All I want for the holidays…

It’s officially holiday season, so we decided it was time to survey Canadian finance professionals to see what’s on their wish list – both professionally and personally.  

Dominic Piscopo, CPA

Dominic, is an analyst on the Finance Planning and Analysis team at Rewind. Trusted by over 100,000 companies worldwide, Rewind builds apps to help businesses protect their critical SaaS and cloud data. Dominic’s wish list iincludes a return to greater efficiency in Rewind’s marketing channels and better work-life balance for his team.

A short wishlist with great potential 

It’s safe to say that 2022 was one for the books. Both personally and professionally, I’ve celebrated a number of accomplishments and even learned a lesson or two. With 2023 in near sight, topping my holiday wish list this year is a return to more efficient marketing channels. 

Apple made some changes to their privacy policies earlier this year, which impacted how targeted ads work and their overall effectiveness. Many companies saw efficiencies suffer because of this – Rewind included. Combined with the economy shifting from a “growth at all cost” stage to an “efficient” stage, we have had to adjust our ad spend to meet efficiency metrics. This can often come at the cost of growth, so one thing I’m wishing for this year is being able to boost our ad spend while maintaining efficiency at the same time.

Second to this, I also want to see, and contribute to, a more consistent work-life balance for the accounting department. This is something that Float is currently helping us achieve. We’ve gone through some large implementations this year – one of them with Netsuite – to streamline and introduce greater efficiency for the team. Like many other companies, Rewind saw a small reduction in headcount this year given the current economic environment. Ideally, I would like every member of our team to reach a good balance where they can get their 40 hours in, while still being well-rested, productive, and not overworked. I know this will have a positive impact on the culture in our department.

Expense management can be really daunting, busy, and driven by rigid deadlines and tedious work. We’re hoping that once the full implementation of Float is complete, we’ll be closer to minimizing this burden and fulfilling my holiday wellness wish for the team. 

My personal wish list:

  • Alo Yoga gear for a comfortable return to office wardrobe to match the business goals of improving overall wellness
  • Renew my Athletic Greens subscription to help support a healthy 2023
  • New ice skates for winter activities to make the harsh Canadian winter more enjoyable

Kirsha Campbell, CPA, CMA

Kirsha Campbell, is a trusted consultant who helps CEOs, business owners, and entrepreneurs scale and increase their profits and cash flows through strategic financial systems. This year Kirsha wishes for greater automation tools to help her clients improve efficiency and profitability, along with a shift in policy from Canadian finance leaders.

Giving the gift of greater efficiency and time

One thread that connects all my clients is that they are extremely busy and pressed for time. For this reason, one of my holiday wishes is to implement powerful automation tools that optimize their financial workflows and business processes. This will allow them to eliminate menial tasks, save time, and drive greater efficiencies. Some key examples are introducing Dext to manage receipts and Quickbooks to organize transactions and analyze key metrics. I believe the right smart tools can help a business scale and grow exponentially, so I’m definitely going to prioritize this heading into the new year.

Given that my clients are in various industries – food and beverage, construction, health and education – my other holiday wish is to see a shift in financial policy. At the federal and provincial level, I want leaders to explore modifying current regulations to better support business owners and companies. For instance, I work with non-profit organizations who are not yet considered a “charity” despite operating like one. While these organizations don’t currently meet the criteria to officially register as a charity, I’m hoping to see some change to this policy in the near future. This will enable my clients and organizations alike to tap into the GST rebate benefit and more. 

Finally, I also want to be able to support my clients in a more impactful way by offering a fully customized approach to improving their financial systems. Not only do I want to understand the current state of their business, but I also envision having deeper conversations about their goals, dreams, and expectations both over the short and long term. 

My Personal Wish List

  • Enjoy some rest and relaxation for myself and my two boys
  • Provide food, clothes, and daily necessities to those who need it most 
  • Expand my collection of gym equipment and stay active 

Regan McGrath, CPA, CA 

Regan is the CEO and founder of Metrics, a professional chartered accounting firm serving clients across Canada. Established in 2014, Metrics was one of the first public accounting practices in Canada to be completely digital and is an expert in cryptocurrency. Aside from educating Canadian CPA’s on the future of commerce and accounting, Regan also has some wishes for the new year ahead.

The season of working smarter not harder

Nowadays, automation has really taken a lot of the manual work off our plates – especially when it comes to bookkeeping. For this reason, my holiday wish is to see everybody in public practice take on more high-end, strategic work and let smart automation tools handle the low-value work. 

I’ve recently started to see a lot of accounting firms offer monthly subscriptions and packages for bookkeeping. However, with technology taking over, we no longer need to spend time and attention on these services. There’s a great US study called the Rosenberg survey that shows an increase in firms taking on more advisory work and less low-end compliance and bookkeeping jobs. This is the future of accounting and commerce and it’s my wish for all public practices to adopt this mindset and scale their business to offer more strategic, higher value services. 

Another holiday wish is to see advancement in Canadian regulation on cryptocurrency and blockchain assets. I want us to be able to adopt them, rely on them, and fully understand the taxation of these assets. It’s a huge problem for our government because they don’t have the appropriate structures to audit and fully understand cryptocurrency.

My final holiday wish is for our industry to charge higher rates. If we look at the most successful companies – especially the Big Four – they aren’t struggling with how much they charge. There’s a big gap in the industry and I know this from engaging with various Canadian accountants. People are billing too low and sometimes it can be a challenge to charge higher and pitch advisory jobs that are more valuable. I would encourage accounting and finance leaders to be dramatic, know their worth, and double their rates. Even if you were to lose half of your clients, you would reduce your workload and still earn the same amount of money. This is something we’ve done at Metrics and it has enabled me to pay higher wages and created more opportunity to focus on higher value work. As a result, we love our jobs even more. 

My Personal Wish List 

  • A speedy completion for my new home renovation 
  • To land a government consulting contract and write the tax laws for the metaverse

Tony Ayala

Tony is the President of Queen Street Bakery, a Toronto-based producer of premier gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free breads and baked goods. Launched in 2018, Queen Street Bakery quickly grew from a local bakery into a nationally distributed grocery brand. With Tony at the helm leading the company and the finance department, he has a few holiday wishes he’s hoping will come true for 2023.

Getting to grips with food inflation for the holidays

When I think of my holiday wishlist, the first thing that comes to mind is food inflation. In Canada, food inflation has hit a high of 7.5% and continues to be a big concern in the food industry and within our company. It’s tough to see the price of food rise so much because wages aren’t increasing at the same pace. So, my main holiday wish is to see food inflation get under control so that Canadians can shop for basic necessities like milk, bread and eggs, without the stress of expensive prices.

At Queen Street Bakery, food insecurity has always been a key area of focus for us. Since we have our own production facility, each month we produce a little bit extra and donate 1,000 loaves of bread to the Salvation Army and other food insecurity organizations. Our staff loves to do it and we know how much of a difference it can make for families, especially during the holiday season.

When I put my FP&A hat on, I can tell you that I have a handful of holiday wishes. Our team recently transitioned to Xero, which is our third software migration since we started in 2018. As we continue to grow, I am constantly relooking at our systems and how we can automate more and drive greater efficiencies. However, transitioning to new systems always comes with a learning curve and my wish is that our team acclimates quickly to Xero and sees the value it brings to the business sooner rather than later. 

My other wish is to eventually introduce corporate cards to our team. Right now, employees are using their personal credit cards and have to create expense reports, which can be stressful because they have to spend their own money and wait to be reimbursed. Bringing in corporate cards will alleviate a lot of this stress and streamline the expense management process for everyone in general. As we grow and scale at Queen Street Bakery, this is definitely high on my wish list.

My personal wish list

  • A SMEG toaster 
  • Queen Street Bakery Merch! Branded aprons and cutting boards to fuel the baker in me 

VC Matt Golden on raising capital in a downmarket

Founder and Managing Partner of Golden Ventures, Matt Golden is no stranger to economic turbulence. In 2008, working as a VC, he successfully weathered the storm that came with the financial crisis and gained valuable experience that would serve him well throughout his career. At Golden Ventures, Matt and his team support early-stage founders in their journey and have enjoyed incredible success investing in companies such as Skip the Dishes, Wattpad, and even Float. 

In this interview with the Retained Learnings Podcast, Golden shares his advice for founders who are making sense of the recent market uncertainty. His core message? Double-down on core fundamentals that demonstrate a sustainable pathway to growth. Let’s jump in.

Q: Starting with an introduction, what are the size of the companies and the initial investments Golden Ventures typically makes?

A: Golden Ventures is investing out of its fourth core fund but we also have opportunity funds. We’ve been at this since 2011 and have always stayed true to our mission of supporting transformative companies at seed stage. We’re comprehensive in terms of pre-seed, seed, or seed plus, as well as the sectors we invest in. We mainly invest in Canada, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston – but we’re open to other areas too. 

A standard investment would be a seed stage company investing anywhere from $500K to $2.5M. We typically lead but are open to alternatives. Oftentimes, we co-invest with other seed funds across North America at the seed stage. To give you a sense of our range, we’ve invested in everything from quantum computing to non-permanent tattoos. 

Q: The breadth of Golden’s investing platform is certainly unique. What do you look for when you make a seed stage investment? 

A: In general, we look at a potential investment as if it were a three-legged stool, with each helping to support the whole. We look at the team and its composition, market potential, and then the traction and proof points of the business. I would say the most important leg is the team and its composition. A team’s ability to be nimble, iterate on the product, course correct, and attract talent can not be overstated. These are the pieces that help to build a successful enterprise. Without a strong foundational team, traction or early signs of product market fit don’t really matter.

We study our deal sourcing and always remain focused on connecting with potential founders, which comes from many years of network building. We have different deal sources – our existing founder network, existing executive networks, service providers we’ve worked with like lawyers, and inbound. People typically seek us out when they’re at the seed stage. Being ex-co-founders of companies ourselves, we work with founders in a way that we would have wanted back then.

Q: As for metrics, what matters most at the seed stage? And similarly, what are the metrics that don’t matter? 

A: It really depends on the stage of seeding. If it’s pre-seed, you’re likely to have zero metrics. There should be some proof points around customer traction, but you’re not looking for a huge run state at seed. By seed plus, however, you’re starting to look at the number of customers, if there’s a path to expansion, and whether or not they’re paying for it. You begin looking at cohorts, retention cohorts, sales processes, and if there’s an actual pipeline. Metrics become more meaningful as you progress through the stages. Because we invest at seed, we’re constantly helping founders prepare for Series A fundraises.

Q: Once you’ve invested in a business, how do you work with the finance team? How does planning for Series A funding happen? 

A: A lot of seed companies do not have a fully formed finance function. At this stage, finance is focused on the operating plan and if the forecast can be actualized. We’ll work with founders or the Director of Finance to prepare and review the operating plan and make sure it’s consistent with the narration of the opportunity that’s being presented to a Series A fund. 

In later stages (late Stage A or B), when the finance function is bigger, this is when the business model and financials become more critical. How believable is the plan? Are they properly accounting for everything? Do they have the right systems and processes? 

At that stage, the finance function becomes more integrated into the raised process. It’s not unusual for a Director or VP of Finance to be involved in the raise, both in the process and speaking to potential investors. 

Q: Do you have any suggestions for those who may be the first finance hire or a finance executive in an early stage business? What are key things that you’ve seen go right or wrong in the past? 

A: Things can go terribly wrong if you’re not in tune with your finance function early on. At the seed stage, it’s critical to be financially fluent. We often connect founders who are not financially fluent with an outsourced company to help build an operating plan with the proper processes and systems. We’ve had situations at seed where we’re raising a Series A and realize that the way founders account for things is not particularly standard. If that gets revealed at the wrong time in a diligence process, it can create deal risks. 

Q: You mentioned that being diligent in the early stages can save you from unexpected pitfalls that might put future financing at risk. In a market downturn like today, how does this affect the expectations you have for the companies you’re invested in? 

A: I think the whole market is taking a bit of a pause, particularly coming out of the pandemic. Being on the other side now, we’re looking into a potential recessionary market. From a fundraising perspective, everyone is recalibrating. I’ve been through a couple cycles, but those founders who entered the market post-2008 have never really experienced a meaningful economic downturn. 

Interestingly enough, many founders at the seed stage who raised some capital felt their Series A would get preempted right away. The milestones required to raise the next layer of capital at all stages have shifted – the goalposts have moved to the right. 

What do you need to achieve to raise a Series A, B, C now? Whatever it was before, you’ll need to have achieved a lot more to raise that next round at the valuations that you would normally expect at those rounds. There’s a combination of needing to accomplish more and there’s a resetting of valuation as a multiple of revenue. It’s a double whammy from that perspective.

What can companies do to prepare? At the seed stage, for example, companies who’ve only raised $1.5M thinking that on that money, they don’t want to overdilute themselves to get to the next stage of capital. Previously, they only needed to hit two or three customers and demonstrate $20K MRR to get preempted at a Series. Now, they may need over $100K MRR and eight customers. So what does this mean? It means you’re likely undercapitalized to achieve those milestones that have shifted to the right. 

A number of those companies are taking additional capital on the same terms, as an acknowledgement that the market has changed drastically. It’s possible the valuation they raised last year in today’s market is high, relative to what they’ve accomplished and so they’ll take additional capital. It’s happening at seed, A and, B – and I think it’s the smart thing to do. 

Q: If a company is facing a down round, what does that look like? Do you have any advice if a business is going through that? How do they mitigate it and come out the other side?

A: It is possible to manage it down and capitalize yourself, resetting the valuation. It can create what we call an upside-down cap table where founders and employees don’t own as much as they likely should to keep everyone incentivized and building. If you can’t build that incentive into a cap table, then it’s upside down. 

I think investors need to participate in that dilution. Even existing investors who may have various terms in financing contracts that protect them from dilution, often need to negotiate and make a case that balance needs to remain on the cap table. It’s really about working with your existing investor group to ensure you can come out the other side with a cap table that keeps the founders and the team committed to building something special and transformational. 

Communication, transparency, and effectively presenting to the team and investor base is essential. It’s a really big challenge for finance to figure out exactly how to construct that round in a way that’s fair to all parties. For leadership and the CEO, it’s also a big challenge to effectively communicate that across all the constituents on the cap table. 

Q: It feels like we’re nearing the end of growth at all costs. How do you suggest management teams find the line and what is the balance? How would you advise companies to find that line, whether it’s a Series A or Series C company, as an example? 

A:  For downstream financing, in revisiting the metrics that are necessary to raise that next layer of capital, there’s more focus on the long-term health of a company’s unit economics, as opposed to believing that growth will solve all problems. Investors are wanting to see evidence that you’ll build a company and lose money until you can bring it to a certain scale, which can then lead to positive unit economics. That has worked for many years in venture capitalism and I don’t think that’s going away. What’s new is validating and being thoughtful about the unit economics earlier.

Validating unit economics of the high-growth story is going to be increasingly important for businesses. There’s going to be a lot more focus on being a healthy business and how quickly you can become a healthy business. The trade-off is if you focus on unit economics, it often impacts growth. If you want to grow 3x or 4x next year, but also improve unit economics, it’s likely you won’t be able to grow at that pace. 

The market is starting to value that middle ground, but it’s really tricky to find out the tradeoff because growth still solves a lot of problems for VCs. You’re not going to win at raising capital by showing that you’re profitable without growth and vice-versa.

Q: What would that look like when a Series A company is thinking about a Series B? What does that testing process look like before you kick off a full fundraising round? 

A: We’re in constant communication with all the top funds in North America at various stages. When a company is thinking about its next round, we’re working closely with them to have conversations with who we consider to be potential funders of the company downstream at the appropriate stage for what they’re trying to raise. Having those conversations early and building out the operating plan allows us to determine the level of growth they are looking for. It allows for the calibration of where they need to be in order to hit those milestones. 

Q: Where can our readers find out more about you and Golden Ventures? 

A:  The best way to learn about us is through our company’s extensive FAQ. We think that funds should be increasingly transparent about who they invest in, what their sweet spot is, how they work with founders, and the types of deals they’ve done. Even going so far as to talk about DEI, the types of companies they’ve funded and the diversity of the founders they work with. We report on all of that and urge you to check it out.

How she got here: Angela Bierman shares her career journey

Like many finance professionals, Angela Bierman, Finance Manager at Calgary West Central Primary Care Network, considers herself a recovering perfectionist. 

“I’m an accountant,” she recently explained in an interview with CPA Alberta, “I used to think I don’t have the luxury of ‘good enough.’ Numbers are black and white, and they have to be perfect, but I’ve come to understand that even accountants have to embrace the grey.”

This perspective has led her to develop a specialty in building systems that support complex operations. 

“I like being able to support a business in having a more strategic focus,” she shared with the Float team. “Whether we’re in good times or bad, someone always needs to count and report on the money. What’s been really exciting is not just looking backwards, but helping with analysis and projections to help businesses figure out where they’re going.”

Since beginning her career in 2008 at Fitzpatrick & Company, a local public accounting firm in Prince Edward Island, Bierman has built up a reputation as a finance powerhouse who champions innovation, embraces change, and always puts people first. In this interview with the Float team, she shares advice for fellow accountants who are looking to evolve in their careers.

What led you to pursue a career in finance? How did you get your first job?

AG: I love things that are organized and in neat and tidy boxes. I was always very good at math. It’s funny, everyone would always tell me I should be an actuary but I didn’t want to go that route. After studying engineering and psychology, that’s when I found accounting and it was home for me. I actually didn’t find accounting until my third year of university. But once I did, I knew right away it was what I was meant to do.

I worked with a local public accounting firm in Prince Edward Island called Fitzpatrick & Company for about three years. I went through the process to get my CPA designation while I was there as well. When I started with the company, it was actually their first year of operations, so I was able to see a lot of growth firsthand. 

Was the job what you expected?

AG: No! A lot of people think there is monotony in accounting but working at a public accounting firm was just the opposite. Our clients were diverse; they ranged from dairy farmers to restaurants. There was so much opportunity to learn and I was really able to expand my skill set there. 

At the end of the day, a business always needs a financial system and the finance team is critical in weathering that storm. A lot of organizations see finance and accounting as a cost center, something that they have to do and can’t get away from. Being able to sell leadership and management on the value that finance can bring is a lot easier when we have smart tools to help us automate and integrate our financial processes. It gives us a more strategic lens, while helping us better showcase our value.

What was the first step that you took to advance your career, personally?

AG: Any time someone asks what I’m most proud of, I always tell them it’s my Chartered Professional Accountant Designation. My journey to obtaining my CPA designation was very challenging, but it taught me a lot. I learned how to effectively prioritize and make the best use of my time. I also discovered that critical thinking is not only about what you know today, but how you approach what comes your way tomorrow. 

More importantly, my CPA designation has given me the confidence to believe in my skills. Each day, it serves as a reminder that I am capable of overcoming challenges, learning difficult things, and that I deserve to be where I am. This reminder is especially helpful when imposter syndrome creeps in. 

As soon as I got my CPA, I moved across the country to Calgary and have loved every second of being out West since. I jumped feet first, moved with a lease, and three interviews lined up, and the rest is history! 

Angela moved to Calgary early in her career and now calls it home. Photo credit: Ahmed Zalabany

What other  steps have you taken to level up in your career? 

AG: I research software and trends as a hobby. I’m always learning new apps and follow a bunch of creators in the realm of finance business partnering on LinkedIn. ​​For me, I really see technology as the tool that is going to make our lives easier and elevate us to do our best work. Technology is designed to eliminate and reduce data entry and prevent us from making silly mistakes. If we can have system controls that will protect us from ourselves, that’s just the way to go! I’ve been really passionate about learning more and I’m always on the lookout to grow and understand tools and technology that I can introduce to my team. I’ve also been reading about leadership, change management, and how technology serves as a tool to impact people. 

What’s challenging about being a leader in finance right now? 

AG: It’s a balancing act between building and generating the data and analyzing that data in a way that’s useful to tell stories. When it comes to being more innovative, I am very aware of the pace of change in which new technology is introduced. While the goal is to make everyone’s lives easier, it can also make things harder if we’re changing too much, too fast.

I’ve had to regularly assess priorities and check in on where my team and the organization is at. In my job, I try to maintain three priorities: current financial reporting, strategic focus on how I can help budget holders and leadership make better decisions, and revamping the systems that underpin the first two priorities. Any leader needs to be in the driver’s seat of their own priorities. This keeps you in a proactive instead of reactive mindset, allowing you to move the needle on what’s important to you and the organization as a whole. 

What would you say are the toughest decisions finance leaders are making today?

AG: I think deciding where to make long-term investments is one of the toughest decisions. The world has changed so much in the last two to three years and when you’re making a financial decision, it’s hard to hypothesize what the conditions are going to be like in five, 10, or 15 years. Recognizing that, I think it’s important to have wider frames of acceptable risk. If you need a very narrow set of circumstances for something to succeed, your time frame needs to be short. If you’ve got a wider set of circumstances where you can envision success, then you can go a little bit longer term. 

What are some of the most interesting projects that you’ve been working on?

AG: I’m really passionate about digital transformations – transforming accounting systems, new applications and innovative processes – I get so excited by all of it! Testing out new technologies and apps allows me a sense of play. Recently, I’ve been involved in several projects related to going paperless, moving to a digital invoicing system, and implementing new apps and processes. 

At my current job, we changed accounting systems from a legacy ERP to cloud-based Xero and integrated several apps, including Float, which has been a lot of fun for me. It was a real game changer for my team in terms of simplifying our process, adding greater consistency, and just making our lives easier by reducing the burden of data entry. Now, we’re able to spend more time on analysis, which is where we can bring greater value to the organization.

What have been some of the boldest decisions you’ve made lately? 

AG: Our previous system was not user-friendly. I really struggled with it. I couldn’t even figure out how to get my general ledger exported for Excel and do some basic analysis. Despite my level of comfort with technology, I couldn’t get what I needed out of our old system and I grew very frustrated because I knew there was a better way. 

I have a healthy appetite for change and innovation, which always go hand-in-hand. When it comes to introducing new technology to my team, I like to collect data on what’s out there and observe what everyone else is doing – which is one of the reasons I initiated our switch to Xero. It had a great reputation and so many cloud-based accounting firms recommended it. There are established gold standards when it comes to apps, so I wanted to go with something that was highly reviewed.

In some ways, it feels like we’re in new finance terrain with so much technology, market volatility, changes to regulation, and other challenges. In your opinion, what steps do you take to ensure you’re making your best possible decision?

AG: Assessing risk head on is key. It’s crucial to critically examine which risks you’re willing to accept and which ones you’re going to actively mitigate. It’s also important to understand your own values and the organization’s values, so that no matter what comes your way, you can use that as a framework to make the right decisions. 

Another is pulling the plug on a project I’ve spent money on that’s not working. Sometimes you need to try things out in order to fully understand if it’s going to work and benefit the business. If I spend money and it doesn’t work out, I have no qualms letting it go. I’ve paid to learn something I might not have otherwise known, which has given me direction to look at alternative options. I’m not paralysed by waiting to find the perfect solution. Instead, I move quickly and sometimes that means failing forward. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not flippant with spending money, but it’s critical to take a step back and assess if what we’re doing is really working. Something I always tell my team is to take the hiccups and mishaps as lessons, and make different mistakes, not the same ones. 

Being able to sell leadership and management on the value that finance can bring is a lot easier when we have smart tools to help us automate and integrate our financial processes. It gives us a more strategic lens, while helping us better showcase our value.

Angela Gill

Are there any mentors who have helped you level up into leadership? What is some of the best advice or guidance that you’ve ever received?

AG: I have an executive coach – her name is Dr. Wilma Slenders. She works for a company called Transcend Management and has been instrumental in my growth as an individual and leader. It’s hard to get that independent lens of what you’re struggling with at work. There’s confidentiality concerns, and seeing somebody that’s completely outside of your organization is really valuable.

Dr. Wilma Slenders has an ability to ask me the right questions and is so helpful with communication. Personally, I want to be more direct in the way I communicate and she’s taught me how to use the correct language and has even recommended great articles and books. She listens and validates, and is able to give me a new perspective on things – because often, the problem is not what we think it is. 

What are some of your future aspirations?

AG: I love working in an environment that is collaborative, innovative, and psychologically safe. I’ve been having a tremendous amount of fun with software implementation and systems improvement. I recently started a TikTok channel for tech and productivity tips to help others beat burnout. It has really scratched my creative itch! I’m very eager to share my passion and enthusiasm for technology in ways that help make people’s lives easier.

What words of advice or encouragement do you have for aspiring finance leaders?

AG: Assess your people and leadership skills. A lot of finance leaders are incredible with numbers, it’s where our training was focused and where our skill and comfort level lies. Since obtaining my CPA and going into leadership and management, I’ve made mistakes and I’ve learned a lot of lessons, so I’ve invested in improving my skills in that area.

I don’t work in isolation. To achieve, I need a team that is aligned, I need collaboration from peers, and I need support from leadership and management. I don’t have it figured out 100%, but I continue to work on it everyday. 

I also think the finance industry can be prone to burn out. We have a lot of deadlines, a lot of expectations, and a lot of manual work that has to happen. I would encourage everybody – especially those early in their careers – to set healthy boundaries and have balance. Understand that the work is going to be there tomorrow.