Growth & Scale Insiders, Episode 1: Smart Finance Transformations

Growth & Scale Insiders, Episode 1: Smart Finance Transformations

Michael Johnson and Manuel AzuaraGoogle finance transformation – or don’t, unless you want to delve into a myriad of definitions, examples, charts, tables, and other visual representations of some pretty varied and complex business concepts. Instead, spend an easy half-hour listening to Bridgepoint Consulting’s premiere episode of our new podcast, Growth & Scale Insiders; you’ll definitely gain a much clearer idea of what finance transformation is all about, how to know when your business is ready for it, and the best way to approach it for successful growth.

Our first episode features Bridgepoint Consulting Managing Principals Michael Johnson and Manuel Azuara, addressing first and foremost the question What is finance transformation? According to Johnson and Azuara, it’s about growth and evolution that must happen within a company for that growth to be successful.

“As a company grows, it needs systems to handle its growing complexity,” Johnson begins. “You need systems to coordinate the activities within the organization, and all that technology and automation is a key part of finance transformation.”

“People often think finance transformation is just a tool that’s going to fix everything,” adds Azuara. “But the processes have to grow up with the business, too, to enable it to take advantage of all the tool has to offer. Finance transformation involves a big change in process – the way you did it yesterday isn’t the way you’ll do it tomorrow. So really, it’s about organizational transformation.”

The episode, Smart Finance Transformations, covers the nitty-gritty issues a business must address – and when – in order to scale successfully. Johnson and Azuara agree, equally crucial to the questions a company answers as they seek to move forward are the questions they might not know to ask.

“Thinking through what needs to happen brings you back around to asking the question, What is it we’re not thinking about?” Azuara notes.

“Get some outside advice,” concurs Johnson. “Whether it’s a consultant like Bridgepoint, a mentor, or peers, get someone to look at your business as an investment. You should treat your company as an investment; it needs money put back into it to be able to grow and continue to be successful.”

A reluctance to invest in back-office technology or processes – or people – is a common stumbling block for growing businesses, say Johnson and Azuara. Company management must be on the same page and be willing to approach a plan to scale with not only the right mindset, but also a sense of openness and a readiness for some potentially tough-to-take honesty.

“It’s about asking the hard questions, like What’s broken?” reiterates Azuara. “Nothing runs perfectly, so where can you not keep up? Let’s resolve that, let’s fix that with an investment mindset, knowing that addressing it today is going to provide a ton of value in the future.”

So how can a consulting firm help a business grow and scale successfully, and when should a CFO consider calling in a consultant to help guide this transformation? Just as every company is unique, every roadmap to the next level(s) is different. Johnson and Azuara say one of Bridgepoint’s advantages is the firm’s extensive portfolio of success stories; chances are, they’ve helped someone in a similar situation navigate smoothly to being a bigger, better business.

“We’re all business nerds, so we’re genuinely fascinated by your company and its objectives,” says Azuara. “And we’re going to be helpful however we can – whether it’s advice or an introduction – regardless of whether we’d be a good fit for each other.”

Listen to the whole conversation and check out our other Growth and Scale Insiders podcast episodes on Apple, SpotifyGoogle, or Stitcher for more great info on finance transformation, including what roles measurement, timing, and big-picture perspective play in scaling for success. And if you enjoy the show, leave us a review!

Related Podcast: Growth and Scale Insiders Episode 2: How to Lead Through a Crisis

Have any questions for our podcast show guests? Are there any topics you’d like us to discuss next time? Send them to Holly Subervi at