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The Role Forward

Getting the Best Out of Fractional CFO Services with Scot Mollot, CFO at Attivo Partners

In this episode of The Role Forward, Scot Mollot, CFO at Attivo Partners, discusses what it's like to work with fractional CFO services and how to make sure you're getting the best service possible from your partner.

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Episode Summary

In this episode of The Role Forward, Joe and Scot dive into the world of fractional CFO services and the transition to in-house teams. They discuss the inflection points where companies outgrow fractional CFO services and the economic factors that drive the decision to hire in-house. The complexity of business activities and the need for a 24/7 finance team are key considerations.

The conversation shifts to data infrastructure and the challenges early-stage companies face in building and tracking plans. They emphasize the importance of clean data and the role of systems and automation. Joe and Scot also explore the difficulties in integrating various systems and the value of data analysis in deriving meaningful insights.

Scot shares his journey from startups to consulting and back, highlighting the growth and collaboration experiences. He explains the engagement process with companies, emphasizing the strategic value of starting with accounting before moving to more complex financial planning and analysis (FP&A). The episode concludes with insights into strategic projects and the path to growth.

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Featured Guest

Scot Mollot

CFO, Attivo Partners

Scot Mollot has over 15 years of experience in finance and accounting roles. Scot is currently the CFO of Attivo Partners, a full-service finance and accounting firm that helps companies with capital raising, financial operations, and achieving successful exits. Prior to this, Scot was the Vice President of Finance at Attivo Partners, where they played a key role in shaping the company’s vision and business model. Scot also has experience as an independent CFO Advisor, providing financial advisory support to start-ups. Additionally, they have worked as the Head of Finance at Lime, a fast-growing company in the transportation industry, where they successfully led the finance team through a period of rapid expansion.

Key Themes from the Episode
  • Joe and Scot discuss the critical inflection points where companies decide to transition from fractional CFO services to in-house finance teams. This decision often hinges on economic factors, the complexity of business activities, and the need for a dedicated finance team.
  • Scot emphasizes the importance of clean data, proper systems, and automation to build, track, and hold people accountable to plans. Joe and Scot explore the difficulties in integrating various systems and the value of data analysis in deriving meaningful insights.
  • Scot shares his approach to engaging with companies, starting with accounting before moving to more complex FP&A. He likens the process to dating before marriage, allowing for a gradual build-up of trust and understanding.

Episode Highlights from Scot Mollot

20:00 — The Challenges of Data Infrastructure in Early-Stage Companies

Joe and Scot delve into the challenges that early-stage companies face in managing data infrastructure. They discuss the difficulties in deriving meaningful information, the importance of stakeholders, and the role of systems like Salesforce.

“I mean, it may help overall, but again, you want to have that stakeholder who has the time and the responsibility to make sure data’s clean, you know. We’ll see stuff coming out of Salesforce all the time. And it’s like, ‘How do I make sense of this?’”

13:00 — The Shotgun Wedding Analogy in Strategic Engagement

Scot uses the analogy of a “shotgun wedding” to describe the intense and sudden nature of strategic engagements, especially when raising funds. He contrasts this with a gradual approach, likening it to dating before marriage.

“I almost think of it as a shotgun wedding, right? You know, there’s a, you know, in the accounting first example, you know, we’re dating. We have this long, long, long time to get to know each other. And then we decide, okay, fine, let’s go get, you know, let’s go get married. Whereas the shotgun wedding, who knows the circumstance of the shotgun wedding, but it’s now all of a sudden, you know, we’re hitched, and it’s intense.”

14:00 — The Role of FP&A in Strategic Growth

Joe and Scot focus on the FP&A side of finance, discussing how they engage with clients on a strategic level. They explore examples of strategic projects and how they guide companies towards growth.

“So with this deeper interest in like FP&A side of things, and you’ve mentioned a few examples, but I would love for you to go a little deeper on like some of the strategic projects you work with clients on that FP&A side. Like how are you coming in on that strategic level and setting them down the right path to growth?”

16:04 — Unraveling Billing Data Complexity

Brian delves into the process of making sense of billing data. He explains how they look at every detail of historical data, factoring in credit memos, refunds, and time zones. The discussion then shifts to how they handle current month data, emphasizing the importance of having a comprehensive view. This part of the conversation underscores the complexity of managing billing data and the need for efficient processes.

“We’re looking at every single invoice, every single probation line, what’s the amount, what’s the quantity, are there discounts included? All of that is factored in. And so you have this rich bottoms up every detail for your historical data.”

Full Transcript