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The Role Forward

Exploring AI in Finance with Todd Spartz, CFO of LinkLive

In this episode of The Role Forward, Todd Spartz, CFO of LinkLive, discusses the current state of AI in finance and explores the technology's potential to change the profession.

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Episode Summary

In the latest episode of The Role Forward, Joe Michalowski welcomes Todd Spartz, the CFO at LinkLive. Todd dives deep into his rich background in the tech world. From semiconductor equipment manufacturing to networking, and from web analytics to web advertising, Todd’s journey is vast. As he transitioned to enterprise SaaS, he shares the insights and challenges faced, especially around the newest hottest topic — AI.

Joe, not a stranger to the semiconductor industry himself, resonates with Todd’s experiences. The conversation flows seamlessly, touching on the nuances of the tech landscape and the ever-evolving roles within it.

For anyone keen on understanding the intricacies of the tech world and the journey of a seasoned professional like Todd, this episode is a must-listen.

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Featured Guest

Todd Spartz

CFO, LinkLive

Todd is a highly experienced public market and VC/PE-backed private company financial executive with deep exposure to SaaS as well as multiple other technology verticals. In his role of Chief Financial Officer at LinkLive, Todd manages all aspects of finance and accounting for the company.

Key Themes from the Episode
  • Todd Spartz emphasizes the importance of building networks and communicating with others in the finance sector. Early in his career, he didn't prioritize networking, but he later realized its significance. Engaging with subject matter experts, attending trade shows, and participating in panels can be invaluable.
  • Todd discusses the potential of AI in the finance sector, particularly in forecasting. He mentions how AI can assist in predicting trends based on historical data and current market conditions.
  • Todd envisions a future where AI can streamline administrative tasks and improve process flow. He suggests AI tools that can send reminders about budget deadlines, schedule meetings based on calendar availability, and highlight significant variances in metrics.

Episode Highlights from Todd Spartz

7:13 — Practical Applications of AI Tools

Todd discusses how he uses AI tools like ChatGPT in his work. He mentions that while these tools might not provide the exact answer, they often suggest potential solutions that can be refined. Todd also touches on how AI can assist in tasks like policy drafting and contract negotiation.

“Yeah, well definitely generally, AI chatGPT; I certainly do use it. If I’m going to have to write a policy, I’ll often have it propose a policy. I’ll give it the parameters of our situation and then see, ’cause often, it’s not gonna provide me with the answer, but it will often provide a potential answer that has elements of things that I hadn’t thought about.”

38:22 — The Limitations of AI

Joe and Todd discuss areas where AI might not be able to replace human input. Todd believes that while AI can process vast amounts of data and suggest actions, it can’t replicate human intuition, communication, leadership, and mentorship. He emphasizes the importance of fostering human connections and interactions.

“If we assume that the AI that we’re talking about is not sentient, it’s not thinking. Then what it’s doing is taking huge data sets and distilling actionable processes.”

42:29 — Expectations of AI Vendors

Joe asks Todd about his expectations from AI vendors in the finance sector. Todd appreciates the capabilities of platforms like Mosaic that aggregate data sources and provide prebuilt metrics. He values the combination of a robust platform and a dedicated team.

“I think what we’ve enjoyed immensely about Mosaic is not only is it a great platform that allows you to aggregate all your data sources and use prebuilt charts, graphs, and metrics to get real results more quickly. Your secret sauce is your team. Just tremendous people that I’ve worked with there that have been very dedicated and helpful.”

Full Transcript