How to Navigate FP&A Like a PRO // Collectiv Conversations
- The answer is let's get focused and try find the one thing that's gonna do all things. (upbeat music) - Welcome, good afternoon, good morning, good evening, good day, good everything to everybody, this is another conversation that we have with Collectiv Conversations, Collectiv Conversations is focused on talking with FP&A, accounting, finance, thought leaders, around people, process and platform I am really, really, really, really excited to be joined today by Lance Rubin, who is founder of Model Citizn which is a consulting services company that helps all different kinds of businesses so if you're a small, medium, large, government, not-for-profit, whatever your business is and you wanna get better information around your data, better around processes, better understanding on those new technologies, he's your definitely a one-stop shop so I would definitely reach out to him for all your analytic, consulting, business services needs. So Lance, welcome to Collectiv Conversations - Chris thanks and really appreciate the invite.
- Yeah, so one of the things that, I know one of the things that you do that's probably really, really advantageous to our listeners and people looking at this is the role of technology. I think when I always talk about with people in FP&A, accounting or finance or whatever the case may be, where there's virtual, this technology aspect, the role that technology plays in high performance and FP&A teams, give me some insights onto the listeners on how you think the role that technology plays in accounting, finance and FP&A teams. - Chris that's a wonderful opening question. For me technology is just a tool that, let's just really break it down, it's an enabler, that's it.
I think the problem we have is people get scared with technology 'cause they think it's gonna take their jobs, I think, they think that they're gonna be made redundant and part of that is true, I'm not saying that automation is not gonna automate processes but we're human, we can evolve, we have evolved for so many years, the industrial revolution we evolved and now we've got 4.0. So for me technology is the foundation of evolution, all right. It's a tool that enables us to evolve if we want to, if we don't then it's seen as something else. For me, it's really trying to get finance and FP&A people to see it as a value add in terms of freeing up time to have better relationships, better partnerships, better decision-making, better analytics and so I see it as really the toolkit, the toolkit for finance. The problem have today is there's so much of it, you're walking into a Home Depot or Bunnings in Australia and you're like, which hammer do I buy, which drill do I buy? There's 50 different drills and the point is, well who cares? Get the drill, buy it, get the cheapest one if you want, go and start using it and then see, oh geez, I think I should have got a different one, that's fine. Of course that's a lot of investment and time so what we do is we actually consult and diagnose people's problems first just like you would a doctor, where before we even look at tools, we understand their environment and so part of our journey with clients and that's why we consult to small, medium, large, startups, government, the whole works, because everyone's got the same problem and it's the proliferation of spreadsheets used badly and while I love a spreadsheet and I love building financial models in spreadsheets but we use spreadsheets properly, we have standards, we have what ways of working with spreadsheets whereas most of the world are completely rogue with spreadsheets and so for us, it's actually not about the spreadsheet, the spreadsheet is just another tool, it just happens to be the most used tool.
So you walk into a Home Depot and you've got this big thing saying spreadsheet in front of you, so everyone grabs it and they don't venture to the other aisles to see what other tools are available so for me technology is about taking us forward, it's actually the enabler, it's really the burning platform for us to do better work. - I love that, I mean so many great points that you mentioned off in there, you talked about evolution with technology and FP&A team, you talked about being an enabler, you talked about this, oversaturated about what technology do I even need? Let's dissect those areas because I think it's, those are really, really strong points because I think a lot of times where accounting, finance and FP&A people struggle is they think technology is gonna solve all their problems. They think if they get the Microsoft Power BI or they get the Tablo or they get the Click View, the thoughts and the, fill in the blank, Adaptive all these different solutions, they feel like it's gonna, this is gonna solve my problem versus really, really taking that evolution and enablement approach, so let's dive deeper into say like, if you're, if that person is looking for that new technology, what do you think is the foundation level work that they need to do before they get that nice hammer or walk into Home Depot and get that spreadsheet? What kind of car should they be driving to get to Home Depot? I think so many people struggle that, like I just said, what are those building blocks from your expertise to say, if you got these things, you're prone to have the evolution problems to enable the technology and really get those benefits, what's your ideas around that? - Awesome, awesome question 'cause I love that.
It actually starts before you even get the car and even starts before you even think about the Home Depot, it actually starts at home, it starts at, okay what is the problem that I have at the moment? My gardens in a mess, my grass is growing, I've got some holes in the wall I need to fix, it's about understanding your home, it's about understanding your process, it's about understanding what you have at the moment and I ask a couple of questions to finance teams and I get this blank look saying what's that? Data dictionary is the number one thing, so I said, do you have a data dictionary? And they said, what's a data dictionary? I say, well just like an English dictionary, it explains words of what they mean. Are you talking the same language? What do you mean, of course we're all talking in English, I mean I said but yeah but if I look into your system and it says conversion, so this actually happened on a client where we spoke about conversion. So I was okay, well you've used the word conversion and someone in sales and marketing have used the word conversion, what does the word conversion mean? And so this happened to be a manufacturing or production house where they converted raw coffee beans to coffee, to ground coffee and then the salespeople were talking about leads to convert into paying clients, so we're talking about this is an example of two words that are English that you're just talking different languages so you cannot have that, you can't even get started to think about what's the problem so let's just get the first language correct.
Once we understand proper words and data words, so words that will represent data points in a database or in a system, let's get that agreed and then let's look at the process, okay what happens to that data? Where does it go? Where does it flow from? Where's the process map? Nine times out of 10 I ask finance people, do you have the process documented? No it's in someone's head or it's in someone's spreadsheet and I'm like that's not gonna work, no matter who you go to, no matter which technology house you go to, everyone is gonna say we need to map our process so if you're gonna need to do that anyway before you get to Home Depot and choose your tool, why don't you just do it in your backyard then you don't have to pay people like me to do it. The point is that we go in and we do it for people because people either have never done it, they don't know how to do it and it's not a priority so the third bit to that ingredient is making it a priority and so making it a priority means either getting an investment or buy-in or motivation, I tagged you on a LinkedIn post that's gonna be viral around the votes - I've seen it. - And it's fascinating, most people are saying it's leadership and investment and there's no right or wrong answer, I think it depends on the different organizations.
Someone said it's energy and motivation because actually you don't need a lot of money, Power BI is free so why don't you just go and do it now? And YouTube and I'll train myself on Power BI and I love it but the point is I have a purpose, I have motivation I have energy, I have an end destination and that's missing in FP&A and finance. So three quick things, data dictionary, process maps and you have to really get that motivation, you have to have that purpose for yourself and mind. - I love it man and I think that's really great feedback to people that are listening out there. You gotta start with the foundation and I love your analogy, you started at home and so many teams struggle and I think it's, I go back to my public accounting days where I learned the Sarbanes-Oxley four and the value of looking at a billion, multi-billion dollar business like Eli Lilly and understanding their processes 'cause to me, exactly what you just mentioned is a framework that I call the decision cycle, processes draw data, data is then turned into information, information is shared through knowledge that helps me make a business decision and to me where you wanna have teams, that exactly what you just mentioned is that process data to information, have technology do the data mining, the data aggregation, all that Excel spreadsheet stuff that you have that talented FP&A or that talented finance person focused on, have them focus on the higher value activities, the business partnership, the collaboration, the communication, that's for us how we get scalability and I think it's also an important point and I love where you mentioned prioritization at the end of it, you have to make this a priority in your business, you have to take the time, energy and effort to document your processes, you have to take that 'cause that tribal knowledge, what happens if that, you got 15 years of somebody on your team and they leave or something happens to them, how are you making sure that the team can pick up those steps, pick up those processes and continue to be efficient and effective in what they're doing? So I love that framework, guys listen, documentation, a data dictionary, I never even thought about that and I love your example of talking, they're still people speaking in the same language and now if you throw an international element too in a culture piece, I can say converging, they don't even know what the word means and you get into that stuff.
So I love those three principles and you talked a little bit about tools on that, you talked a little bit about Power BI, how you're self-taught, how you're self-learned, if you were to give people some recommendations on, okay they built the data dictionary, they've got the process maps, they prioritize this, what are, from your expertise in and the clients that you've worked with, what are some of those medium investment tech, small investment technologies, medium investment technologies or enterprise level technologies people should be looking to accelerate their businesses? - Chris, great step, so now let's go outside of our house, we understood our garden, we understand we've got holes in the walls and we've documented processes and we know where all the switches are, we know what the electricity boxes and we've got problems. So again before we get into the kind of drive to the Home Depot, I'll come back to your small, medium, large investment for tools, tools is not the answer, the next step for you to do is actually to go talk to the customer. So you can get your house in order so, just to do what you need to do, just sort of clean it up but to really add value and to choose the right technology, you have to go and have a conversation with who you servicing because if I'm going to get a tool that does XYZ and I need ABC what I've just wasted money, time, effort on doing all that other stuff, when actually all I needed was a spreadsheet. So I think that there's a risk of jumping to your point that you made in the beginning, absolutely.
There's a risk of jumping into tools to say this is gonna solve everything. Technology is not gonna change human conversations, we need to have human conversations. Technology is not gonna find the problem for you, humans have to find the problem, technology is not gonna be able to design user experience and user interface, UI and UX is human designed and so these technologies and these solutions have their own inbuilt native locked away, user interface and outputs so before you bake yourself into a particular infrastructure, no matter what it is, whether it's Power BI or Excel or Tableau and I'll talk a bit why Power BI not any other tools later in terms of BI but the point I'm trying to make is that you need to understand what the problem is and you need to understand how you're gonna add value because then the investment to get that tool is a lot easier.
So go have the conversation before go talk to the sales team, say hey sales, if I've built a funnel chart, conversion analysis or by product by customer slicing, I know you're probably doing that already and that's the problem, salespeople are already doing analytics, they already have other tools that finance don't have 'cause they couldn't wait for finance so I think for us, digital marketing is so far ahead of finance in terms of analytics, it's crazy. I look at the stuff that the marketing guys have and it's awesome, I love it but what it lacks is it lacks profit analysis, it lacks cash analysis so that's all good but it's top line vanity stuff, revenue vanity, profit sanity, cash is king, where's the cash? They don't care about cash, they don't care how long it takes the customer to pay, they don't care about profit, they care about top line revenue and that's the problem and that's where we can influence but we can't influence if we can't even bring the right sort of offering to them because we've never had that conversation, so the next part of that journey is go have a conversation then go to the tools. Once you've realized what you've got, so we have nine criteria when we select tools, we look at a range of different key principles when looking at technology, any technology.
For us, the most important thing is usability and flexibility, is it gonna be flexible? Can I use it easily? Is a fixed, cost is separate. The problem is people get hung up on costs because I'm not trying to say that cost isn't important but it's not the first thing. People think if they spend a lot of money they're gonna get a really valuable system and it's actually the complete opposite. You spend a lot of money and you get rubbish, absolute rubbish, I've seen so many people mis-sold big systems, big ERPs that claim to solve all of the problems in finance and then the implementation fails and they say, oh well you didn't have the processes documented or the people didn't learn the system or they didn't embrace this new change.
No, no, no, no, no, we didn't have the conversation about how easy it is for people to use it. We didn't have the conversation of how it's gonna add value to the business so I don't wanna run through the non criteria but I'm happy to share it and show for people and give some links but fundamentally, we just don't understand the business return, the ROI. So for me, across all three of those tiers, small, medium, and large, we should be using Excel but for specific reasons, we should not be using Excel for analytics, we should be using Power BI for example. Again you can use Excel for smaller datasets and if you're not dealing with a lot of data, use Excel, that's totally fine but the moment you wanna go into the analytics journey, which is multiple data sources integrated and bringing all that information together, Excel's gonna be cranky, it's gonna be, it's not gonna be able to cope so a combination of Power BI and Excel together, Excel is really good for modeling, it's really easy to use for changing logic, Power BI is complex with Dax and M script, Power Query is quite good but you do go down that complexity curve when you're starting to be more flexible so combining Azure SQL database structures is important. I'll be completely frank 'cause I'm not a fan of the Adaptive's of the world, the OLAP cubes, the ERPs are important and they're for the core tech but when it comes to analytics and modeling and automation and everything else outside, I'll look at other tools, other technologies, other addins that are inside Excel, automation inside Excel not outside Excel. Don't get rid of the spreadsheet, embrace the spreadsheet, put technology around it.
- I love it, I love that man, enable the, don't get rid of the spreadsheet and enable the spreadsheet and I think the the Power BI combination, that's one thing that let's dive a little deeper on that because I think, I remember the first time I found Power BI, I found Power BI when I found Power Pivot, this is years ago and I realized at that moment that this is gonna change the entire value proposition of what accounting and finance, FP&A is gonna be. It was the, it was Oz behind the curtain of a spreadsheet, I'm like, what did I just see? Like I just seen Oz, I am like in the, I'm the wizard right now and that piece of it has been an experience to get me outside of the, automate the models, get them running through power query, the dashboard reporting, the mobile insights, the AI and machine learning that's already built into Power BI now. It was to me and I seen this years ago, I mean this is almost eight years ago when I remember seeing and coming across Power Pivot was, it was the spoke of the wheel in terms of any analytic capacity. You could have Power BI with Salesforce data, all these external API connections and it created this spoke of the wheel that gave me a full perspective in business and I think that Excel knowledge with that Power BI attribute, whether you're small, medium or large business, that's gonna accelerate you, that's gonna get you out of those trenches of those Excel spreadsheets to where and I love when you said that, embrace, don't get rid of it, embrace the full technologies of Excel with Power BI. So and again you mentioned earlier that you were self-taught in Power BI, if someone's just getting off the board in terms of learning those Excel and Power BI, what are some resources, what are some use cases, what are some ideas that you wanna give the listeners in terms of accelerating their learning from that Excel Power BI road and journey that they may be on or starting? - Yeah Chris, that's a great question again, you're really putting these questions out. - I'm keeping, hey man, this is what Model Citizn does man, you're the founder bro, you gotta be put on the spot man.
- Yeah, no it's all good, it's all good, I just, I love being challenged with really good questions and I'm buying some time as I respond but the point I'm trying to make is, the key thing around that journey between Excel and Power BI, I'd say make sure you know how to use Excel properly first, I think people again jump into Power BI thinking it's gonna solve their problems, there are things that you can solve just with Excel so I would actually say if you don't know how to use Power Query if you don't know how to use Power Pivot, then start to use those tools in Excel first. Now whilst I say that, I never did that I was building financial models, I jumped straight into Power BI and I learned Power Query inside Power BI and the reason I did that is 'cause I already knew how to use financial models and building financial models in Excel using add ins, so a lot of the problems that power pivot and power query solve, I was solving it with another technology, with another add in so I didn't need to learn how to manage data in Excel really well 'cause I had this other add in. Now Power Query came out as an add in, Power Pivot was an add in initially, right now it's packaged with Excel so I had other tools that were doing that already but if you're not doing that, if you're not managing your data in Excel properly, then don't even touch Power BI.
Manage your data in Excel well, manage Power Query, use Power Query, don't do copy paste. If you're doing copy paste and you jump to Power BI, man you're gonna get slashed to pieces because it's just a whole new level of thinking, stop copying and pasting, stop getting people to write a VBA code to pull information in, just use Power Query, play with Power Pivot and then start moving onto Power BI and then you can start looking at visualizations and all the rest but for me that journey started with, I had a financial model, a three-way model, income statement, balance sheet, cashflow, with a running actual scenario manager, simulation engine as well inside Excel and really the ability to make decisions and all that was fine but I wanted to put that, I knew the next step was Power BI for me and so I just threw myself at it and taught myself Power Query and looked at some great MBPs and Microsoft verify professionals and I just Googled stuff. Sam McKay from Enterprise DNA was a great start, Avi Singh who's ex Microsoft is great guy and then in The Cube is awesome. Chad too I learned a lot from, Aus Desalil is awesome in terms of Excel but there's a lot of things that Aus does which I really loved and so I think, particularly in the Power Query side and so definitely have a look at some of this stuff if you wanna try and get some of those basics. So for me it's just getting started and it's not, it didn't cost me anything other than time and I think that's the point I'm trying to make, you could teach yourself some really, really cool stuff just by getting capacity, focusing on the right things, cleaning up your backyard and then getting started. - I love that man and I think that, it's similar journey so to the listeners, that's the similar journey I was on.
I mean, I remember when I first came across it and I just dove into it but it, tying back to what you mentioned earlier about getting our house in order and getting everything ready, you have to prioritize this learning and I think people, I always ask people if you know how to do pivot tables, you maybe know how to do V-scripts, you're like 80, 90% already there in terms of learning it, like you already understand the fundamentals of what a relational database is and how to do these things and how to refresh times and stuff like that and how to bring in other sources, you already have a strong foundation in that but to people, you have to prioritize that learning with you and a lot of times it's, accounting, finance and FP&A people, were wearing a million different hats, I cannot tell you how many hats I wear in my role right now. Sometimes I'm the legal person, I'm the contract person, I'm the collection person, I'm the finance person, I'm the accountant, I mean I'm like 80 different things in one person but if you really wanna step up to that next level of value proposition and what you're bringing value to the business and I think really differentiating yourself from other teams and people, you gotta learn that technology and for me, it's always been my recommendation as well for Power BI as a business intelligence data analysis platform. Just because you don't have this whole nother knowledge set and I've used Tableau, I've used ThoughtSpot, I've used Click View, I've used so many of these Gartner leading business intelligence and data analysis platform but it was, I always came back to, well this is nice but it doesn't do this like Power BI and one of the cool things is the constant evolution. Every month Microsoft is releasing new things about Power BI, I think I'm caught up to what they released back in May of this year and I'm so saturated, it's like I don't have time to learn everything so I think that's very, very important about this pool, what you said about it, you guys gotta prioritize, prioritize your business, prioritize the learning as well. So shifting gears in terms of, we talked a little bit about technology, we talked about what those offerings will be, what role do you think technology plays in high performance and partnership for accounting and finance FP&A teams? - Chris, the technology as I said before is an enabler, it's gonna get us out of our spreadsheets, get us off our desk and so the role that it plays is to push us to be more human.
Why do I say that? Because at the moment, most accountants and finance professionals and FP&A people are robots, literally copying and pasting and moving stuff in spreadsheets, they are. If I speak to everyone that said we've got lots of manual spreadsheets, we moving stuff around, they are acting like a robot, they moving stuff, they just, there's less time for checking, there's less time for insight, there's this for conversations so we're actually not being human. I know that's harsh, I know that's like a hard pill to swallow. - I love it, I love it. - When we come in and we look at prices like why are you doing that? Oh well, that's 'cause it's always been done that way, the typical answer and we know that that is the way that it's been done for 20, 30 years but let's just touch quickly on Excel.
Excel as well ai accelerating, Power BI is releasing yourself, Lambdas coming, there's dynamic arrays, there's a whole lot of innovation in the Excel front as well and people are still doing stuff the old way so for me it's, technology is gonna enable us to be more human which means we're gonna have to talk to more humans. - Oh man, you're asking accounting and finance people to get out and talk to people? Oh my God, people's minds are gonna be blown right now. (laughing) - Well that's where value is, that's where partnering sits, that's where, robots can't do that so why wouldn't we do, why wouldn't we go there? Go somewhere where it's safe.
If you continue to sit and copy and paste spreadsheets and move data around in from one spreadsheet to another, then guess what? You are at risk so sitting there in a risk position when a robot can do your job is not a good, is not a smart career move. The better move would be, you know what? I'm sick and tired of being a robot, I wanna automate this process, I'm gonna learn Power Query, I'm gonna pull it in, I'm gonna refresh it and the challenge Chris is that, as you know, this is not a couple of hours savings, this is like we're not automated my own role and I wrote an article about it. As a CFO for a FinTech startup. I got rid of 75% of my time, this is a lot, automation if done properly, I'm not talking RPA, I'm not talking about all fancy AI, I'm just talking about a little bit of VB script and just a really well laid out workbook and some Power Query, you can do some amazing capacity release if you did it properly and then that enables you to have a better conversation so go on that journey, learn how to just implement something small because the process of implementing, understanding the process, understanding the data, prioritizing it, is a good learning journey just for you on your little process and then get enablement to go and have conversations.
So for me coming back to what's technology gonna do, it's gonna make us be more human, it's gonna enable us to go have better conversations, better relationships with people in sales and marketing and Chris the reason you wearing so many hats, is because you're doing what I talk about, you're doing that stuff, you are having conversations with ops and legal and everything else so you're already there because you're not sitting in your spreadsheet moving stuff around, it's done for you. - Yeah, Lance I love it when you said most accounting, finance and FP&A people are robots, I love that piece of it 'cause a lot of times when I talk about and when I talk with CFOs and where I challengE CFOs and VPs of finance regardless of what company that they are, is you have to get outside of the numbers, you have to get outside of the ROI, the and listen, I'm not saying that stuff isn't important, I'm not saying that that's not valuable but when I think about and I wanna touch on this, transitioning to this to get your thoughts on it, when I think about the role of what accounting, finance, FP&As is gonna be of a future, we're talking about a pandemic that we were in that if you were a micromanager, if you didn't empower your people, if you didn't have technology, if you didn't have all these different baseline fundamental things you got smoked and probably you're still getting smoked right now because you're just living in this robotic, oh the Excel spreadsheet hasn't been updated so I don't have the information to guide the business. So for me, I've always challenged CFOs and finance, accounting, FP&A leaders to say you got to get beyond the numbers and in this future of finance and FP&A is embracing technology, it's collaboration, it's communication, it's being a business partner and it's almost being a business therapist to your financial, your partners that you support. I always look to my partners and they don't look to me for the numbers, they look to me to say, Chris how are these numbers impacting my business? How can I improve these? How can I partner with you and how can I learn different things? So question to you, when you think about, we talk a lot about this technology, when you think about the pandemic that we're in and everything that we're in, what are those future trends that you're seeing for accounting, finance and FP&A people that they need to start riding the wave right now or they're gonna risk being drowned, what are those trends that you see? - Chris I can just talk from my own experience in terms of my own team, over the last six months we've seen an absolute spike in the need for financial modeling to really understand cashflow so most businesses have not focused on cash, they just haven't so the mega trend, I guess is three way modeling, income statement, balance sheet and cashflow, having a balanced balance sheet, building a scenario manager, most of this is in Excel, we're not talking Power BI for the moment. Just really understanding scenarios, options, scenario analysis around, if I did this, if I did that, I have to get rid of a whole lot of stuff, what does that mean? Am I putting my business into shutdown mode? Which teams do I reduce, can I automate some stuff? Really having a strategic lens, so the big mega trend is scenario analysis and much more rapid what if analysis, so before there was kind of once a month or once a quarter or once a year even, it's almost daily or weekly or sometimes multiple times a day so that's a mega trend and that's not a small trend so I'd say that's number one. Number one is finally, I've been saying for a long time we need to get out of the forecast, then number, the single point, it's multiple points, it's multiple options, it's multiple dimensions around what's the future gonna be and we need to be able to play with that very flexibly and dynamically so if you're not doing that, forget anything else and that's just learning how to use Excel properly, having conversations around drivers of the business, understanding profit and loss, balance sheet and cash and balance sheet is so important, people forget the balance sheet, it's your control mechanism.
If you're looking forward and you're trying to do a cash flow model without a balance sheet, you have half the picture, you can't be certain that your cashflow projections are correct until you've balanced your balance sheet, that's what most people don't know. Very few people are building three-way models, very few people understand it and again people say, well we've got too much data, we've got too many divisions, we'll go higher level, go down to the widget, don't go to the, down to the SKU, stay strategic and then build and then find out where are there pockets of value and then go for that and then start to automate some of that into Power BI. So start with the financial model and I think the next big mega trend is analytics, so I think it's financial modeling first because to build a scenario analysis in Power BI or any BI tool is incredibly difficult even for us, so what we say is, well build something really simple, I'm not talking machine learning, predictive analytics and all that other stuff, I'm just talking, there's the fundamentals of scenario analysis which is, looking at different options and sensitivities, that's important, that's the starting point and then moving into analytics and then you can start going into that deeper rabbit hole. Analytics is a big journey and as I said, Power BI for me has been a three-year journey, that's just Power BI, I'm not talking about data science, I don't wanna touch data science 'cause that's not my skillset, I know enough to be dangerous. We actually did a predictive analytics project for a client last year and we weren't able to extract the value because the data wasn't of a high quality and we actually said this before we started but we were told that the data is fine and it's all good, we should continue and so in the end we were told, well we need to fix the model so that the outcome is correct, I'm like we can't fix the model, the data's rubbish, so this is the whole challenge.
When you get into those rabbit holes, you get off track and so I think for me, the mega trend is absolutely financial modeling, learning how to build a really good cashflow model because without cash, businesses won't survive. - Cash is king man, cash is king. Yeah I love that man and I think I would agree with you a hundred percent man. I think it's about, I love your pros around three way modeling too, you gotta have income statement, balance, so many people just focus on and I come from the startup space where profits, where a dream cash is a reality, you get, I can do all the scenario modeling I did around revenue but if we didn't have money to pay our people, none of that matters at the point.
So I think people need to focus on that three way modeling, be more flexible like you mentioned, flexibility across the business, no single point of failure around the forecast 'cause, I mean I'm doing forecasts where I'm looking at best, worst, medium, most likely and I'm updating this stuff on a daily basis so I think that's a very important point and in wrapping up and closing and we're thinking about, what is that piece of advice or knowledge or thing for our listeners to think about that they should take away as they go into 2021, thinking about the current pandemic that we're in, the value proposition that we're driving, what's your final kind of like highlight to all the listeners? - Chris and you gave me a heads up on this question so thanks for that one at the start. So I've thought about a thought about this and I guess in the past I would have talked about mindset and get stuck in, I think what we have now is there's too many options, too many options, there's too many distractions, there's a lot of pressure so I'd say is let's get focused and try find the one thing that's gonna do all things. So find that one thing that you're gonna get priority on and say this is what I'm gonna do for 2021 'cause 2020 is pretty much gone all right, so.
- Thank God it's gone. - Thank God it's gone but the pandemic and the virus and everyone else is gonna be with us for a while, I think even been the spot, the vaccine but the point I'm trying to make is, what's that one thing that you're gonna focus on that's gonna impact many things? So is it documenting the present? Is that getting a data dictionary? Is it learning Power Query? Is it learning Power BI? Is it Power Pivot, what is that one thing? So get focused on the one thing, forget the party tools just for the moment and that's the, I think that's a massive distraction. Just look at what you have now, if you don't have the latest Excel in 365, that's your priority, go get it, I'm still gobsmacked by massive listed Australian companies still stuck on Excel 2010 and what are you doing? They're talking about Power BI, I said but you haven't even got Office 365, I said why are you even talking about Power BI if you haven't even got the basics of power query? - So people. - [Chris] That's crazy. - Don't even have the ability to look into this stuff so for me it's, what's the one thing and don't give up on it because it's the one thing that's gonna change everything. - I love that man, I think that's great advice for everybody, the one thing to do all things, I'm gonna steal that Lance, that's a fire moment right there bro but hey Lance, thank you for your time man, I appreciate you being part of Collectiv Conversations. If people wanna look you up on your socials or follow you or learn information about you, where should they find you? - Probably the best place is LinkedIn and then Model Citizn, www.modelcitizn,
M O D E L C I T I Z N, no E .com, so modelcitizn.com or LinkedIn is a great place to start. - Awesome man, now thank you for being part of Collectiv and to all the listeners out there, look up Lance, I mean he knows, I mean his content, I look at his stuff, I've learned so much from here today, I've been taking notes the whole time so I'm gonna probably pick your brain on some stuff but thank you for being part of the Collectiv Conversations and stay safe and well, thanks Lance. - Thanks Chris, you too, have a great Christmas and new year. - Awesome. (upbeat music)