Skip to content

Building a Better Relationship Between HR and Finance

Sep 7, 2022 3:04:31 PM | By


The traditional relationship between Human Resources (HR) and Finance is about as warm and fuzzy as that of sales and marketing teams. HR and Finance success may be interdependent, but that doesn’t mean either team loves their day-to-day interactions.

In this podcast, we talk to two seasoned operators, Ashley Brounstein & Steve Poon from OpenComp — one from each side of the fence — about what’s at the core of this traditional division and how HR and finance leaders can co-develop a path forward that’s characterized by deeper collaboration, productivity, and dare we say it - fun.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Why HR and finance departments tend to be at odds in the workplace
  • The most common area of disagreement between HR and finance
  • Steps HR leaders can take to enhance their relationship with finance



CAITLIN ALLEN: Yeah, exactly. Okay, cool. So we will get started. I think it did stop counting, didn't it? Yeah, it did. Okay. Cool. All right, here we go. Hi, everybody. Welcome to a new episode of the high growth matters podcast. I am Caitlin Allen, the VP of Marketing and open comp and one of your co hosts.

NANCY CONNERY: And welcome everyone. I am the other co hosts Nancy Connery, co founder of open comp and principal at Connery consulting. Thank you for joining us today.

CAITLIN ALLEN: So the traditional relationship between sales and marketing or pardon me, we're gonna eat that part out. The traditional relationship between HR teams and finance teams is about as warm and fuzzy is that of what we think about when we think about sales and marketing alignment. And while HR and finance success may be interdependent, that doesn't always mean that either team loves their day to day interactions with the others. And so in this podcast, we're talking to two seasoned operators who will introduce themselves in a moment, one from each side of the fence, so to speak, about what is at the core of this traditional division, and more importantly, how we, as HR and finance leaders can collaborate and develop a path forward that's characterized by deeper collaboration and productivity. And dare I say it fun. So with that, welcome to our guests, Ashley. And Steve, thank you for being here. Ashley, if you could start us off with a quick SparkNotes version of your career. And then Steve will pass the mic over to you. That would be wonderful.

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: Yeah, happy to be here. Hello, everyone. I'm Ashley Brounstein. I am the head of people at open COMM And SparkNotes cliff notes of my career. So I went to college, quit college thought that I'd be successful doing anything I wasn't really serious about it. Got a job quickly working for a company that had been acquired by Intuit working in a cubicle did that for about two and a half years. And I had way too much energy in my early 20s to be sitting at a desk all day. So quit moved to San Francisco, and decided that I wanted to go back to school, when school to be a teacher got my degree and started doing my volunteer work at an elementary school in East Oakland. And really quickly realized how hard that job is. And if I was going to be successful there, I really needed to be available to the students and give 100% and I just couldn't do it. So back to the drawing board thought what do I do now? And I had a beer with a friend who was an engineer at a startup. He said my company's hiring like crazy. You should come work for us. And I said, Yeah, right. I'm not qualified to work for a tech company. went home that night. My boyfriend now husband was asleep and I'm on the website because her their jobs qualify for. And I found a talent coordinator position and I read every part of bullet points that Oh, I can totally do this. I got it applied for it didn't get that job. But when I'm getting a job and another company, Redfin, we all now know, as a contractor did that for about six months, then went in house at a company called mesosphere, now known as day to IQ started off as a recruiting coordinator over there and in my seven years on board, and many different roles from recruiting care coordinator to HR coordinator to HR product manager. And that really comes from philosophy that HR ships product, it's everything that employee touches, right. So your onboarding experience is a experience of HR, etc. Was the HR business partner over there and then ultimately wound up leading both HR and recruiting through a period of time so had a lot of fun before coming over to open comp now. You know, join the early stage fund if you do it all over again. 

CAITLIN ALLEN: Thank you. Steve, what about you?

STEVE POON: Sure. Hi, guys. Steve Poon, Director of Finance and Operations here at open comm. I'll start off with my college journey. I am a banana slug, go Northern California, UC Santa Cruz go slugs. After I studied business management and economics there, I graduated and I went to one of the big four accounting firms, as they're known PricewaterhouseCoopers. Big Four is often looked at like sort of like grad school for anyone coming, coming out of that sort of realm. And it's really nice because of the fact that I think everyone who comes from Big Four knows the definition of hard work and they're all sort of well endowed with at least a sort of core set of fundamentals. After I was an auditor for about two years, I decided that I would not enjoy the hour weeks of life that was available to auditors, so at the time, so I decided I would go in a sort of very different sort of career path and I went down to Southern California to try to pursue my dreams of being a musician for a period of time. After about nine months of doing that, I realized that that wasn't going to pay the bills. And every sort of fiber of my being as a business person said that that was the wrong decision after that period of time. But I had the guts and the glory to be able to try it for about nine months. So I figured the next best thing for me to be able to do was to go work inside of the music industry. I worked at Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, electric records, whatever the records, which was really fun. And this was all happening, sort of the era of sort of digital disruption in the music industry. So sort of the emergence of like all sorts of mp3 file sharing. We saw Pandora sort of rise, and during that time, a little bit of Spotify. And then, as I saw sort of the writing's on the wall for the music industry, I said to myself as a sort of mid 20s year old, what do you really enjoy doing what's sort of the next best step and that was playing a lot of video games at the time. So I ended up going to work for the largest video game publisher in the world, which was Activision Blizzard. I worked there for about five years and sort of varying positions, both between controllership and sales, finance, and FPGA. And then, after now, being down in Southern California for about 10 years, at declined to go back to Northern California. And that's where I started working at Twitch, which is the largest sort of video game live streaming platform in the world. And they are owned completely as a subsidiary of Amazon, by the way, so two very, very sort of different companies, but very large concentric circles of sort of experience now. And I said to myself, after working at Twitch for about five years as well, I wanted to do something again, something completely different and challenge myself and and round up my resume. And I decided that I wanted to go into the startup life and that's what brought me here to income. And, and then I was not disappointed.

NANCY CONNERY: Thank you guys. We might have to dig deep on my next question, because I'm actually going to ask you guys I just learned some some fabulous facts about both of you that I did not previously now. But you know, this is for each of you to actually answer Ashley will let you go ahead and go first again. You know, what are one of two one or two things most of your co workers don't actually know about you?

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: I'm not I won't say something family related to say something completely about me. And that is that I am a plant mom. I am obsessed with plants. I probably have close to 50 in my house, although not even outside. But I am a mother as well to almost four year old but I Yeah, plant lover. I have one of my shower about 10 in my bedroom. guestroom I'm calling in from right now. I think I only have four. Yeah.

NANCY CONNERY: That's a good one. Thank you, Steve, how about you?

STEVE POON: I am going to drop a huge ball on Ashley and Caitlin right now. So I'm going to tell you guys, the first thing that you guys probably don't know me, I don't drink. I do not drink at all right. And so as as to sort of avid wine drinkers, as I understand it, right? I know, that's probably a huge thing. And the second thing is I don't cook also, right. So like I definitely my wife watched her just may or maybe like excitement, right? Because she does not eat my cooking. I don't cook either. So I don't do either of those two things.

CAITLIN ALLEN: takes all kinds, Steve. Yeah. Those are great facts. I'm glad we're doing this from a very selfish perspective. So bringing it back to the topic at hand sales versus finance and all the things in between, in theory, talent, capital and monetary capital, they both support the same goals. Why do we think that HR and finance are so at odds with each other? So very often, and Steve will start with you to switch it up a bit?

STEVE POON: So let me start off by saying I do agree with the statement that ultimately, we're trying to support the same end goal. So like, I do want to establish that I think we both want the highest return on investment in any of our assets, whether that be a human capital or financial capital. So why do we disagree? And I think we're optimizing and measuring success in different ways. So I'll give you an example of that. I think finance might be measuring output, like sort of true output and how we're measuring that as sort of our ability to convert those assets into income from the business. Whereas like, I think HR may be measuring it and engagement in morale. And those are I think, typically some of the metrics that I hear coming from the people side so And those those morale and engagement metrics help with that, but 100% There's no question about it. But I think the direct causality and like $1 input to output isn't as clear cut and consistent from like employee to employee. So I think for a lot of finance people, it's it's hard to be able to take those metrics kind of at face value unless we sort of dig deeper there. So I think that's my boilerplate answer first. Ashley, what are your thoughts?

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: So I've been thinking a lot about this last week. And what I think I boiled it down to is we know the largest area of spends an organization is pumping station and its people. And because of that, HR and people, functions are responsible for large areas of spends in finance tends to be really critical and, and scrutinize every dollar spent. So I think when it comes to the way that we are spending in the business, I think that finance automatically is going to look at that with a different lens, and they would be other parts of the business, we are cost center. And because of that, I think that there tends to just be a little bit more tension applied to HR from finance. I also think, you know, businesses don't create value people do. And so for people, leaders, we tend to advocate for the people and, and people are complex, it's not black and white, it's not if we do this, it will, you know, increase, right. So I think it's a little harder to sometimes bring across arguments as to why investing in the people is the smarter route. I've also been thinking about kind of the inherit, inherit traits, traits, rather, of HR folks, finance folks. And I think for HR folks to be successful, we tend to optimize for soft skills. And for finance folks to be successful, they tend to optimize for hard skills. And so I think because of those traits inherently worth difference in finding that common ground, and commonality and communication can be troubling and hard.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Both super astute comments. And I actually should take a step away back here to pretty sure our audience knows this. But just as a reminder, we're going to have some gold as well drops throughout this podcast from Nancy just given her experience working with HR leaders for decades via Connery consulting, and then also in her seven or eight years at Salesforce as well in that position. So excited to hear all levels during this conversation.

NANCY CONNERY: Great. Thanks, Caitlin. And Ashley, and Steve, I would say that you guys both hit the nail on the head. And it does boil down to everybody having a common goal, but also kind of how do you go about it right. And so finance might approach it in a very different way than a people organization. And very much as Ashley said, kind of around the soft skills and kind of how we're oriented and finance people go into finance, they have certain characteristics often in HR people have other characteristics, I would be an awful finance person. In that vein, I have the utmost admiration, see for what you do and the responsibility that you carry in the business. So thank you for that. You know, and as you to think about the two organizations and how HR and finance work together, what are the most common areas of disagreement that you see between the two organizations? And Ashley, why don't you go ahead and lead with that one?

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: I'd say it's mostly around people policies, I think, I must say, Steve, finance, in general, tends to rely heavily on policy and reinforcement, right, so that they can have repeatable metrics and whatnot, right. And I think, for HR folks, I love to live in the gray when I can, and finance is very black and white. And so I think when you know, if we were throw an idea out there of someone going route, a top performer or they have a family member who's ill, and they want to take a leave of absence that maybe this isn't their direct family member, maybe it's a distant relative relative and and to raise them and they want to go on leave, and you want us to advocate for them and say it's the right thing to do. But finance has not gone, gone and, you know, accounted for 12 weeks of leave for someone who doesn't fit the policy exactly, and isn't necessarily qualified. So I think that when it comes to people policies, that that's one of the bigger things and it's actually one of the reasons here at open comp why I've been so hesitant to lead a handbook. A Handbook is something that a company uses as a mallet to bang on people when they step out of line. And when I think about it, people first culture and what we're trying to accomplish at open comm. I would rather give guidelines and guardrails than have that black and white, right? So I think a lot of the tension and just payments tend to come from policy keeping and Tony more on.

NANCY CONNERY: Great. Thank you. Steve, what are your thoughts?

STEVE POON: I actually think Ashley really hit the nail on the head there. It's true. I think finance people typically do like policies because of exactly what you said predictability, right. That's what we're all we're after rafter scalability, predictability, we're trying to operate the business right in a sort of sustainable fashion, right. And having that predictability, both sort of buys us credibility in terms of our ability to be able to do our job both as sort of forecasters or planners, right, but also as operators. I would say one other thing that I would add to this to where I've found a little bit of disagreement between the group before, and this is very, very much reflective of also, I think, my experience also at larger companies, right, is ownership as well. Right? So there can be sort of a very, very sort of gray area, right, in terms of the ownership of who owns particular metrics, or who owns that, you know, the, and the sort of commensurate success behind those metrics between the two grip groups, because of the fact that they're so intertwined. Right. And so I've found that also to be a little bit of friction point, you know, in my history, as well. So, but, you know, aside from that, I think, you know, sort of the traditional things also, but budget, you know, that that's probably the other big thing, too, is, you know, whether or not you know, something, you know, is, again, predictable for us to be able to put inside of a budget and, and for us to be able to sort of execute against that. And you know, whether or not they actually end up hitting in sort of the right timing or frame, etc. So, I think, yeah, that I would say, again, probably budget ownership, in predictability.

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: There's a lot of overlap. I've worked in organizations, right, where you've had payroll done by HR, or it's been done by finance, that 401 K done by HR or done by finance, even headcount planning, right, like there is a partnership that needs to come come together for this and that overlap can be hard.

NANCY CONNERY: I think we could do a whole podcast on on the the headcount planning aspect of the HR side of it, versus the finance side of it. Absolutely, yeah. And, you know, again, for both of you what, you know, Fallout and results, have you seen from not having the two organizations aligned? Steve, let's go ahead and let you start with that one.

STEVE POON: Really, in a bullet point format, lost credibility on both sides, not aligned. I have literally seen people get fired. As a result of that. The specific anecdote that I can give is a prior company, we had an instance where position management right now in terms of how many butts in seats, you actually have right was owned by one group, but also sort of again, had a little bit of a shared ownership in terms of the reporting of the company. And because the position management wasn't tracked well, with a large amount of fidelity results, where we ended up hiring ahead of the amount of like heads that we were allocated. And as a result, we had to essentially rip 30 people out of the company, right, because we had over hired more than we actually had the capability. So yeah, I mean, literally, people getting fired over HR and finance not being aligned on something. That's a tough one, for sure. Ashley, how about you? Yeah,

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: I think what you're getting out there is like business performance, right? The business did not perform the way it's supposed to, you grew too fast. And as a result, we had to make some changes with your 30 personally off. So I would say that his his performance has definitely impacted these functions not working well together. I would also say morale, I mean, I've, I've had it where the HR team and the finance team just could not communicate how to sit down round circle chairs all facing each other and have like a grievance session where we kind of got it all out as to why you weren't why we were so unhappy with each other, because we couldn't communicate, you'd get frustrated with email exchanges. You'd have folks who like threatened to quit if they had to go sit in a meeting with someone. And so what morale does to if you don't have a team that's engaged and motivated to be here and excited about who they're working with. That's again, business outcomes and business performance. It's going to suffer from it sorry, I'm it's important.

CAITLIN ALLEN: So then it sounds like there have been some important navajas that made you both realize along the way that there has to be a better way. It again, we're speaking to HR leaders on this call webcast. So if, if you could tell them or share with them some of the steps that they could take to help their relationships with finance start thriving. What would they do instead? In terms of what is step one, what is step two? And don't ask the question from the perspective of HR being the only the only party at the table, so to speak, but that's our listener. So that's why I ask it that way.

STEVE POON: Do you want to start? Sure, this would be my recommendation, they think this is good for any persons from regardless if you're an HR person, just any hiring the company, but educate yourself on how your business works. And I think that's probably the most fundamental thing. And that's a prerequisite before you should work at any company. But I think, especially for HR people, right? I think it's really, really important as you're optimizing right for the people that you have in your organization, understanding that strategy as that sort of layers into how the company will be successful. And I think being prepared and data driven is actually very, very helpful when interacting with finance as well. I think, again, to Ashley's point a little bit earlier, the particular mindset in terms of hard, hard sort of skills, right, that we really enjoy, and that we sort of speak to, you know, I think data is one of these things that really helps drive the drive decision making for us. And I think queueing that up as, as much as possible, removes a lot of obstacles in accomplishing the things that you need to accomplish. So and then the third thing I would say too, is keep your finance person informed, something that actually does super super well, which I love. Like, oftentimes, again, in sort of larger organizations, or in even in small organizations, finance, is often actually a little bit at the tail end of sort of the information flow, right. So you might have, you know, as an HR person, or as a people person, you may be working with leaders to, you know, work on board changes, headcount planning, etc. So, oftentimes that has a material impact on how the financials will look in the future, and you know, how the respective plan will sort of play out. And so keeping your finance person informed and informed well, will always pay dividends in the end. That's what I would say.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Just out of curiosity, Steve, the data driven piece. Data is one thing and the knowledge and language is another what what kind of I don't know how to ask this question exactly. But how much of a factor is not knowing the right terms or, or not using similar terms, when an HR typically communicates with someone from a finance team?

STEVE POON: I think that's like, inherently problematic when working between two groups have different sort of orientation anytime, right? If you have an an engineering person speaking to a finance person versus you know, a salesperson talking to a finance person, a lot of it has to do with trying to take the time to be able to educate yourself on how to speak to the other party, right, in terms of the terms that they'll understand. So I think you have a great point data is one thing, but how you sort of communicate that in sort of a relatable term matters, as well. Right? Understand, you know, what are sort of the key things that your respective people partner will be looking for versus what the same commensurate finance person is looking for?

CAITLIN ALLEN: Ashley, what would you say in addition, or on top of what Steve said,

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: my answer is going to be communication. So Steve, I'm so happy to hear that you think I think that well with you? That it is so important in any role, right, that you communicate appropriately and well with your stakeholders. You know, meet with your finance partner, often make sure that you're sharing your team updates, make sure that you're sharing your board goals, plan, commonality, what goal can you work on together, on how do you invite them to sit in maybe in a team meeting now you don't want finance taking over a team meeting, but find a reason that they can add values that your team also here's how they're adding value to your team to the business. I think step in and really what this getting at is knowing your audience right in the ways that you communicate, you will get to understand your finance partner a lot better. The step two to that I think is getting to that data piece, which is busy building and understanding your business case when you go to ask for money and coming with the appropriate data. And so when you were doing that, making sure to that you're not Doran and all I guess is that I would say when you are going to your your partner asking for something pieces think to be intentional. If I write Steve, you know, five paragraphs on why I need budget for something, he's not gonna read it. So I need to be really intentional and thoughtful and how I craft my business case for him that making sure that I'm bringing data because they are so data driven, and you know, to your point, like the right data.

NANCY CONNERY: And actually, I like your use of the of the word, partner. You know, I think very important for this audience to understand HR and finance, their partners, they're not against each other. And everybody shares this common goal of how do we move the business forward in the best and healthiest way possible. So I think if you start with that approach, and that attitude that we are partners in this equation, and you instill that in your team, as well, on both sides of the equation that goes a really, really long way. So you know, with that said, you know, what are some of the common pitfalls that listeners need to avoid when they start to execute on the advice that you have both graciously given today. And as she wanted to go ahead and start with that one.

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: So I mentioned, invite your HR or your, your, your finance partners, invite them to your team meetings, don't let them take it over. So again, be really intentional and thoughtful about why they are there, how they can add value, and making sure that they don't do real conversations. So I would be very intentional there. And also, you know, follow lead with your gut. HR, like I mentioned, we tend to be really heavy and soft skills, though, if you'd like someone's not ready to start building that relationship quite yet. Take baby steps, don't force things that aren't ready to be built yet. So to those two things.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Great. Thank you, Steve.

STEVE POON: The only thing that I would add to that is I think just because you speak in the same language, and if you're data driven, doesn't always mean that you're gonna get what you want, though, right? So I think the important thing is also not just providing the data, but the data that actually supports the case, that actually makes sense for the business as a whole. And I think, oftentimes, I have been presented with data before where, you know, and might lead to sort of like a short term, sort of approach and solution, versus, you know, me trying to take the data and actually look at it for more of a longer term in a sustainability framework. And it doesn't always work out actually, in the favor of how that person wants it to. So can you

CAITLIN ALLEN: Sorry, we, for some reason, it froze on my end. So I think we probably, let's start that over, and then we can just help the first one.

STEVE POON: So what I would say is, when approaching a finance person with data, just because of the fact that you're going to speak to them in that language doesn't necessarily mean that you're always going to get what you want. And so one thing that I think that will help sorry, I don't know if you can hear actually like the large trucks that are going on in the background, so maybe we'll start to get to. Okay, so let's go. Alright, so when approaching a finance person about data, just keep this in mind that just because you speak their language, right, and you're providing them data, it doesn't mean that you're immediately going to get what you want. I think data helps really, really informed decision making in a lot of different ways. But I think it can also come to some interesting conclusions that you might not expect, both when you're optimizing for sort of different things. And, you know, I've had a person come to me with data before where it's optimizing for something in the short term, but it doesn't have necessarily the sustainability and framework to be able to optimize in the long term. So I've still had to ultimately turn down requests. But it does help the case though, ultimately, but it's not a guarantee. Thank you both.

CAITLIN ALLEN: So we're gonna end with a series of rapid fire questions intentionally on the side of controversial so we'll maybe go Ashley save on on everything just to keep things simple. And if you can keep your answers on the shorter side I think that'll that'll make it extra fun. So first question is what is the one thing about the other team that bothers bothers you the most

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: man the scrutiny everything is looked at under a microscope. You try to build your your trust and credibility within the organization and you think you've gotten it with every one and then you go to finance and you're just questioned and questioned and questioned. Again, if your business case isn't great, and sometimes it can be you know, feel like like you've lost that credibility. So yeah, the scrutiny sometimes bothers me.

STEVE POON: For me, this is not always the case. But I think to my point before not having sustainability in the framework of decision making, I think that's probably one thing that I've noticed in the past.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Similar question, actually, if you could change one thing about finance and Steve, for you, HR, your people partner, what would it be?

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: Oh, boy. More, more listening more Yes, upfront, then No, not you see, but just in general experience, I feel like often finances met meet meet HR with new, like more yesterday.

STEVE POON: On on the Steve end, again, not not you, Ashley, but better preparation in terms of financial impact of whatever it is that you're asking or trying to accomplish?

CAITLIN ALLEN: Actually, what is the purpose of compensation from your perspective?

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: recognizing and rewarding your talent?

CAITLIN ALLEN: Steve, what about you?

STEVE POON: I look at it again, I come from an economics background. So I look at it as the sort of pure incentivization of people to produce output between a firm and a person or between a person and a person.

CAITLIN ALLEN: And were actually, in your opinion, does compensation matter more in an initial offer to a candidate or in a merit cycle?

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: That's too hard. They're both important. And the offer is, is you both putting your best foot forward? Right, as a candidate, you're extending an offer, you're going I'm trusting that the four hours we spent together that you were actually the right fit for this role. And here's what I prepared to offer them good faith effort, and vice versa, right there. They're looking at your offer as a candidate going, Okay, I'm trusting that everything you told me I'd be doing is going to be right. And I'm accepting this because of that. But then how they show up and get those merit increases? Is really them like owning owning their part of the bargain, right. So I feel like they're equally just as important. I don't think I can say one over the other.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Steve, what about you? What's your your thought?

STEVE POON: This was really, really tough for me to think about as well. If if I had my arm behind my back, and you're twisting my arm, I'd probably say merit cycles. Although like, there's a huge, huge importance, obviously, in initial offers. Right. But I think with merit cycles, to me, I think culturally it speaks, I think it shows more about a company in terms of their values, with how they're going to ultimately evaluate a person and and reward their contributions, right. Like you said before, like Ashley said, an offer is completely, you know, sort of best foot forward, you know, blind faith, you know, on both parties sort of perspective, right, but like, you've already had been able to evaluate the person at that point in terms of one merit cycle. And that speaks very, very highly, I think, to the culture of the company, and their compensation philosophy.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Actually, who owns culture, HR, finance,

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: oh, everyone owns culture, culture, skin doesn't own culture. We all own it. You know, the company that you want it to be, you're responsible for forming that and you're responsible for showing up every day and making the company the place that you want to be culturally.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Steve, do you violently disagree, you can take literally what actually said and just have my mouth moving to the same talk to rock and that's exactly what I would say, is every person, every person in the company, owns culture. Absolutely. 100%.

NANCY CONNERY: Great, thanks, guys. And I completely agree with that everyone owns culture, not not one part of the organization versus another. Yeah, and in closing, if you both could ask listeners to apply just one of the things that they heard today, you know, what would it be?

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: I can start with that. And it would really be around the communication start your collaboration, start meeting with your partner start really building those relationships so that when you do have this hard ask, you err anticipates and you anticipate their needs, anticipate their reactions, right. But I'd say all comes down to communication and finding ways to communicate more.

STEVE POON: I completely agree with that. I think building a rapport and a connection between sort of the two departments and the two people rather than a true partnership right? Is Fundamental from day one and I got I've been singing Ashley's praises pretty much all podcast long, but like from day one, actually, even pre day one. I think during like my interviewing process, I think she did a great job of establishing what her expectations but also what she wanted actually out of a finance partner. I think you know, for us it's paid I think dividends for how we've been capable of operating inside of the company. So,

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: Steve, I think I interviewed you chillin like my third day asking me questions. I'm like, I don't know yet. Oh, no two weeks.

STEVE POON: You were showing you the office and everything like that. It was great.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Great, thank you, Ashley and see it for this fabulous conversation. Really enjoyed it.

NANCY CONNERY: Yeah, I think we've shown that HR and finance actually do support each other and that you can figure out a way to work together. And a big takeaway is kind of how you approach it, I think from the very beginning. So thank you guys. Awesome.

STEVE POON: Thank you. Thank you guys. Not as controversial as we expected.

NANCY CONNERY: No. friendly, friendly controversy.

ASHLEY BROUNSTEIN: Very happy to have you as my finance partner

STEVE POON: see you to Ashley


NANCY CONNERY: because they're just one


Subscribe to our podcast