Robert Andrews is a member of Centage’s Finance team joining in December 2019. As Finance and Accounting Manager, Robert leads the Finance and Accounting team in Centage’s month end close process, financial reporting, external audit relationships, as well as financial forecasting. Before Centage, Robert was with ZoomInfo, where he managed a small accounting team, producing & designing financial statements, as well as driving forward process efficiencies. Prior to ZoomInfo, Bobby was an associate at Samet & Company P.C., where he participated on both public and private audit teams.
In his spare time, Robert enjoys watching/playing sports, and loves movies. He graduated from Bryant University, where he ran Track and Cross Country. He wouldn’t describe himself as a runner though, his weekends consist of more golf outings than road races.
In this continuing series, we bring you our interview with Robert so that you can Meet the Maestro.
Q. What are the biggest challenges facing SMB Finance teams today?
From my perspective, I think one of the biggest challenges facing SMB Finance teams today is creating a balance between speed and accuracy. The ability to meet deadlines is worthless if the results are unreliable and there is a chance they may need to be adjusted in a future period. What it really comes down to is bandwidth – which is often limited on most Finance/accounting teams, especially around month-end – which is also typically the period when deliverables and deadlines are added and set.
Q. What are the most important skills for Finance professionals today?
Tied largely to the challenges facing SMB Finance teams, I would say working efficiently and having strong time management skills are crucial. Personally, I like ‘to-do’ lists so that I know what I need to get done on a certain day and when I get to check that item off the list, I feel a sense of accomplishment. This is especially valuable when the workload seems overwhelming and it’s difficult to see the path to hitting deadlines.
Q. 2020 has been a challenging year, especially for Finance teams. What are the key tools you have used to do your job?
One of the most unique aspects of my role at Centage is that I actually get to use our own product! Back in early April, we were doing a lot of scenario planning, as you can imagine, and I used Planning Maestro to create the scenarios for the first time. I told Jason Lin, our CFO, that I honestly could not imagine doing it without Planning Maestro – the time savings alone was incredible. I was able to scenario plan in a quick and organized manner which in turn allowed us to meet deadlines and adjust dynamically to feedback. Same goes for this budget season, budget, I am using Planning Maestro right now for revenue forecasting – and I truly can’t see doing it with any other solution.
Q. What are you doing differently to navigate this year’s budget season?
It definitely has been a challenging budget season, that’s for sure. To account for all the unknowns we’re currently facing at the end of 2020 and depending how things evolve in 2021, we are actually in the process implementing a rolling budget this year and budgeting quarter by quarter. While it’s a process that calls for considerably more attention from Finance, as well as budget contributors, the key advantage is this collaboration and close, constant attention will provide us with more accuracy and control. So, if needed, we have the ability to course correct quickly.
Q. How has the dynamic of your team changed? From managing/working with a remote workforce to building a budget across the organization remotely?
I would say our team has become closer – we make an effort to reach out to one another even when there isn’t a work reason. Our team has done a great job communicating and being flexible to our remote work situation. The dynamic itself has not changed greatly since many of those traits were present before, they just weren’t tested as frequently.
Centage Corporation’s Planning Maestro is a cloud-native planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial intelligence. With Planning Maestro, Centage offers the sophisticated features needed by small and mid-market organizations to integrate budgeting, forecasting, and deep data analysis within one easy-to-use, scalable SaaS solution. For more information on how to modernize your office of finance with intelligent planning, view our product demonstration video, or call 800-366-5111.