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Episode 2

Embracing Technology and The Employee Experience

Episode details

Randy Wootton and Chris Ortega, CEO and founder of Fresh FP&A, discuss the top three changes in the accounting and finance profession over the last 15 years and the impact of technology. Chris talks about the increasing value proposition of CFOs and the era of disruption in the office of the CFO. Listen as they delve into the role of AI in finance and the importance of employee NPS as a metric for success.


Chris Ortega
Chris Ortega
CEO and Founder, Fresh FP&A
Randy Wootton
Randy Wootton
CEO, Maxio

Video transcript

Randy Wootton (00:04):

Hi, this is Randy Wootton, CEO Maxio, and welcome to Expert Voices Podcast, where we interview CFOs and industry experts who want to stay ahead of the curve and learn about the latest trends and technologies that are shaping the future of finance. Today, I'm honored to have Chris Ortega, CEO founder of Fresh FP&A, join us. He's been in accounting and finance for almost 20 years and is one of the people that's helping us define what the future looks like. Thanks so much for joining us, Chris.

Chris Ortega (00:34): Randy, a pleasure to be here, man. Thanks for having me at Expert Voices.

Randy Wootton (00:37):

Yeah, great. Well, so we've got a couple of topics we're going to cover over the next 30 minutes. I think with your perspective, having started at Ernst & Young early in your career, and then moving through the accounting role and the FP&A role, and then a fractional CFO role, and now founding your own fractional CFO practice, tell me a little bit about the top three changes you've seen in the profession over the last 15 years.

Chris Ortega (00:59):

Yeah, man, I think looking back over the experience, I think it boils down to three key elements that have changed dramatically for not only accountants, not only finance, not only FP&A, but CFO professionals. And those three things are technology, I think number one, first thing that has evolved. When I go back to my public accounting days, I remember being at Ernst & Young, doing audits, and you didn't have really the robust forecasting technology. You really didn't have the robust budgeting forecasting. You really didn't have the robust financial operations technology like Maxio, right? You had to kind of have these piecemeals of technology. So as you see technology providing a lot more tactical advantages down to accounts, down to finance and FP&A, you've seen that real boom. So I think that's been one of the first changes. The second thing for the office of the CFO particularly is the value proposition. I think earlier in my career, CFOs, in terms of that relationship with the CEO, was just more about the scorekeepers. They were the one keeping the tally. We had a budget of five widgets and we did seven widgets. So I think the second fundamental change has been that value proposition that the CFO brings to not only the CEO and the other C-suite, but ultimately the organization. And I think the third one is really a disruption in the office of the CFO. When you look back through sales, marketing, operations, client success, and other functional areas of the business, they have been disrupted. I think now we're entering a stage where the office of the CFO is poised for disruption. Technology is doing that, the increase in the value proposition that CFOs bring. So I would boil down the three things that I've seen is just those three technology, the increasing value proposition, and this era of disruption that we're in right now.

Randy Wootton (02:48):

Well, that's great, Chris. Maybe we'll start with the third one first because I too have seen that. I've been in technology, I don't know, it's been 23 years for me, and most of the time I've been focused on go-to-market tech. So building technology for marketers, sales folks, and customer success. And to your point, one of the reasons I joined Maxio about 18 months ago was I thought the same thing was going to play out for the office of the CFO. And it primarily starts with workflow automation. So taking some of those manual tasks or technologies like Excel or other spreadsheets and figuring out new ways of doing the work to make the individuals more effective and more efficient. So absolutely think there's this, we're right on this cusp of disruption. With regards to technology, as you look forward, what do you think are the couple of things that are, you're telling your clients, or when you're talking to other fractional CFOs, other than Maxio, I appreciate the shout out, but for other technologies, what are the things you're seeing people really embrace in the office of the CFO?

Chris Ortega (03:45):

Yeah, so I think that you boiled it down, and I think it starts with the tactical operations first, right? Let's start high level and work our way down to tactical operations. When you look at technology, and particularly for the CFO, we are typically, by nature, really risk averse when it comes to new things. And when you really look at us on a spectrum of on the lower end being low technology adopters to the high end of being high technology adopters, when you look at other functional areas like sales and marketing, they're going to be higher up on that curve. They're going to be the first ones adopting all new technology. We, traditionally, the office of the CFO has been on that other end of the spectrum. We're really risk averse. We have to make sure there's audit compliance. We make sure there's no risk to the business. But I think as we go up that value proposition and technology, that's where we really need to start. So I think that's driving that, and now the first place for a lot of CFOs to start to get that kind of win is in tactical operations. Accounting is, by nature, I go back to the first time I took an accounting class, which was my sophomore year in high school at Pike High School. I remember, yeah, I'm aging myself in this one, Randy. I remember doing accounting on accounting paper, right? The grid-

Randy Wootton (04:57): 

Wow. Like the ledger?

Chris Ortega (05:00):

I'm that old.

Randy Wootton (05:00):

You to do the credits and debits in the ledger?

Chris Ortega (05:01):

I am that old. I remember doing accounting-

Randy Wootton (05:02): 

Wow, dude.

Chris Ortega (05:03):

... with T accounts, right? I'm doing graphic paper, right?

Randy Wootton (05:06): 

There you go. Yeah.

Chris Ortega (05:07):

But that's the catalyst of it. And I think when you look at CFOs and where technology is really increasing that value proposition is in tactical operations. When you look at, for me, the number of AP solutions, the number of AR solutions. I remember working with a technology generative AI partner called collect.AI when I was leading a high growth software company in marketing technology. And we had this fundamental use case. We had tactical operations, we had people, we had 15 collections people all across the globe that were just dedicated in collections. And when you think about collections from a process perspective, it's a very linear process. When somebody's five days, you send them a reminder. When they're 10 days, you send an email follow up. When they're 30 days... It's a very systematic process. And we engaged a German company called collect.AI, and this is probably about five, six years ago when we did this. And we leveraged automation in this technology to help put our people in the higher value activities inside of that tactical operation. So we repurposed the things that they love to do, which is that linear thinking. I love following a process, I love when my process is driving results with cash coming in, and I love having the ability to be able to communicate with a lot of different customers. Well, now we got technology to do that. Now we got our people focused in the higher value. So to me, that's a real life use case where you see in the office of the CFO where you can get those tangible wins. And then you want to get to the prescriptive and predictive analytics, which is like holy grail. Not a lot of finance organizations are really leveraging that strategic kind of level power yet. Start with the tactics, start where you can get immediate impact of putting your resources in higher value activities. That would be my advice to all those CFOs looking to gain that disruption in terms of technology.

Randy Wootton (07:01):

That's great, Chris. And I think just my own experience similarly was you want to be able to find things that are replicable, where the process is replicated, the information flow, the data flow is similar, and then you're able to layer in some automation. And I think to your point, what's interesting in the office of the CFO is there is this feeling of, "Oh gosh, I want to look at my spreadsheet," or, "I want to look at my journal entries because I trust that." And so, there is a little bit of surrendering of control to a system and say, "I trust it." And I think the other point that you're making is there's a compliance piece, so you don't want to go to jail. Or when you're going through due diligence for when either raising money or going through an acquisition process, you don't want to be the guy or gal called out because your stuff wasn't all in one sock and it wasn't all sorted. So that's number two. But number three is I do think finance people in particular really do like, they're very logical, very precise, and so it is hard to let go of Excel. You're not going to pull Excel out of their cold dead hands. Right?

Chris Ortega (08:05): 


Randy Wootton (08:06):

They want that. So I think that's great. That's a great story around process automation that allows you to move up the stack in terms of valuation. You mentioned AI, and clearly every podcast needs to talk about AI.

Chris Ortega (08:18): 

Yeah, definitely.

Randy Wootton (08:20): What other technology have you've seen? Or do you feel like the accounting profession in particular is threatened by AI and so struggling to figure out what their new world's going to be?

Chris Ortega (08:30):

Yeah, so I love this topic, and I remember working, I've been working with the AICPA, which is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. I've been part of their CFO committee chair for probably like the last eight to nine years. And I remember this conversation eight to nine years ago, when the first time we talked about is AI going to take my job? And you've got a lot of finance professionals, you have a lot of accounting professionals, you have a lot of probably CFOs thinking, "Is this going to take my job?" My fundamental answer then is staying true even till now. It is not going to take your job. It is meant to level us up. So when you think about this technology, generative AI, one of the best use cases that it has is not starting from scratch. Think about it. So I'll give you a real life example of me working with an accounting professional to get from starting from scratch to, I'll always say the red zone from a football analogy, which is the 20, which is the 10 yard line to get in the field. So obviously, an accounting pronouncement, Randy, that's going to be near and dear to your heart, ASC 606. For those that don't know. Yeah, look, look at Randy in the background. Randy's like, "Hey, if you want a awesome technology to help you streamline and automate that whole ASC 606 process to compliment the CFO, highly recommend all those accounting, finance, FP&A professionals to check out Maxio." But I'm working with this audit manager on this. And honestly, Randy, this was me meeting him at the Expert Voices when we had it in Indianapolis. He was there at the event when we had the collective conversation. He was talking with me, he's like, "Yeah, man." I was like, "Hey, man," catching up with him. "How's it going?" He said, "Chris, I spent like four hours last night. I was working with one of my large retail clients. They're implementing ASC 606. I spent about four hours looking at all the accounting guidance to write up this memo to give to them, and that's what I spent most of my night on, so I'm kind of in ASC 606 mode." I said, "Why'd you spend four hours doing that?" He's like, "What are you talking about?" I said, "Look, man, I'm going to schedule..." And the very next day, after our Expert Voices that we had together, I got on a 30-minute meeting with him and I said, "Let me show you the power of generative AI to help you get this information." So we literally opened up ChatGPT, we went into GPT-4, and I said, "Hey, you are an audit manager and you want to write an ASC 606 memo for a $30 million retail client. Make the memo easy for a non-finance person to understand and also make it in a format that I can copy over to a five slide PowerPoint presentation. Literally, we type that up, it gives it, and I was like, "Hey, make sure we have an authoritative source like a Ernst & Young or a PWC that you're sourcing this memo from." And we literally, in that conversation, in 15 minutes, he was able to customize and he added some pieces in there, and he's like, "This is unique to this business, so we need to add this in there." 20 minutes later, he's like, "Chris, I can't believe I wasted four hours of time doing that when I could have used this." Right?

Randy Wootton (11:39): 

Yeah, I think you're spot on.

Chris Ortega (11:41):

That's a practical use case where you can go in and say, "What challenge are you having and where can I go from zero to like 80%?" Now you're not having to start that drive at the zero yard line and get to the 20. You already start in an opportunity, you're right there to customize it and configure it to your business, to your team, or to your clients and make an immediate impact. And that's time saved, right? That's 20 minutes of time that I spent with him. That could have been three hours and 40 minutes of time that he could have had doing other valuable things for his client or for his business. So that's a real life use case where you can see the power that it has to really put people in the most valuable activities that clients and businesses need.

Randy Wootton (12:28):

Yeah, I think, Chris, so I oversaw, I was CEO of a company in the first gen AI called Rocket Fuel. We did predictive AI using logistic regression analysis. And at the time, people in marketing were worried about getting displaced, so they were marketing media planners and buyers. And the whole thing felt like it was the Terminator versus the Jetsons. The machines were going to come and take us all out. And what we had to reframe in our marketing messaging was move from artificial intelligence to augmented intelligence.

Chris Ortega (12:59): 

Ooh, I like that.

Randy Wootton (13:00):

Meaning it's a tool that's helping you do your job better. And so, I think this second gen AI, the other big difference is we had to have data scientists that were using AI models to answer specific questions. But now the level of abstraction has increased so that users like you and me can go in and get the benefit of a tool and use that prompt engineering that you're describing to really help us get going. And it's unnerving how helpful it can be. You have a kernel of an idea, you frame it appropriately, and it changes the way you start. So to your point, you're getting a fast start on these different components. And so, I do think, when I talk to my team about AI, I think there's probably three dimensions to think about. One is every function is going to be impacted by AI.

Chris Ortega (13:45): 

Most definitely.

Randy Wootton (13:45):

You got to start practicing. So to your point, you're helping that guy learn it. He's going to help someone else learn it. And we'll get back to this, where do you find communities of practitioners that are doing this sort of stuff? But that's number one.

Number two is everybody wants to put AI next to their name now. It used to be you didn't want to have AI, but everyone's dot AI again. And I do think that CEOs and executive teams, and maybe the CFOs in this case, can really help in understanding what is the data that you're actually capturing? Can it be structured in a way that's going to allow for not just data science problems, but really AI models to go on top? So is it worth moving beyond just a data strategy to an AI strategy? And then the third thing I think which is really interesting is how are you going to play as a company in the AI marketplace? So we're a billing and financial operations solution. There are a bunch of AI companies that need to figure out how they're going to charge for AI. So there is a world that we need to go explore, and we're starting that today. But I do think AI more broadly can impact the function, it can impact the set of products you offer, and it can impact your go-to market. And that, to the point you're making, a CFO being able to help inform that from a position of strength, where they aren't being threatened by AI, they're practicing with it. They have a deep understanding of the data and can help inform the go-to-market as a new way of thinking about things.

Chris Ortega (15:03):

Yeah, Randy, let me just add to that because I think this is a good talk track for CFOs and people out there. When you think about all the, I call it hysteria around generative AI, which is really, AI has been here. This isn't like a new thing. We've had-

Randy Wootton (15:18): 

Yeah, right.

Chris Ortega (15:19):

I remember implementing collect.AI at a software company six years ago, so it's not like... I think the reason, even you look at it right now, one of the biggest fundamental challenges that CFOs have is getting the train off the track. What do I mean by that is right now they're like, "I'll never get to be able to have that level of understanding that I can prompt it, I can have it, I can copy it over to PowerPoint, I can use it for macros." That's the first destination on the train. These people are trying to get it out, just trying to get the train off the track and build some momentum. I think the best way that you can go and do that is your first point, right? You got to go out and try these things. Which leads to one of the provocative topic that I got asked. When I was doing a LinkedIn Live about a week ago, and somebody asked, when we were talking about generative AI, specifically around the employee experience. And I got a great question and it said, do you think prompt engineers are going to be a new role that is created from generative AI? And I thought that was so thought-provoking. I'm like, that is like the middle ground of getting to a point where CFOs are comfortable with it, that you have an expert that is great at prompting the tool, right? Because I sit with CFOs all the time and we work with it, and they're just like, "See, I knew it didn't work." It's you didn't prompt it the right way. You didn't ask the right... You didn't give it the right cue of what you were trying to see. So I see that this is not only opening up a whole value add to CFOs, this could actually be a potential career path for people now. Like prompt engineers, I'm saying it on Expert Voices, I think that's going to be a role and a highly compensated role inside the business in the foreseeable future.

Randy Wootton (17:08): Well, that's great. You heard it here first. I do think there is a piece around everyone needs to learn it. It's a new language.

Chris Ortega (17:13): 


Randy Wootton (17:13):

So for me, the big paradigm shift is what do I do in Google or Bing to search? Versus what do you use ChatGPT for, right? If you want specific answers for specific questions, like the Wikipedia type answer, search is probably good for that, and ChatGPT may not be. So I think as these tools continue to evolve and new ones are introduced and they get smarter, part of it is just having time in the game. You just got to play with it. Well, let me ask you this question because I think we're circling around this, and the genesis of an initial Expert Voices dinners and now the Expert Voices podcast is to try to create a forum for CFOs, financial professionals to come together to trade ideas and share best practices, which it sounds like the one in Indianapolis did, which is great. Where do you go? Because I know you're on the road all the time.

Chris Ortega (18:03): 


Randy Wootton (18:04):

Right? So you're out generating content, people are coming to you and you're helping facilitate the conversations and your whole Fresh FP&A, fresh perspective on how to think about FP&A. But where do you go to build connections and get insights and meet other finance professionals that are on the cutting edge?

Chris Ortega (18:21):

Yeah, so I think when you look at CFOs, and I go to so many different conferences, I present at a lot of them, I go public speak, I go connect with so many different finance and CFO professionals across the globe. And I think to me, it's about finding that community that is what you want to have, like the people you want to connect with. And sometimes I think what you've seen for accounting finance and CFOs is, because of the pandemic, there was all this pent-up Zooms and all this stuff. Now you see a lot more professionals that want to go connect. And I think one of the biggest opportunities, if you don't want to go see to a conference, there's great local meetups. I remember talking with you out in San Francisco when we were earlier this year, and we were like, "Hey, man," the intimate kind of meetups, kind of almost happy hour kind of concept where it's low impact, low risk, it's very open and comfortable, that, I think, is hugely valuable to people. And the thing about it as well too is there's so much content being created, not only from finance leaders but business leaders. I'm constantly reading about this stuff. And not only reading about generative AI and machine learning and all these other hosts of suites that fall under AI, I'm also learning about different industries. How's AI being applied in HR? How's it being applied to sales? What are use cases? So I would say when you have those local meetup or events, if that's more comfortable for you, there's tons of information. I read a lot of things on the Harvard Business Review. There's certain people to follow that I think are great in producing different AI use cases and information and knowledge around it. So for me, I think, but take all that to the side, the number one place that you're going to learn these tools, it may not be from a conference, it may not be from a course, it's actually practical application in your job.

Randy Wootton (20:10): 

That's right.

Chris Ortega (20:11):

Go use it, go try it. Go find what I call MVPs, minimum viable projects where you can leverage ChatGPT, Bard, are the host of these AI tools to help you solve a business problem. That, to me, is probably the biggest education and the biggest ROI that you're going to get in learning these tools versus a conference or a course or an article or a blog post.

Randy Wootton (20:36): Great advice. I may put you on the spot if you have any specific podcasts you really like. But before we go there, I had the good fortune to go to the AICPA Executive Forum a couple of weeks ago in New York, and it was the senior leaders of the AICPA, And there were about, I think it was 43 tech vendors that went through and we did five-minute TED Talks on what we do and how we fit. It was basically like a beauty contest. And one of the things, every single one of them had a story about AI. Now, I think to your point, everyone's like, "Oh my God, we got to have AI into our marketing message," especially if you're a technology company. So I think there's probably a little bit of smoke and mirrors that are going on. But what was fascinating to me for, because they're all targeting CPAs, so the 10,000 CPA firms or however many there are, they're bringing out technologies that have some layer of AI tied into it or taking advantage of it. And so, to your point about you get good at doing it, there's enormous amount of technologies out there that are now rethinking how they offer value. So you'll have a chance to play. But maybe just going back to the question, is there a podcast or two that you find that you listen to that you really like or an author that you really follow that makes an impact on you?

Chris Ortega (21:54):

Yeah. So it's one person that I actually was on a LinkedIn Live with, his name is Vin, and I'm going to chop up his last name, but I'll share the link. But he is the person that is in generative AI across all the different disciplines. So he's just an AI enthusiast and he's all over LinkedIn. I'm blanking his last name, but he's-

Randy Wootton (22:15): All right. We'll send it in the notes.

Chris Ortega (22:15):

Yeah, I'll send it in the notes. He's a great resource. And the thing I love about his information, he covers AI and HR, AI and finance, AI and data, AI and operations. He has a great way of being able to connect that to practical use cases for people to have. So he's definitely a person that I love following. I love doing collaborative stuff with him because I always take some learning. But I think also, to me, as you build your skill sets around it, you got to go, well, as we talked about before, find specific ways that you can engage with it every day. Me and my team across the globe, we use ChatGPT, GPT-4, and Bard and a host of other AI solutions literally every day. So the more that you can ingrain it as part of your daily responsibilities, the way you do things, the more comfort and confidence that you'll get with engaging with the tools and value that you can bring.

Randy Wootton (23:13):

Shifting to the last part of the conversation, I think what you're helping articulate as a professional today, you need to not just focus on your function, but you need to spend time getting educated more broadly around business.

Chris Ortega (23:26): 


Randy Wootton (23:27):

And so, in this case, AI being deployed across multiple functions, it's just exposing yourself to the broader world. We had, actually at the AICPA conference, I can't find his name, but this guy, he works for OpenAI, and he talked for about 90 minutes about where we've been with AI, where it's going, the singularity. He had this term called the artificial generative intel, intelligence, which is really cool. So again, I'll follow up in the, we'll get the link to your guy, I'll get the link to my guy, and we'll put it in the notes.

Chris Ortega (24:00):


Randy Wootton (24:01):

But for this last, so this last point is this idea of the CFO becoming more strategic. I talk about it as moving from the back office to the front office, or at least the middle office, where you are partnering with the CEO and the CRO around go-to market strategies and how to help inform what's working, what's not. Is there a metric that you think is not appreciated by CEOs, having worked with a bunch of early stage CEOs, that as a CFO, fractional CFO, you're like, "Dude, this is the thing you need to focus on"? Is there one in particular that you think you would want to make the metric for everyone to consider in the broader Expert Voices community?

Chris Ortega (24:39):

Yeah, so I think for me, it's not going to be a financial metric. I think in the clients that we serve, which at Fresh FP&A, we work with all different kind of companies and high growth businesses, as their strategic finance executive and their advisor to their business. One thing that I think is the most important element, that CFOs miss all the time, we put on that CFO hat, and we want to look at those financials. We want to look at CAC, we want to look at customer lifetime value, we want to look at rule of 40, whatever those metrics are. I think CFOs of the future, we need to be better connected inside the people aspects, so we need to put on that chief fillings officer hat. And I think one of the most undervalued and blue ocean metrics is employee NPS. Getting the pulse of your people, how likely would they recommend their role? Would they recommend their team? Would they recommend their organization? Because at the end of the day, when you think about scale, I think data is a path to competitive advantage. And when you look at all the different studies of high performing team people that are more engaged in your business, you're going to make more money, you're going to have more impact across the organization. So employee NPS, that is a hidden gem. And for CFOs to go partner with the HR or the people side of their business and be strategically involved in helping set the baseline around that and identify the strategies, the tactics, the metrics, the milestones, and the plans that you need to improve that, in collaboration with the people officers or HR leaders of your organizations with the CFO, that is you get the best of qualitative, you get the best of quantitative, to the impact to one of the most, and the most valuable asset in your organization, which are your people. That is a game changer.

Randy Wootton (26:31):

Not the first person to say this, but at the end of the day, software is a people business.

Chris Ortega (26:35):


Randy Wootton (26:35):

The product is built by people, the sales are done by people, the marketing is done by people, all the support done by people. And I think, often, in software organizations, you end up with leaders who think, "Oh no, we're building this shiny city on the hill, and it's all about technical purity." And instead, that works when you're five people, but when you're having to scale and hire people who need to support these functions, I think it really is employee NPS or employee engagement score, having some sort of regular listening posts. And I think that's probably even more true, Chris, in this world where we're hybrid.

Chris Ortega (27:09):


Randy Wootton (27:09):

And so, you don't have the ability to be in person, like I grew up, I like being around people, I want to talk to them. And then in those conversations, you get a vibe, are they happy, are they engaged? And it's so much harder to do in a hybrid work world. So I think having the regular survey going out and then pivoting the data by function, by level, by tenure. So what percent of people are leaving after one year? So it's this kind of this combination of employee satisfaction or NPS, attrition data, and then hiring data. And how do you become an employer brand of choice? And people like to work with people they like.

Chris Ortega (27:48): 


Randy Wootton (27:49):

You know?

Chris Ortega (27:50):

And I think, as finance professionals, can work in collaboration with their people operation. It gets back to my third point that I mentioned that changed in the last 15 years, that value disruption, right? CFOs, if you're taking one thing away from this conversation, as I call the Fresh CFOs of the Future, the most valuable asset is our people. And the more that we can learn about our business, the more that we can turn complexity into clarity, and the more that we can focus on the partnership and not the profitable side of the business, people above profits, impact over income, purpose over praise, the more that we can have that inside the business, the more value we're going to bring outside, more than just the numbers, but the ability to be able to guide the future and continue to change adversity that we have. It's the time for the Fresh CFO, Randy.

Randy Wootton (28:44):

That's right. Well, Chris, just to that last point, are you telling all your CFO friends out there they need to fund more travel and entertainment and training dollars to keep the employees engaged, rather than cutting that at the end during the budget process?

Chris Ortega (28:57):

Yeah, it's important for people to connect, man. I think when you look at this hybrid kind of environment, man, I've seen companies and we've partnered with chief human resource officers and chief people officers to give stipends of like, "Hey, local teams, meet up." Having that ability to connect in real time to what I call whiteboard sessions, where you just get on a whiteboard and you just brainstorm stuff, you just let it flow, I think it's really hard to capture that in the virtual environment that we're in. So CFOs, before you cut those training dollars, before you get rid of everything, make sure people have that ability to connect in real life, topics, and just ultimately just have time to connect, right?

Randy Wootton (29:38): 


Chris Ortega (29:38): 

That is so important.

Randy Wootton (29:39):

Last story on that. So I had a chance to be, I was CEO of a company called Percolate, sold it to a company called Seismic. I was chief strategy officer working for an incredible CEO, Doug Winter. And he had a commitment that every year he brought every single employee together for the, called the seismic event or seismic activity. And it was a huge line item, huge line item. And the years that I was there, he would go toe to toe with the CFO and he'd go toe to toe with the board about how much he was spending on it. And this was before even COVID. And he was like, "No, no. I fundamentally believe this is a core to our culture is to create these connections." And when I came to Maxio, we created a company kickoff, which is based on that same principle. Once a year, we can bring everybody, bring as many people together, so you can build that connective tissue, you can share ideas. And I think to your point, making that work better is great. Well, awesome, Chris, so let's wrap this up. I think at the beginning you led off with three things. I would layer a fourth to it. One is there is this disruption that this office of the CFO is poised for disruption. Number two, that that, in large part, is driven by the value prop of the CFO, what they can do today, powered by things like new technologies and powered by thinking about problems differently. But at its core, and this is your number one takeaway, I think, it's about how they think about people, training people, engaging people, and making sure that they're developing a community and a culture that thrives, not just survives.

Chris Ortega (31:05): 1000%, man. That is the legacy, right? And to all those listeners, one final point, as you take away from this conversation, think about the legacy that you're writing, right? Think about the legacy that you're writing in your teams. Think about the legacy that you're writing and the value that you're providing. Think about the legacy that you see yourself in the next five to 10 to 15 years and get to writing that story.

Randy Wootton (31:28):

Well, right on, Chris. You're certainly writing a great story. It's been a lot of fun to get to know you in the short year that I've been here and see all the things that you're doing, not just to promote your own business at Fresh FP&A, but giving back to the community. And it does feel there's like a virtuous cycle there, right? You're putting out good karma, you're getting good karma, and it's just been a lot of fun. So thank you for your time, Chris.

Chris Ortega (31:45):

Randy, thank you so much.