Wake up, shower, grab my lunch I packed last night and head to Launch Fishers, a co-working space that is home to LiftBridge CXO (well, it’s just home to me since my partners live on other sides of town, but we do meet here in person monthly). I love the virtual work environment and the flexibility it has brought. Heck, it definitely accelerated the growth of LiftBridge because we can have clients all over the world! But I have to say, I’m not a “work at home” kind of person. There are too many distractions—kids, dogs, laundry, dirty dishes. I work at home sometimes, but when I need to be heads down on something, I love working at Launch Fishers. I also enjoy going to my clients’ locations. There is nothing better at driving company culture than being together in person.
I join our weekly managing director meeting for LiftBridge. I love kicking my Mondays off by talking with my partners. Plus, if one of us has worked out, it’s ok to “come as you are.” This weekly meeting is one of the successes of our business. We are three former CFOs with different backgrounds. We share experiences, ask each other questions and generally enjoy our clients and our time together.
Next up is a meeting with a client to discuss their strategy for raising capital. I have been working on their financial model, so we review it and discuss changes they want me to make. I share with them some recent experiences I have had helping another client raise capital. We strategize on next steps with a promise to touch base again tomorrow. I get off the phone and work through the changes we discussed in their financial model.
Time to join a weekly recurring executive team meeting with another client. The CEO and I discuss our recent meetings with investors as the company raises capital. Then we go around the “room” and bring up issues that need to be discussed and resolved. This client is a few states away from Indiana and I usually visit them in person once a month. I eat lunch during this meeting, as do a few others. Glad I packed it last night because it’s a busy day!
I grab a Diet Coke and jump on my next call, which is a meeting between the CEO of my noon call and a potential investor for their capital raise. The CEO walks through the investor deck we put together and I chime in with comments to add color to his commentary. That seemed to go well and we hope to get a term sheet soon.
Accounting is a very versatile and rewarding profession. There is a career for everyone! You can start with public accounting, which is quite possibly the best training you can get fresh out of college. Corporate accounting and finance is a great place to learn about how the business functions and makes money.
|Vacationing with her husband, Frank, and kids Stephen, Austin and Morgan
Next is my weekly call with my mentee in Italy. How cool is that? She started out as a director of finance and was recently promoted to vice president of finance. I am so proud of her! We talk about her relationship with the U.S. parent company and how she can strengthen it. She has some items now that she will work on during the week. She found me through a company called Bolster, which is a tech startup that connects consultants (not just finance, but also HR, IT, marketing, etc.) with companies looking for fractional help.
Drive downtown to attend a Miami University networking event at High Alpha in the Bottleworks District. I end up seeing five or six people that I know through the tech community that I didn’t know graduated from Miami U. What a small world!
I head back home to Noblesville. I walk into my house and smell dinner—my middle son and daughter worked together to cook the food. I am so lucky that they love to cook! We enjoy dinner together as a family and hang out for a bit afterwards, taking the dogs outside to play. We sit on the back deck and “critique” some golfers trying to hit it over the water on the Par 3 outside our house—only about 25% are successful, which makes for fun conversations.
One last check of email. I like to get caught up every night before I go to bed. To me, it’s not work as much as it’s being able to get a fresh start on the day tomorrow.
I head to bed to read. I like reading fiction novels to lose myself in another world and decompress after a long day of meetings and work. Sometimes I stay up late—that’s why I don’t usually schedule meetings until
Ashley enjoying an evening out with her husband, Frank
Ashley Vukovits, CPA
3 principals, 7 associates
MORE ABOUT LIFTBRIDGE CXO:
LiftBridge CXO was formed in June 2020 by myself and two other former CFOs to provide strategic finance services to early stage and growth technology companies. We are most successful when we are imbedded in our client, and oftentimes employees at our client organizations don’t even realize we are consultants. We have a company email address, we are on their Slack/Teams channels and we attend weekly leadership meetings. This relationship allows us to understand all the challenges our clients face (not just financial) and utilize our years of experience to assist in other areas like pricing, compensation plans, go-to-market strategies and much more.
CFO at Interactive Intelligence, vice president of finance at Union Acceptance Corporation and senior auditor at KPMG LLP
Member since 1995
|Ashley’s dogs, Cannon and Max, resting up for Race Day
When I'm Not at Work
Husband Frank and kids Stephen (23), Austin (22) and Morgan (19)
Max (5) and Cannon (7 months)
Traveling, reading, hanging with the family
OTHER MEMBERSHIPS/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:
Treasurer and board member for Nextech, finance committee member at Holy Spirit at Geist
Advice for Students Considering the Profession
Accounting is a very versatile and rewarding profession. There is a career for everyone! You can start with public accounting, which is quite possibly the best training you can get fresh out of college. Corporate accounting and finance is a great place to learn about how the business functions and makes money. With an accounting degree you have a great basic understanding of business and finances, which will help you succeed in anything you do.
Best Advice You've Ever Received
Embrace challenges and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. When I considered whether to take the CFO role at Interactive Intelligence, I questioned if I was up to it. A friend of mine, who is in the profession, told me to stop overthinking it and embrace the challenge. While this role was the most challenging in my career, it was also very rewarding and opened all kinds of doors for me.
Do you think a day in your life would make a good addition to our series? Contact Katie Kirkton at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can share your story.