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The Role Forward

Temi Vasco on Finance Automation and the Month-End Close

In this episode of The Role Forward, Temi Vasco of Gem joins our hosts Joe Garafalo and Joe Michalowski to discuss why automation has been a game-changer in the accounting space. They also touch upon the importance of a healthy relationship between accounting and finance teams and emphasize that transparency is the key to every fruitful collaboration.

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The Role Forward
Temi Vasco on Finance Automation and the Month-End Close
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Episode Summary

Finance and accounting teams play a significant role in every organization. Their job is to provide relevant and dependable information that helps department heads make the best decisions. But, being an accountant or finance expert is more than a technical role; it is also a strategic role.

The success of these two teams depends on the quality of the workforce and the technology in use. In addition, having the right tools in your tech stack ensures efficiency, prevents repetitiveness, and mitigates mistakes.

In this episode of The Role Forward, Temi Vasco of Gem joins our hosts Joe Garafalo and Joe Michalowski to discuss why automation has been a game-changer in the accounting space (especially when it comes to the month-end close process). They also touch upon the importance of a healthy relationship between accounting and finance teams and emphasize that transparency is the key to every fruitful collaboration.

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Featured Guest

Temi Vasco

Controller, Gem

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Temi has experience working with various industries, including Real Estate, Energy, and the Big Four. Since day one, her job has been to help business owners make the best decisions for their companies. Now at Gem, she’s finding ways to make accounting a strategic asset to the business.

Key Themes from the Episode
  • If the financials aren't done correctly and your close process is mismanaged, you get too much, too late.
  • Accounting and finance teams should work in lockstep — not be separated by forward-looking and backward-looking tasks.
  • When building finance and accounting teams, make sure the individuals share the same values and that they all align with the company culture.

Episode Highlights from Temi Vasco

4:00 — The Future of Work is Automation

”I think it is a great background to have — being able to peek into all these different microcosms. You get to go to these different companies, and you see how everyone’s trying to achieve the same thing, but they’re doing it in such unique ways.

For me, being on the other side of it, that experience was very helpful in shaping my idea of what should work. You’re receiving the reports at the end and wondering why it is taking so long.

Once I got into the industry, I figured out why things take so long and why it was so complex. It’s hard to get some things done without the right tools. And so, I started doing a lot of research and trying to figure out ways to make my job and my life easier, and hopefully, make the company’s life just a little bit better.

[…] If you think about your phone. You can improve documents, sign documents on your phone now. Ten years ago, that would have been unheard of.

And then, there’s huge pressure on CFOs now to not just be funding sources but to also be true strategic business partners. And accounting has a huge part to play in that because the job is to provide relevant, dependable information so that we can make those decisions for the business.

And so, especially when you look into historical data, there’s no reason — other than lack of resources or lack of knowledge — to not automate most of the things that we do.”

17:52 — But What If Some Processes Can’t Be Automated?

“We try to automate parts of it. So there are parts of it that we can’t control. We use Floqast, and Floqast has come out with this reminder feature, which is essentially a way to send emails to your vendor.

The other part is being in touch with our numbers and knowing what’s supposed to be coming down the pipeline, and that’s hard to do in a silo. So it does require partnering with all of the other departments and all the teams and knowing what the plans are. […] So a lot of it is constant communication, just trying to get ahead of things.”

32:18 — It All Comes Down to Using the Right Tools to Maximize Efficiency

”We use Mosaic for board reporting, and that’s been helpful. We’ve also been using it for our fluxes since a lot of our data goes directly in there. Floqast has been a game-changer for us. We implemented that in April, and every month it keeps getting better.

[…] With Mosaic, our board reporting was done within a day; earlier, it was a beast.
We were at ten working days for close — from beginning to issuing our reports — but now, with Floqcast, we’re at eight. In good months, where nothing happens, we’re done in six.”

Full Transcript

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