Spotlight on Tim Meagher: Talking CFO Tech & The Accordion Advantage
A Q&A With Tim Meagher, Senior Consultant, CFO Technology
Less than two years ago, Tim Meagher was the sixth employee hired into the firm’s CFO Technology Team. Initially attracted to Accordion’s focus on private equity consulting, he knew how quickly the PE industry was growing — and he wanted to grow with it.
Now, Tim is a Senior Consultant and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) expert in Accordion’s CFO Technology Practice, which has grown from only six to over 75 members (thanks, in part, to two CFO-Tech-related acquisitions, Platform Specialists and ABACI). And as he’s watched his practice area (and the firm) expand, he describes working at Accordion as “exhilarating.”
“It’s exhilarating because the firm is experiencing explosive growth, which presents a ton of unique opportunities for those that get to be part of it. It’s exhilarating because you’re diving into interesting projects that challenge you every day. And, of course, it’s exhilarating because Accordion folks know when it’s time to close the laptops, get down, and have fun.”
Here’s what else Tim had to say about being part of Accordion’s CFO Tech Practice:
Q. Which of Accordion’s core values resonates with you most?
“Think like an owner,” for sure. As one of the initial employees to join Accordion’s CFO Technology Team, I’ve had the opportunity to wear a lot of different hats and exercise new muscles as we built up the practice area. It feels like “thinking like an owner” has been ingrained in me, because when I first joined the CFO Tech Team, there was a piece of me that felt like we had something to prove to Accordion’s other practice areas that had existed longer than we had — which makes it all the more exciting and gratifying that our practice has been able to achieve this scale of growth in such a short amount of time.
“When you’re part of a growth organization like Accordion, you gain exposure to all facets of the business; it isn’t solely about client project execution. It’s an exciting ‘all hands on deck’ approach, whether that means dipping your toe in business development, managing internal projects, developing new go-to-market strategies, facilitating partnerships with different technology companies, or mentoring summer interns.”
Q. Accordion commits to offering a “better way to work in finance.” What does this mean to you, and how do you feel like Accordion delivers on this promise?
Accordion cares deeply about its culture and its people, and folks like Nick (our CEO) and Atul (our President) make a point of showing us the better way to work in finance. For example, the executive team is consistently making significant investments in non-business-related activities that bring us together and foster relationships — and we always have fun. We had fun at last year’s offsite in Scottsdale, Arizona. We’ll have an even better time at this year’s offsite in Austin, Texas. We had a blast when the CFO Tech Team met for bowling and a night out in Philly, when we’ve come together for happy hour in the New York office, and when the LA-based team had our day of service in Santa Monica. It’s a hard-working and fun-loving community.”
“The Accordion team embraces the work hard, play hard mentality. It’s a cliché, but it’s the Accordion reality. We know how to go heads-down, work together, and deliver for a client, but we also know when it’s time to let loose and enjoy each other’s company.”
Q. Tell us about how Accordion approaches work-life integration.
Accordion is very flexible when it comes to work-life integration. We operate on a hybrid model, which is amazing; not a lot of companies are willing to do that right now, because office space is a big capital expense when most folks aren’t going in five days a week. But it’s a huge productivity advantage, which I certainly believe is reflected in the quality of our team’s work. Personally, I try my best to make it into the office two or three times a week, but some weeks I only make it in once. What I value most is that it’s a choice, and you make that choice based on what fits into your schedule and what enables your best work.
Beyond that, the day-to-day is flexible. I’m training for a marathon right now, which is insanely time-consuming and unfortunately not something that can be done completely outside of typical work hours. For instance, if my training runs a bit into the beginning of my workday—as it has once a week for the past two months—my team is always adaptable and supportive of my schedule (provided I get my work done and uphold my commitments, of course).
“With Accordion’s hybrid model, I can go into the office when I want to collaborate, and I can work from home when I need to zone in on a project. And if there’s something going on in my life outside of work, I know I’m encouraged to step away and take care of it. It just goes to show how much everyone at Accordion values a happy and healthy life, both inside and outside of our careers.”
Q. How has Accordion invested in your learning and development?
The firm is very willing to invest in our learning and development, and I’ve been able to capitalize on this quite a bit. Everyone has a substantial “learning and development” stipend. And the cool thing is that I’ve had the opportunity to not only receive training in systems and technologies that affect my day-to-day, but also those that will fuel my long-term career growth. I’ve done trainings in financial modeling through Wall Street Prep, I’m currently pursuing a certification in Power BI, and I have plans to get agile and scrum certifications in the future.
And then in terms of everyday learning and development, I think the opportunity to work cross-functionally and gain exposure to other practice areas is huge. In fact, the CFO Tech Team touches pretty much every practice area. Right now, I’m working on a OneStream implementation for a medical device manufacturer that was recently carved out from one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. And we’re working closely with Accordion’s FAAS Team (Financial Accounting and Advisory Services) for this, because we’re developing an application that will help streamline the client’s accounting process. Until now, the FAAS Team has essentially been running the client’s finance function and closing the books for them every month, and the goal of our application is to systematize some of these processes and help wean Accordion manpower off the project — enabling the client to handle it in-house. In fact, the management reporting that the client can produce in our app goes all the way up to the CFO and makes it into their monthly board review decks. Not only is the project itself rewarding, but it’s awesome to see the great work that the FAAS Team is doing and form relationships with folks outside of the CFO Tech microclimate.
“One of the biggest reasons I was initially drawn to Accordion was because I saw so many smart people here with impressive pedigrees, and I was hoping to absorb their knowledge and learn from their experiences. And I have. It would feel like such a waste of talent and intellectual capital — for both employees and clients — if we didn’t leverage a cross-functional structure in the way that we do.”
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