feels. That could be hard, Bryan.

Bryan Lapidus (08:08):

But because you know it, you’ve been there, you have seen, I could tell you stories about big companies that you’ve heard of who, come budget time, they bring cots into the office because their FP&A team is spending hours sleeping in the office because they have to put together spreadsheets from all these different parts of the business and see what it looks like. And somebody’s unlocked a spreadsheet and they put something in or they hard coded something. Another company that you’ve heard of, they used to just book all the hotels around headquarters for their staff because their staff couldn’t go home during…


And this is not staying up late doing the rocket science part. They’re not coming up with the insights. It’s all that effort that you have to do backstage in order to look good on stage. If you could reverse that, spend less time backstage, more time in front of your audience, you can be that advisor. You can do those things that you want to do. And so the technology and the data, those are the things that set you up for all the things you want to be. So put in the time, put in the money and the returns will be there in the analysis.

Chris Ortega (09:20):

Man, Bryan, I got chills up my back when you said that, man, because you got… And this is where CFOs struggle man, and this is where business people struggle because your number one thing. You got high IQ people, right? High IQ people doing the most low-value IQ work. I can go back and I remember working at a high-growth SaaS company, and I remember working on just developing one of the core revenue for the entire business. And I remember, Bryan, and I’ll say this with confidence, I remember working in an entire week just reconciling Excel data. And I was pretty senior in my career in this, right? This isn’t like eight, nine, 10 years ago in my professional career, which has been over 19 plus years in finance, FP&A and financial leadership, we’re talking recently. And I remember going through this exercise and I’m sitting there, I cannot believe that they have people.


And I cannot believe I’m at the stage of my career where I’m at right now that I literally spent, I’m not exaggerating, 50 hours reconciling. I remember the lines. It was over 1,100, 112,000 lines of data. And it took me all the skills, the technology, mostly in Excel. It took me 50 hours. And I was sitting there and I remember having a conversation with the CEO and I was just like, “Look man, we need to really think about the best use of time and we need to have a hard conversation. Because if this is what you expect me to do, if this is the horsepower that you expect me to bring, we need to figure out how this gets solved next week. I’m not going to be doing this for the next month.” And there’s so many people that are in teams right now, and I think it talks about the people side of it, right?


There are so many high-performing, high-potential people that are looking at that situation and saying, “You know what? The grass may not be greener on the other side, but at least I’m not in the ones cutting it. I’m not cutting the grass.” And this evolution of people aspect, which is another topic. We talked about how technology is able to compliment that people, but I think it’s also the talent aspect of how finance and how FP&A has shifted has been not only another macro factor of it as well too, because you have platforms and you have people. So talk to me a little bit about how that people side of FP&A teams of the future has evolved as well as the platform side.

Bryan Lapidus (12:00):

So we did some research a couple years ago and we asked who in FP&A is hiring people without FP&A background? And the answer was, 40% of CFOs are bringing non-finance people, actually non-finance people into the finance organization in order to manage that data problem. And the problem is that you’ve got this archipelago, you’ve got all these islands of all automation scattered around your organization and when it comes time to connect them, there’s no good connectors. And that’s where you start spending 50 hours with your 11,000 lines. And I’ve got my own version of that, I’ve heard other versions of that.


So what’s happening is CFOs are recognizing that what used to work, which is this, and here’s what used to work, it was I’m the CFO and I’m going to demonstrate fiscal restraint for the organization. So I will demonstrate lack of investment in getting by because we’ve always gotten by. Those CFOs are losing people, they can’t hire and they can’t retain and certainly they can’t retain because there’s another set who says, “I am able to here. Here’s how I define value.” Value in the CFO is partnership and working with the business. And you know what? In order to do that, I have to be on the same IT roadmap so I can keep pace with the rest of the business because if they’re all talking and if they’re all driving fast cars and I’m sitting here on my lawn tractor trying to keep up, I’m not going to keep up. Just keep your lawn mowing analogy going, right?


So part of it is if finance wants to be that partner, they have to be on the same technological roadmap as the rest of the company. And they have to do that because people have choices. In a world of 3.5 or 4% unemployment, people are going to choose and they’re going to choose based on lifestyle. They’re going to remote, quality of management and quality of work. And if you’re giving them low IQ work, they have the choice and the luxury to go somewhere else.

Chris Ortega (14:05):

Most definitely. And I love that concept of that choice aspect of it. And I think this is, and I love the picture that you painted of what I always call and talk about, the traditional CFO and the fresh CFO. The traditional CFO, in terms of technology, they were like, “Hey, this technology’s going to solve all of our problems.” And it never does. I have made that mistake and thought I was going to bring in the best technology, but I didn’t have the right people. I didn’t have the right people in the right seat doing the right level of work, providing the right level of value. I didn’t have the people, I didn’t have the process, I didn’t have the partnerships, I didn’t have the foundations of that.


And that platform wasn’t able to scale. When you think about the fresh CFO mindset, that’s looking at it to say technology is meant to compliment us, it’s meant to… I look at that perspective as when you think about Batman. Batman is that fresh CFO, right? Batman has his Batman belt, everybody can visualize that. All the listeners, if you don’t know who Batman is, he’s probably top five superheroes of all time. That’s debatable. But Batman-

Bryan Lapidus (15:08):

That came from the whole DC Universe versus the Marvel Universe, whole other rabbit hole you go down.

Chris Ortega (15:13):

We can talk about that too because yeah, we can get into it. But when you think about Batman, Batman didn’t have superhuman strength like Superman. What he had is great tools to compliment him. Batman had his boomerang that did thing. He had his grappling gun. To me, when I think about fresh CFOs, that is exactly what we need to have, but that needs to be our technology arsenal. We need to have RPA that’s looking at our processes. We need to have best-in-class tools and technology around our budgeting and planning. We need to have great operations from the ERP perspective, that’s how we are able to leverage technology. Because I don’t know about you, Bryan, but when I worked in high-growth businesses when we’re growing the top line, triple digits, year-over-year, sales, marketing, client success, operations, it was like, “Yeah, get more people.”


It was never down in my finance team where it’s like, “Hey, Chris, triple your team by three X.” It was never the case. So, in this idea that we have to do more and we bring more value, that’s how we scale with the technology. And I think historically, and correct me if I’m wrong, Bryan, when you think about the office of the CFO from a technology adoption perspective on a spectrum, we are usually like the laggers. We’re usually on that tail end. We got to make sure it’s audit compliant, it’s risk compliant. We got this laundry list of checklists that we have to go through before we adopt the technology.


And I’m not saying we have to move to the front of the spectrum like our sales and marketing that are just like, “Hey, there’s a new technology, let’s go use it.” I’m not saying we have to get to that perspective, but where we scale and where we provide that value that you mentioned earlier, technology is a major point of that. And how you can leverage technology, how you can utilize it, what you talked about, be a better finance partner, bring data and communicate, game changer.

Bryan Lapidus (17:07):

Yeah. There’s one member company at AFP where I think I’ll get the numbers approximately right. In the last decade they’ve grown their revenue by 150%-

Chris Ortega (17:17):


Bryan Lapidus (17:18):

But they’ve grown their finance team by 9%. The answer is not just throw more bodies. It’s get those economies of scale. And it’s not technology in order to lay people off, it’s technology in order to allow people to do better work. And yeah, it’s just where do you want your people spending their time and their efforts? And the opportunity is get them… For most companies, the number one asset is data. The more people you have touching your number one asset, the more productive they can be. So get your people involved, get them engaged, get their hands on what you use to make money. And if they’re stuck in spreadsheets, they’re not on that gravy train of how you guys make money and you have to make the investment.


And I know that, and it’s hard for CFOs because they’re trying to be the cost, the discipline in the model. But if you define value as being a partner to the business, you got to make the investment. And sometimes it’s hard to actually count up the dollars and put a defined ROI on something that is a little bit soft like advice and advisory. So here’s some ways to do it. Get your business partners to advocate for you. Often the cost of FP&A is born by the business, unlike treasury or tax, which is distributed as an overhead cost like a tax to the business. So get your businesses to foot the bill for your people, get them to advocate for you to have investment, calculate the amount of time that people spend. Maybe you can’t find the ROI, but you can find time and return on time and the value of that time. So there are other ways to build your business case and get other people to do it for you.

Chris Ortega (19:05):

Most definitely. And I think when you’re able to have a solution that finance is not just bringing to the… I think so much time and listen to all the listeners, all the VPs of finance professionals, FP&A professionals, is being, for me, it’s difficult when you are looking at that technology and you’re marshaling that technology to just only have that technology for the finance organization. You’re like, “Hey, we need to bring this tool for just only finance-related.” But when you’re able to say, “My sales partner, my marketing partner, or other people are able to get value out of this technology.” When you’re able to bring that together, I think you’re able to have a more value case to bring to that recommendation. If you’re just saying, “Hey, finance, we want this tool because it makes us better.” That’s a hard sell. That’s a really hard sell to have is, “Hey, we only want this tool because it makes us better.”

Bryan Lapidus (19:57):

And you know what? The answer is going to come back is we’ve done it for so many years without that tool, so why do you need it?

Chris Ortega (20:03):

Yeah. And then the business is going to look at you and say, “Oh no, we love our Excel models. It’s like we love Excel. And I love your point where you’re able to bring it to the business partner. And to me, this is where finance needs to level up. And the way that you level up inside the business is you’re like, “Hey, look, I’m able to not just understand the data, but I’m able to go 10,000 feet above that. I’m able to intimately know the business pain. And I found a platform that make us all have productivity.” And that’s one thing that I always tell clients, and that’s one thing I work with is my number one thing in leading fresh FP&A is like, “How do we turn your business pain into productivity? How are we translating that to value?”


Because now we’re able to say, “Hey, here’s the technologies we can use, or here’s some process implementations that we can have or partnership element that is able to turn business pain into productivity” and less about finance pain to turn that into finance productivity, because we work through the business, we got to find that way. It’s like when we can understand intimately the business more and understand their pain opportunities and challenges, and we can translate that, get into that first topic that you talk about, which was communication, and we can turn that into business and communication that the business can understand, you’ll have way more value that you can bring to that conversation.

Bryan Lapidus (21:25):

Yeah, that’s spot on. Exactly.

Chris Ortega (21:28):

Yeah. So one other thing I want to talk about. We talked a lot about the skillsets. What do you think for CFOs are some of those challenges that they face? We talked about it a little bit, that difference of viewpoint, that difference of… But what do you see as the biggest challenge for the listeners and finance and CFOs to make that pivot, to start thinking and adopting that forward thinking mindset? What do you think is the biggest challenges that finance teams face?

Bryan Lapidus (21:56):

First, you have to set the ambition. And that ambition either needs to, not either, it needs to come both from the CFO and from the CEO/board, because if they don’t have that ambition, you can’t push it on it. And that ambition is I’m here to add value to the business, not just handle the control side of the equation. After that, we actually did a little bit of research on this, our recent survey about agility. And what we found was that agility is that ability to react and be open to change. And what we found is that the number one, I guess the number one step is the mindset throughout the organization of growth and change, because you have to have the people willing to have the new system, but it’s not just the new system. You have to change your processes. And we’ve actually had some really interesting research on how you can be more efficient in your processes and marry that up with your platform.


So the number one starting point for everybody was the mindset. The number one opportunity was in fact the technology. And that’s why CFOs are hiring people from outside finance into their finance team because they’re not limited by, because they have a transformation mindset and they have a tools-based mindset and they figure, “I’ll just teach them how to be finance people later. First, let me get my data right.”

Chris Ortega (23:21):

Yeah. And I think that that teaching aspect is a lot of times we grow up in data. Typically FP&A, as I talked about earlier in the trenches, have been that financial planning analysis. So data has been our value-add that we brought to the business. We took that insight from sales, we took that insight from marketing and it was able to help make a decision.

Bryan Lapidus (23:43):

But on that data, so in the past it have been our job is the data, but as we’re not the FD, we’re not the financial data dump department. Our job is not to create binders of pages and push it across the desk and say, “Here’s all the data. My job is done. You go figure out what this means.” No, because if that’s your job, then you’re going to be out of a job. Your job is financial planning and analysis and to say, “Here’s the data. Let me tell you what I see in here, what this means, I’ll summarize it. I’ll tell you the insight and the implied action. And I have all the data in the back, but let’s just call that the appendix because you’re not going to read that. I know you’re not going to read that, but I had to go through that in order to get to my insights. So if you ever drill down, I’ve got it, but let’s do the analysis. Let’s put the A in FP&A and deliver the insights, the action, the analysis.”

Chris Ortega (24:39):

Definitely. And I think that translation is a big step. Talking about the topic of that career, that’s a big transition to make. Moving out of the quantitative and moving into the communicative and moving into quality communication, that’s a big jump. And I look back over my career, and for me it’s like I had to grow up and understanding and partnering inside the business and really knowing the business. I do a lot of thought leadership and go to a lot of conferences, and I talk to so many different CFOs, and you’d be surprised how many CFOs, Bryan, I go ask the question to. I’m like, “Hey, tell me about your business. Tell me about your ideal customer profile or your go-to market. How do you go to market? What’s your sales motion?” And most of them are just like, “Chris, what are you talking about? I take care of the risks. We make sure the audits are done and we make sure the team gets the budget, the actual variance report every month.”

Bryan Lapidus (25:29):

So we did a webinar last year, and the question was, and this is mostly FP&A people on the call, the question was, “What percentage of your time is spent doing work where your client is other people in finance?” So two thirds of respondents spend two thirds of their time doing things for other people in finance. That’s not moving the business forward. And I think that’s for soap. Now, remember, the CFO only recently has been a CFO, right? Up until a generation ago, the role was safe hands. You want your accounting people to have safe hands and to produce the numbers. And for their having all the data and being able to show and demonstrate for the auditors that you have the data, that was a sign of control. Your controls are in place, your movements of money are secure, and you can rely on that.


And there’s absolutely a role for that. But the CFO now has, under that position, this spectrum where they need to maintain control and they need to have flexibility. And there’s a spectrum of what roles are within the FP&A organization. And you absolutely have to have a certain mindset to be control focused and to be the accountant. And you have a different mindset when you are forward looking and trying to work with the business on what’s going to happen five years in the future, because you don’t know that. And if you’re trying to narrow down to the penny or you’re trying to get to the third decimal place, that exact number for what’s going to happen in 2028, you know that you’re going to be wrong. So there’s a different set of positions and a different set of skills, and there’s a different set of tools.


So when you’re in one area, maybe you’re a CPA, when you’re in another area, you’re in FPAC, right? When you’re in one area, you want to have a certain mindset of forward, of what you’re doing. And another, you want to go focus on possibility and estimation and comfort with ambiguity. Different tools, different educational background, different set of conferences, different set of webinars. And some people can move between. And the people who become CFOs, move through the different positions and they get a stamp in their finance passport from each place, and they’ve mastered it all, and they combine leadership and they say, “That’s it. I understand all the roles. I understand how they fit together, and I understand how to be a partner to the business and let’s go. Let’s do this.”

Chris Ortega (27:55):

Nice. I love how you laid that out, man. I love how you laid the different mindset and that shift. And when I look over my career exactly, being in that trenches, man, I’ve grown up in public accounting, corporate accounting, FP&A, all the way to the highest levels. You had to go through that journey. And I love your analogy of getting the stamps along the way. Maybe sometimes it was some stamps, sometimes it was some slaps in the back of the head because I messed up. It was a [inaudible 00:28:24]

Bryan Lapidus (28:23):

Some scar. There’s some scars in there-

Chris Ortega (28:24):

There’s some battle wounds in there, man. There’s definitely, it wasn’t all just clearing through customs. It was some, “Hey, we got to go do a detailed check over here.” But I think when you go through that process, you have an intimate understanding of, okay, I know what the pain of accountant is, and I can translate that to a business partner. And I know how I leveled up or where I did these different things to make it an impact. And I think to me, it’s from that career advice to people. I always say, “Trust the process. Don’t rush the process.” And every experience that you go through as you’re going throughout your career, you have to turn that into how did I learn? How did I improve or how did I level myself up and level my team up? And most of it starts with that mindset that you talked about, right?


You talked about, yeah, too many times finance organizations were commanding the business. “Go do business, go do this.” Versus collaborating with the business where we’re like, “Hey, how can I help you go find or learn or improve that?” So it’s a whole different perspective that partnership brings. And to me, at the very another macro thing you talk about, that is what the business expects out of the office of the CFO now, right? Like CROs, chief marketing officer, CEOs, COOs, you named the other C-suite, right?


They’re expecting that CFO now to be that collaborative, communicative, forward thinking, future-proofing partner. They don’t want that person, the CFO to be the calculator anymore. They’re like, “Calculators are over. Technology can do calculations way faster than you want a person to do it. We want that CFO of the future to be that connective communicator that’s building community inside the organization.” So agree with you a 100%, man. One last question that we got. I know we’re coming up on time. One question I always ask every guest is, what is your number one hot finance trend and why?

Bryan Lapidus (30:30):

I mean, at the time we’re recording, it’s got to be all about AI. It’s a bit of a cop out because it’s such an easy answer. And I almost feel like I don’t have to give the why about why it’s the number one trend, but instead of that, I’ll give something, an analogy, that one of our keynote speakers at conference a few years ago gave. We have several keynotes at conference. We have different areas. We’ve got our treasury area, our payments. So the FP&A keynote was a professor who said, “Let me give you an analogy about what it’s like with technology, with AI and where it’s going.” He says, “Imagine a world where there’s only two beverages in the whole world. There’s coffee and there’s tea, and it’s competitive market and some people drink coffee and some people drink tea. But now imagine that coffee is suddenly free. What’s that do to tea, it’s hard to compete with free. It’s a hard price point to compete with.”


So his point was computing power in the form of AI/ML algorithms, predictive, all these things. AI is making computing power almost free. So for you as the finance practitioner, don’t compete with it. Don’t be the tea to the coffee because you’re going to get trounced by the computing power. His point was instead be the cream and sugar. Be the compliment that rides and uses and grows with that free computational power. And so what does that mean? It means learn how to use it, learn how to harness it and learn how to do the things that it can’t do. The communication, the sophistication, the seeing things that are outside the dataset, right? Because AI can only really see what’s fit in it’s dataset. So be that creative communicative practitioner who builds the relationship, who is the advisor and brings that forward to the business. And so that’s my take on how to manage that. What is the hottest trend in finance?

Chris Ortega (32:29):

I love it, man. I love it. Coffee. And we need a compliment with the cream and sugar. Maybe throw a little honey in there as well too. Sprinkle like, “Just a little dab, Bryan. Just like a beep, just like a boop. Just throw that in there.” And now-

Bryan Lapidus (32:41):

But you want to bring your own special spice.

Chris Ortega (32:42):

Of course, man, I’m a tea drinker, right? So if coffee, but I love how you really articulated that, right? Complimenting, right? This is the compliment you, this is the compliment that and put you in a higher value place where you’re delivering, you’re more satisfied because you’re doing highly, impactful work. Right? Love that insight. Bryan, thank you so much. And Bryan, if people want to learn more about you, learn more about the great things that are going on at the Association of Financial Professionals, what are some upcoming events? Where can people connect with you and learn more?

Bryan Lapidus (33:12):

So I’m on LinkedIn just about every day, posting our content and articles. So you could find me on LinkedIn. Obviously AFP online.org is our home website for when we have guides, research papers on all those elements that I mentioned, treasury, capital markets, payments, FP&A, career development. We have an event coming up on August 30th. It’ll be a free complimentary event for virtual attendance. And then our showcase event, which is the third week in October. You know it, you’ve been there, you’ve spoken at it. It’s amazing. We’ll be in San Diego this year for all things finance and treasury.

Chris Ortega (33:53):

Awesome. And I would highly recommend AFP, you guys are always producing some great content, whether it’s webinars or articles or blog posts, I would highly recommend all finance professionals. If you’re looking for a marquee FP&A event to come to, definitely check out the San Diego event, it’s awesome. And I was there last year in Philadelphia. Such a great opportunity. And Bryan, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for being part of CFO TRENDS and thank you to all the listeners, and thank you so much, man.

Bryan Lapidus (34:21):

Always a pleasure catching up with you, Chris.

Chris Ortega (34:24):

Awesome. Thank you for listening in. Join us for our next episode where I’ll be talking with Avia, the CFO at Intrinsic Brands as we talk about stop burning cash ASAP.

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