Trailer Episode

Resourceful Leadership From Seed to Scale with NerdWallet CFO Lauren StClair

In this episode of The Modern CFO, Lauren StClair, CFO of NerdWallet, shares her unique career journey spanning across startups and large corporations like PayPal, eBay, and StubHub. She delves into the valuable lessons she's learned along the way, offering key takeaways for professionals in the finance and technology industries.

Lauren's journey began at a small early-stage startup, where she quickly learned the value of resourcefulness and urgency in business. This experience taught her to wear multiple hats and connect the dots across various aspects of the company, providing a solid foundation for her future roles. However, she also realized the importance of understanding how to operate at scale and the need for best practices, leading her to pursue opportunities at larger organizations.

During her tenure at eBay, Lauren had the opportunity to work in different functions, both within and outside of finance. She participated in a leadership development program, allowing her to complete multiple rotations across various departments. This experience not only expanded her functional skills but also taught her the importance of embracing change and humility.

As Lauren reflects on her career path, she shares valuable insights for professionals navigating the dynamic landscape of finance and technology:

  • Embrace change: Be open to new opportunities and challenges, as they provide valuable learning experiences and contribute to personal and professional growth.
  • Develop a sense of resourcefulness: The ability to be resourceful and adaptable is crucial in today's fast-paced business environment.
  • Learn to operate at scale: Understand the importance of implementing best practices and executing strategies that enable businesses to grow efficiently.
  • Cultivate humility: Recognize when to ask for help, raise questions, and learn from others, as these traits are essential for continuous improvement and effective leadership.

Lauren StClair's journey in the world of finance and technology offers a wealth of knowledge for individuals looking to build a successful career in these industries. Tune in to The Modern CFO podcast to hear the full conversation and gain inspiration from Lauren's remarkable story.

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Please note that the transcript is AI-generated and may contain errors. The content in the podcast is not intended as investment advice, and is meant for informational and entertainment purposes only:

Andrew Seski: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome back to the Modern CFO podcast. As always, I'm your host, Andrew Seski. Today I'm thrilled to be joined by Lauren StClair, CFO of NerdWallet. Thanks so much for joining me today, Lauren. I'm really excited to dive in.

Lauren StClair: Thanks, Andrew. It's great to be here.

Andrew Seski: I'd love to kick off the podcast today by discussing some of the early career decisions that you think were influential to get to this, really impressive position and such a dominating company like NerdWallet.

Lauren StClair: So I think the most interesting thing that, people tend to find when they hear about my role and they've always just assumed that this is what I wanted to be. And in reality, I never intended to be a CFO. That was probably the farthest thing from my mind. When I first moved from Philadelphia to the Bay Area for undergrad, I actually wanted to be a doctor. So I thought I was going to pursue medicine, but you have to remember when I went and where I went to [00:01:00] school. So I started in 1998 in Silicon Valley, I saw so many people doing this really cool thing called computer science, getting really cool engineering degrees at these at the time, probably not so popular names as they are now.

Lauren StClair: But I said, you know, what a great pivotal time to be in Silicon Valley. And so I decided to actually switch to more of a science technology engineering degree. And so since then, I've had and held a variety of different positions in tech from early days and engineering to product management. And it wasn't until I joined eBay that I started looking at different types of teams, different functions, and also how those teams interacted with one another.

Lauren StClair: And I found a great group of finance leaders who've influenced my decision to pivot to the finance world. And since then, I've had a lot of different experience and different positions across companies like PayPal and eBay and StubHub and now NerdWallet.

Lauren StClair: I'm really curious as to the specific skills and [00:02:00] knowledge you gained in the FinTech world as you moved from PayPal or Ebay and StubHub you know, storied marketplaces. So I'm curious as to how you're applying some of those experiences and lessons today.

Lauren StClair: Yeah, one high level, but super important lesson learned for me is that. Every role and job from my perspective is an opportunity to learn.

Lauren StClair: It's a chance to connect the dots, figure how things fit together and how they can impact one another. And so, no matter how seemingly insignificant or small a job might be, or if you don't love it, if you use that lens, everything is super valuable and can be valuable and it's an opportunity. But, um, given that I have a fairly non traditional path to the CFO, I thought I would maybe share a little bit more details and maybe some of those takeaways.

Lauren StClair: So. I started my career at a very tiny early stage startup. Some folks tell you to start at a big company, learn best practice, learn how to do things at scale and then go small. Um, I [00:03:00] did it the other way around and here's why I'm really happy I did. That small tiny startup taught me a sense of scrappiness and a sense of urgency in business that you don't always find at big companies.

Lauren StClair: It allowed me and in some ways almost forced me to wear many different hats and start connecting the dots in ways that I don't think a lot of folks new to the workforce get to see up close and personal or certainly participate in. On the flip side though, the small startup also made me realize that I had no idea how to do things at scale.

Lauren StClair: And while it always sounds fun creating new things, you do start to realize that not everything needs to be created or recreated. And they're probably just some best practices that is helpful, throughout your career. So all of those things led me to actually look for my next opportunity at a much larger company.

Lauren StClair: So that takes us to eBay. I spent about 13 and a half years there, which I know for a lot of people in Silicon Valley, especially that seems like a crazy long period of time to be at one company. But [00:04:00] I remind people that not only did I get to a chance to work in different functions, not not only just finance, but outside of finance as well.

Lauren StClair: I also got to see different business models and in some cases, different industries. When you think about the companies eBay owned at the time. So, we talked about PayPal, I got to work at eBay corporate marketplace and also at StubHub. So I started off as a product manager, and like I had mentioned earlier, I started paying attention to the broader leadership teams.

Lauren StClair: And I was really struck by the dynamics that the finance team had. If you remember in the mid 2000s, many of the finance leaders at eBay had actually come from GE and they brought over and adapted some of the great come from GE and they brought over and adapted some of the great programs that GE had, but they adapted them to eBay style anand culture and where we were So I got introduced to this group. I also had a chance to start participating in some of these programs. So, I joined a leadership development program [00:05:00] where I was able to do 4, 6 month rotations over a two year period. And given this was sort of my first foray into finance, I clearly learned a lot of functional skills, but I think more importantly with that experience, I learned to be comfortable with change. And I also learned a bit of humility. You know, you come out as sort of the subject matter expert in your role. You go into something very new, very different. It's very humbling because you're no longer the expert. You're quite the opposite, and you have to know when to raise your hand, when to ask questions.

Lauren StClair: And just be comfortable, not knowing all the answers and knowing that you need to be more resourceful than probably the expert. And right as you're getting comfortable in a role, and you feel like, you know, what's going on, you have a handle on it, you rotate into a new role. And so that constant sense of change, but making sure that you understand how to adapt.

Lauren StClair: And how it feels to go through that gave me a lot of comfort and also confidence to move into new roles throughout my career.

Andrew Seski: I really enjoyed the comment just on resourcefulness [00:06:00] that you gained from startup experience and how relevant that is in being able to ask the right questions to gather data in your role now.

Andrew Seski: Do you think that is a piece of advice that you'd give to other CFOs around resourcefulness?

Lauren StClair: I think for maybe folks that are earlier in their careers, I would say absolutely resourcefulness. Um, don't be afraid to ask questions, but I also tell people don't forget to raise your hand.

Lauren StClair: Don't be afraid to take on new challenges. Be self aware, but also be focused on your goals and don't let other folks tell you what you can and cannot accomplish. And then I also say for leaders that maybe are a bit more seasoned or just taking on more scope and responsibility, um, rather than taking on everything all at once and expecting yourself to be perfect prioritize set work and personal boundaries.

Lauren StClair: Um, know when to hire great folks around you know when to empower them to go off and do [00:07:00] those things. Um, and so, for me, that's something I know at times I've struggled with trying to do everything perfectly at the same time, whether it's personal life, whether it's work life and. Knowing really what to also prioritize for me is incredibly important.

Lauren StClair: Um, you know, there's so much to worry about these days. So make sure that you're worrying about the things that are really worth it.

Andrew Seski: When I talk to a lot of CFOs about what they worry about and what keeps them up at night, their stakeholders are always their their first thought, their employees, their investors, their shareholders.

Andrew Seski: I'm really interested in speaking with a broad array of CFOs, whether they're at startups, whether in their, venture-backed stage or whether they're public company CFOs, about the process of becoming a public company CFO and how you've risen to that. I think it's also very aspirational for a lot of folks who listen to the podcast, uh, and would love to hear how you came to NerdWallet and, that journey to becoming a public company CFO.

Lauren StClair: Yeah, you know what? maybe I'll take you back [00:08:00] to two roles that I had that I think were pretty instrumental in helping me sort of get to this job. And then certainly in the job itself, um, the first one for me was having the opportunity to do investor relations at eBay.

Lauren StClair: Getting the hands on experience, speaking with investors, translating consistent and concise internal narratives externally, and also bringing the external perspective internally was such a great lesson learned for me and understanding what you can and cannot say being comfortable and confident speaking on behalf of the company, and then also being able to think on your feet.

Lauren StClair: So that was one role. The second one was when I had the opportunity to move to Spain to be the CFO of StubHub International. And I also had a chance to lead the integration of what was our organic international business and a business that we had just newly acquired. And there's so many technical things that I learned from setting up an E. R. [00:09:00] P. to transitioning a team from a 90 day close to a two day close. Um, there's also a lot of cultural nuances that I think there's also some really great soft skills in there. But I'll go back now to sort of your question around IPO. And so those two roles, I think, set me up really well, because I had hands on practical experience.

Lauren StClair: In operating at a public company and also doing some of those external facing jobs. So when I, uh, joined NerdWallet, I joined in December of 2020, and we took NerdWallet public in November of 2021. So that's not even a year that I was at the company. So there was a very quick transition and there was a lot to be done from the time I joined to when we flipped our S1 to public.

Lauren StClair: And so here's maybe some, I'll give maybe some of my recommendations or things that we did that I thought really helped prep us for where we want it to be. So for me, the first piece is the why. [00:10:00] And I think it's important for a company to go back to the why because it's such a balancing act. Great benefits of being public.

Lauren StClair: And there's also a lot more responsibility and visibility. So before going public, I always tell people, make sure that the leadership team, the board is aligned on what is the best, like the best path forward, why it's the best path forward, and really what you want out of the process. How are you going to maximize benefits for all the stakeholders?

Lauren StClair: Like you mentioned, whether that be your customers, investors, employees. And then there's also just that. Cost benefit analysis of doing, say, another round of private funding versus tapping the public markets. thing the why the 2nd, one for me is preparation is critical being confident, succinct in your messaging is super, super helpful ahead of the road show.

Lauren StClair: We spent a lot of time finalizing our messaging. We spent countless hours practicing both, like, our formal presentation, but also how to most efficiently [00:11:00] handle Q and a. For the finance function itself, we leaned in quite a bit on the team. We started staffing up in anticipation of what we would need not where we were at at that particular time.

Lauren StClair: So we started creating roles. That we're going to be needed to think about investor relations SEC reporting, technical accounting. And ththen we also started roundingut our leadership team with folks who actually had a really nice mix of both public and private and even some folks who had also been through an IPO and then operationally.

Lauren StClair: And this sort of ties back to some of my experiences in prior roles. We upgraded our E. R. P. Ahead of an IPO, so we didn't have to worry about any of the complexity or risks of such a big implementation in the first, few quarters of being public. We also started closing the books faster. Um, and so. That was helpful to just speed up the forecasting process and then what we did that a lot of people talk about, but don't really find the time to do.

Lauren StClair: But for us, it was [00:12:00] really helpful was that we carved out time to do mock earnings calls on a very similar timeline that we would. Use once we were public, so closing the books faster, doing the forecasting and then actually going through the process of doing a mock earnings call was thinking of a lot of confidence to, uh, Tim and I Tim's the CEO and just gave us a lot of time to practice and get comfortable as well as for the teams to know that they could operate on those timelines.

Lauren StClair: And then the third piece for me, and this is probably the piece I underestimated the most was just the importance, really good internal communications. Uh, we dedicated a lot of time to educating employees on things that are complicated, like lockups and rule one 44 a, but also on things like new benefits that you can have as part of being a public company, things like ESPP.

Lauren StClair: Um, but there were so many questions from employees. And so again, don't underestimate that piece of it. Like I did.

Andrew Seski: You mentioned something I want to dive into a little bit deeper, which is [00:13:00] implementing new technology. Uh, you mentioned bringing out a new ERP system. I think every CFO is getting questions from all of their stakeholders about the future of AI.

Andrew Seski: And I think what you've done incredibly in your career, as you're mentioning, is that you've been resourceful enough to know and understand and practice implementing big changes. I'm really interested to know if there are lessons about implementing new technologies that you'd be willing to share.

Lauren StClair: Absolutely. Maybe first, start with what is the problem you're solving for? I think there's so many new technologies and I think it's really easy to go after the shiny object or, like, the latest buzzword and end up spending. Tons of time and money without really a clear objective and our way to define success.

Lauren StClair: So being really clear with that problem. Um, up front, I think helps first of all, figure out what technologies you do want to implement and then also be really clear about how you define success for those things for me. Maybe I'll give some [00:14:00] examples and we can also talk about if you want, because I know that is one of the hot topics these days, but.

Lauren StClair: You know, we talked about, ERP leading up to the IPO and, you know, the first reason, maybe it's good to start with the reasons why our prior system was just really slow and it was starting to take way too long to access and approve things or even just run certain reports. The 2nd, one, which probably the most practical or necessary was that we were running an older version.

Lauren StClair: That was likely going to stop being supported and the not too distant future. And so we wanted to make sure we got out ahead of that. And then we also knew that things like access controls were likely going to get more complex as a public company. So we needed a system that could handle, I'd say, more of those specific type roles.

Lauren StClair: So it was clear that. A new system, faster, better access controls. And then for us, we also had a very clear timeline because we wanted to do this ahead of the IPO. So for us, it was trying to reduce risk [00:15:00] leading up to an event like that. Um, that was one piece. The second one for us, um, at my time at NerdWallet was a technology related to our forecasting system.

Lauren StClair: And in this example. There's probably not as specific a problem as the ERP example, but this was really more about anticipating how business needs would change over time. And then ultimately impact us as we also had to adapt and flex to those changes. So, at the time. Our business was going through a pretty significant organizational shift that moved us from what I'd call effectively a functional structure to a single threaded structure where GMs would have responsibility for all the functions and all aspects of their business.

Lauren StClair: And so if you imagine going from reporting functionally to now having all different functions report into one person, it's, uh, it makes you really think about stuff like headcount, how costs were assigned and things like that. And so. What I was really proud is that the finance team was able to [00:16:00] recognize that while the prior system could likely be set up that way to mirror the new organizational structure, it was going to take a lot of time to make any subsequent changes.

Lauren StClair: And so we thought really long and hard about what was the right technology. We did the normal RFP process. We ultimately, uh, recommended implementing a technology called pigment. And given we had less time pressure than the example, we, in this case, we ran both systems in parallel so that we could train everyone and also test to make sure everyone was really confident.

Lauren StClair: Once we did the cut over process. And so the new system just so much faster to that. That was one benefit. And then it also is really able to accommodate changes much more easily. And so the cuts of data, the dimensions of data that we can report on just incredibly helpful. And so I think seeing two steps ahead or three steps ahead to keep up with the business is something that's incredibly important as well in the finance org.

Andrew Seski: I want to talk about [00:17:00] NerdWallet a little bit. Um, and, Pigment's interesting. It's the second time I think it's come up on the podcast, uh, as a new tool. And I know that there's some AI functionality in that as well. Um, so very exciting to know that there are new tools being released all the time at the moment.

Andrew Seski: Um, but I wanted to give you an opportunity to chat a little bit about, um, all these efficiencies, what it's leading to at NerdWallet, maybe for folks who aren't familiar with the company. Uh, maybe you could share a little bit about the mission.

Lauren StClair: Absolutely. So NerdWallet provides trustworthy financial guidance to consumers and small and mid sized businesses.

Lauren StClair: We call them SMBs. We're on a mission to provide clarity for all of life's financial decisions. And we achieve that mission by providing consumers and SMBs with trustworthy and knowledgeable financial information. So we're there to help consumers make financial decisions with confidence. So. For instance, if you're trying to find out what's the best credit card for your spending habits, or if you're trying to buy a house for the first time, or maybe you're a small [00:18:00] business that needs to get a loan for the first time.

Lauren StClair: We're there to help provide you with all of the content and guidance that you would need to evaluate what's the best for your needs. And then also we can serve you or recommend and match you with some of the best products for your particular needs.

Andrew Seski: I want to talk a little bit about, talent acquisition, and how you think about bringing the best and brightest onto your team and any advice you'd have for CFOs who are thinking about, one of their many functions, in more terms of human resources and talent acquisition.

Lauren StClair: Yeah, to me, um, talent is probably the number one thing in my book. Um, it's what makes me successful. It's the part that probably brings the most passion and excitement and. Maybe that stems a little bit from my background and history and team sports.

Lauren StClair: And so for me, that's always the foundation to any great job or any great roles, having the right people around you, um, and knowing what to hire and when to hire them. [00:19:00] For me, I mean, listen, you need to be at least in the ballpark in terms of compensation and being competitive in that front. But I actually think there's so many things that we can do as leaders, especially as CFOs to keep folks engaged.

Lauren StClair: Um, something that, and again, this goes back to my time and tenure at eBay. I was there for as long as I was, because I had so many different opportunities and I wasn't static. I wasn't in one particular role. Um, now, NerdWallet is certainly not as big right now as as eBay was, but there's still ways that we can do employee engagement.

Lauren StClair: So with my team in particular. We do what I call, like, lower risk, lower touch programs, like shadowing. It's a great opportunity for folks to connect with one another. It's also a great opportunity for folks to learn just what's out there. Sometimes earlier in your career. You don't know the world of possibility.

Lauren StClair: You don't know what other functions. And what even those functions do and so shadowing to me is a really [00:20:00] great, but low risk way of getting folks some level of experience, even if it's not truly hands on experience, but at least the visibility of what else is going on in the organization. So people can start connecting those dots another area.

Lauren StClair: That is something I'm trying to bring from my eBay days is really creating a more structured rotation program. We're not quite there yet, but something that we've done recently, um, with folks across different levels of our organization is to be really clear on career development and start rotating them into different roles.

Lauren StClair: So, like I said, it's not a formal program right now, but moving people into different functions across the finance, or at the right time is important.

Lauren StClair: And for me, it's a great way to keep those higher level folks engaged as well, and make sure that they feel like they're also growing their career during their time at NerdWallet.

Andrew Seski: So you can create new opportunities in the current format. I think that's really powerful. And it's obviously a testament, as you mentioned, to staying at eBay as long as you did. I [00:21:00] think, I think that's a really important piece of the role is just having continued passion over an extended period of time.

Andrew Seski: I want to talk a little bit more about how you can align interest during kind of volatile market cycles. It's just been a very hectic, geopolitical and global macro, environment. Does that also require just more communications and more transparency to create, more patients?

Lauren StClair: Oh, absolutely. I think I think it requires just a whole new level of transparency and communication. Um, and also just like, staying the course and and knowing why you're there and having that long term in mind for some context, NerdWallet operates in a fairly cyclical industry. And so at any given point in time, we have some level of headwinds and tailwinds over time.

Lauren StClair: And over the cycles, you know, we've shown that we can grow across those, but it's still, um, requires operating and managing through some of those [00:22:00] shorter term dynamics. And some of the biggest things I've learned as a result, it's just, you know. Overcommunication being overly transparent and candid. And for me, that's educating the stakeholders, bringing people along for the ride, connecting the dots to make sure that we're not taking similar data points, but drawing different conclusions.

Lauren StClair: Or if we do, like, let's have a good discussion about, um, what we're seeing and why, and then ultimately, uh, get to some sort of resolution and clarity and make a decision and move forward. Um, for me, this also means acknowledging mistakes immediately. So we correct them and then move forward. Let's not dwell on the past.

Lauren StClair: Let's make sure we don't repeat those same mistakes, but let's ultimately move forward. And then something else that I probably experienced more recently is that being transparent sometimes also means proactively bringing the tough questions or the hard discussions to the right forums. And creating that space for people to debate so [00:23:00] that people feel like their voices have been heard.

Lauren StClair: So you can ultimately get to, um, a decision and and drive to some sort of conclusion. But again, with with everything going on again, my advice is continue to over communicate and make sure there's alignment amongst all stakeholders.

Andrew Seski: That's a great answer. I was thinking a little bit about the hallmarks of good CEO CFO relationships and curious if you have any thoughts on what those hallmarks may be.

Lauren StClair: Yeah, it's, it's fascinating. My time at eBay, I got to see Bob Swan, John Donahoe and their interactions, across a number of different cycles and, and different events and, business challenges. And I always use them as one of, I think, the gold standards in terms of their dynamics, within the organization, but also how they were able to communicate.

Lauren StClair: So effectively externally. and so it's great to have, I would say, role models like that to look at, but. You know, for my CEO and me right now, I think what's great about the dynamic is [00:24:00] that we have really complimentary skills. Tim is certainly a visionary, and is able to connect the dots at a pace that I've never seen.

Lauren StClair: Most people be able to connect the dots and come up with new ideas. And then I think, you know, what I compliment with is the operational rigor and the execution. And so it's a really nice balance between the two of us. And I think we've come a long way in the last two years and, you know, there's still more for us to learn and do, but I do think having a really nice balance between those two roles in particular, I think helps, um, especially when leading through change, leading through volatile times within the company and having that balance and offset, is good right now.

Andrew Seski: I always ask on the podcast, what makes a Modern CFO and would love to know how you think about the kind of evolving nature of the CFO role

Lauren StClair: I think things I've appreciated the most about finance is that probably over the past couple of decades, the role of the CFO has [00:25:00] really evolved.

Lauren StClair: Not only having a seat at the table, but a real voice at the table, helping manage through complex times. And I think more recently just really volatile macro environment. And I also think it's interesting to see how many CFOs in recent years are moving into more operational jobs, business roles, and in some cases, even CEO roles. A lot has certainly changed and will continue to change. But I think for me, the amount of data that we have to sort through and sift through and digest is unlike probably ever before.

Lauren StClair: And so we're figuring out how to sort through all the noise to find the real signal, um, will really define an effective finance leader. Um, knowing when to ask the right questions, knowing what are the right questions to ask to probe and figure those things out. Some of the other things that come to mind is just juggling a lot of things, knowing when to delegate.

Lauren StClair: Being okay, saying, listen, I'm not the expert here. I need to either hire that level of [00:26:00] expertise or make sure that everyone's on the same page. And then I think the other piece for me is really understanding the business, the business priorities and what outcomes you're driving for because at the end of the day. Finance is here to support the business in the best way possible. So in order to do that, I think you really have to understand what the business drivers are.

Andrew Seski: So I want to wrap things up today by discussing future proofing NerdWallet and maybe how you're thinking about an AI strategy. So I would love to hear your initial thoughts and the conversations that you're having internally.

Lauren StClair: Yeah. So maybe first taking a step back as I think about sort of the mid to longer term, I think part of the challenge is really being clear about what's in your control and what's not in your control.

Lauren StClair: And I think if the last few years haven't taught us this, but there is going to be a lot of things that are still not in our control. Um, but I tell my team that we're going through challenging times. Let's focus on the things that we can make better do differently and make sure that we're prepared. So I think that's a great [00:27:00] segue into the question around AI as well.

Lauren StClair: So one of the pieces that I always talk about with my team has to do with automation, I'll probably just generalize it and call it automation, but we need to ensure that we can scale with the business without scaling our cost or headcount at the same pace. And so one way to manage that is to automate as much as possible.

Lauren StClair: Um, one, it helps to, I think, speed up, but it also helps reduce the inevitable manual data entry that comes with doing everything. With people, not automation, and so we've done a lot of this through better systems and then integration between systems. I tell my team, you know, we've even improved our close process since the IPO and part of the reason we do that is yes so we can hand off to the team quickly thereafter to start the forecasting process. But the other reason that we do it is so that we can handle new things that might come our way. If there's more complexities, if there's [00:28:00] a transaction or an M&A deal or other complexities that the business introduces, like we know that we can close the books for the core business as quickly and as efficiently as possible, creating then opportunity and space for us to think about some of the more complex things as they come down the road.

Lauren StClair: The other piece has to do with what are the technologies that we use to help us speed up, um, or automate as much as possible. So we're working through a proof of concept right now with RPA or robotic process automation. There's obviously some amazing things that AI, um, can potentially help us with. And so we are evaluating some of those tools as well.

Lauren StClair: Um, I've spoken with, uh, many of my colleagues and to be honest, I would say there's not a ton of use cases that are currently in production that I found with finance and AI. Um, there's tons of conversations around where AI can help in short term ways, like accounts payable [00:29:00] and also how it could help down the line as people get more comfortable.

Lauren StClair: But could it potentially create the first draft of cues in case for a company? So, there's two ways that we're looking at right now. one, which I think is much easier to get started with is just leveraging the capabilities of the current tools and software and systems that you're using. There's a lot of companies that are building like features into or into safe forecasting software.

Lauren StClair: So. Um, I know right now with Pigment, they're experimenting around and can we do more sophisticated scenario planning with some of the features that they're starting to implement? And then we are also starting to kick off a project, leveraging very specifically and I asked my team to test some certain use cases and I go back to my.

Lauren StClair: Comments around tech implementations and, like, really start with what problem are you solving for? Um, so I've asked them to be pretty focused, come up with two to 3 test cases that we can learn about. So [00:30:00] we'll start in things like journal entry creation. We'll also use it to help build some of our monthly reporting packages.

Lauren StClair: Um, it's. You know, really great at building decks for you also creating charts and tables and graphs, based on the information that you input. And so those are some of the ways that I'm helping my team, you know, be in control of the things that we can be in control. So that way, when the unexpected comes our way, we have the capacity to handle those things.

Andrew Seski: That's really exciting. It's a great vision for the future. I really like the, uh, constraints you're putting around your team as they evaluate. I think it's really exciting to have great conversations, but it's so important to have measurable success and goals that you can actually, achieve with some of this latest technologies that's coming out, uh, what feels like almost every day.

Andrew Seski: I would love for you to be able to share how folks can learn more about NerdWallet. how small, medium sized businesses can get in touch. and kind of wrap our great episode today, with that [00:31:00] information.

Lauren StClair: Great. So to learn more about NerdWallet, and our progress towards building a trusted financial ecosystem, I'd encourage listeners to visit investors. nerdwallet. com, but actually better yet, you could download our app, register for an account. our app is a great way to easily stay on top of all your finances and find the best financial products for your needs. And just to make some smarter money moves. And you can also follow the NerdWallet on LinkedIn to stay up to date on company news.

Lauren StClair: And folks listening are always welcome to reach out and connect with me through LinkedIn as well.

Andrew Seski: Excellent. Thanks so much for joining me. This has been another great episode of the Modern CFO Podcast. Lauren, I hope we can stay in touch. Thanks for being on the show.

Lauren StClair: Thanks, Andrew.

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