Zuora’s CFO, Tyler Sloat is a finalist for the 2016 Bay Area CFO of the Year Awards. He’s nominated in the Emerging Company category along with Eric Brown from Tanium and Brian Roberts from Lyft. Presented by Larkin Street Youth Services, in partnership with the San Francisco Business Times, the winners will be announced on May 12, 2016 in San Francisco.
“Subscriptions are replacing the traditional product sales models, and are fundamentally changing the face of businesses, industries, and the job of the CFO in the process. I should know because I’ve gone through this transformation myself,” says Sloat. He joined Zuora’s executive management team in 2010 with more than fifteen years of experience in executive finance roles for payment, software and hardware technology companies varying in size from start-up to Fortune 500. He’s a registered C.P.A. in the State of California, has an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. from Boston College.
Join him and other leading CFOs at the CFO Summit at our annual Subscribed conference (April 12-13 in San Francisco). A future CFO? Be sure to check out our Finance sessions! Register today! (Only $399 before March 28th for you and a friend with the promo code ZUORA241)
Excerpts from an interview with Tyler Sloat:
What is the toughest part of your job?
“When you are growing so fast, you need to make sure you are doing constant measurement on investments. When you are growing as fast as we are, and the market opportunities are as big as we are facing, the risk is you get too far in front of your skis. In the subscription model, you often invest ahead of revenue. You invest in growth, you invest in acquisitions. The toughest part is making sure that you have a constant feedback loop, a measurements system to understand, OK, do we need to keep going, do we need invest more? Does it make sense or do we need to pull back? That is difficult. You also need to ensure the entire executive staff is aligned on that feedback loop so you have buy-in across the entire organization.
What are your recommendations for being a good CFO?
Sloat: Own the business model. I’m not talking about a budget. I’m talking about the strategic business model. You need a very clean and clear understanding of what the drivers are for the business and what influences change in the business. You need to help executive staff make the right decisions on what is going to move your business forward. The best CFOs can do this but only after they have already set in place the compliance and governance structure that allows the books to close, that allows for appropriate internal controls and reporting. That needs to be first and foremost clearly. Once that is set, the business should be a machine that runs with a lot of confidence around it. The best CFOs know how to set up that governance machine then turn the corner and act as a true business advisor and strategist. They are the ones helping you to optimize and run the business model for the company.