Spotlight on Accordion’s Strategic Finance Team
Accordion’s Strategic Finance Team goes all in on helping the Office of the CFO create value.
We decided to flip the script and find out what they value about Accordion. We talked to Managing Director Jeremy Pawlak and Senior Directors Mike Brown, Erica Thurm, and Zach Chandis, who highlighted career development, diverse opportunities, pride in their work, and more:
Q: Tell me about your journey to Accordion. What prompted you to make a career change, and what excited you most about the opportunity?
I’ve worked “in industry” FP&A for a long time, and I always enjoyed building and solving problems. That said, I didn’t want to do the same thing month after month, and I was looking for a way to make a bigger impact on high-priority initiatives and gain experience across industries, clients, functional areas, and problem-solving. When I learned about Accordion, I was instantly excited to join a leader in strategic FP&A-focused execution consulting with a unique market position—and that holds true today. ”
Q: Tell us about the work you do for clients.
On the Strat Fin Team, we help clients gain a deeper understanding of their business and arm them with insights to navigate potential challenges. A lot of clients struggle with reporting blind spots or have trouble aligning their operational metrics with their financials. We help assist them in understanding the key drivers of their P&L and cash flow—now and in the future. ”
Q: What excites you about your role at Accordion?
I get really excited to work on new projects: developing a diverse skillset, seeing different industries, working with different clients, and creating different solutions that can add value to our clients’ businesses. Within Strategic FP&A, you’ll do budgeting and forecasting, but you’ll also understand processes. You’ll learn about big data, and how to work with that data to solve real issues. It’s always evolving, and that keeps me excited. ”
Q: How does working at Accordion differ from working at other firms?
Accordion is different because of the collaborative culture and strong emphasis on career development — both of which are extremely important to the execution-oriented work that we do. We work hands-on, creating vital tools and tangible deliverables that we transition to both sponsors and management teams post-engagement, whereas other firms focus only on high-level strategy. This means everyone at Accordion, from Analysts to MDs, plays a vital role as we partner closely with clients: a rounded, team-oriented experience most don’t get at other firms. ”
Q: Tell us about Accordion’s unique opportunity to work cross-functionally.
At Accordion, not only do you get to partner with a diverse group of clients working to elevate diverse functions across the Office of the CFO, but you also get to work with diverse cross-functional teams within Accordion. Even if you’re technically part of our Strategic Finance Group, you’ll work with the Accounting Team, the Transactions Team, the CFO Tech Team, and more. Whatever the client’s needs are, we can tap into our broader network of Accordionites to deliver. ”
Q: How would you describe Accordion’s culture?
It's high-impact and low-ego. Our teams are talented and goal-oriented. There are no “sharp elbows,” and there’s a huge emphasis on working together to address clients’ pain points. And the collaborative culture bleeds into life outside of work; we like to have a good time together, too. Last year, the entire firm participated in a three-day offsite event in Austin, TX, where we partied and met colleagues from offices across the country. It was a really awesome experience. ”
Q: What does a “better way to work in finance” mean to you?
A “better way to work in finance” means working with good people. At the end of the day, delivering A+ execution to our clients is the number one priority. But you want to work with good people. You want to like your teams. And you want to be humble. And that's what we have at Accordion.”
Q: What’s your favorite Accordion memory?
Accordion is genuinely an enjoyable place to work – with people you want to work with, travel with, grab dinner/drinks with, and win with. My favorite Accordion memory was taking home our first-ever offsite trophy. We split into teams for a bunch of competitive events, and it was so much fun to see everyone bring out their competitive sides and go for the gold. ”
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining Accordion?
At Accordion, you’ll have every opportunity to be part of and grow with a lively, exciting, and tight-knit group—while working with some of the smartest, most experienced, and most intellectually-engaging professionals out there. As long as you have a winning mindset, you can take a seat at the table and be a true value-add from the get-go. ”
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