|Role||VP – Finance|
You’re the VP – Finance – what are your responsibilities?
Alongside my team, I look over client accounts and billing, corporate taxes, and all other finances and reporting across the entirety of our global operations (which now include a few different Instaclustr entities).
What are those Instaclustr entities?
During our fundraising round in 2018, we established a new U.S. parent entity and corporate structure. Instaclustr U.S. Holding is now that parent organization, with the other entities set up as Instaclustr Pty Limited in Australia, Instaclustr Inc. in the U.S., and Instac U.K. in – you guessed it – the U.K.
How long have you been at Instaclustr, and how did you find out about the company?
I’ve been at Instaclustr since mid-2016. I saw a Financial Controller role at Instaclustr being advertised for the Canberra office and, after doing a bit of research, noticed that Peter Lilley [Instaclustr COO and co-founder] worked here. I actually knew Peter’s wife because she was a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers when I worked there earlier in my career and she was also Chair of the Board of Instaclustr at that time. So, I figured Instaclustr was run by a pretty good set of people, and it’s proved to be an accurate assumption!
Where were you prior to Instaclustr?
I was a Financial Controller at Prime Media Group, a publicly-traded television, and media corporation based in Canberra, for about nine years. Prior to that, I was in accounting at PwC.
How was the initial transition from working at large corporations to Instaclustr?
It is completely different – my friends were shocked to see a risk-averse accountant like myself go from a listed company to a startup about to go through an early fundraising round. But Instaclustr had a lot of potential for growth, I was confident in its direction and leadership, and it struck me as an exciting opportunity that couldn’t be replicated at a larger enterprise.
How are you involved in Instaclustr’s fundraising rounds?
I’m heavily involved in our funding rounds from the tax and due diligence side of things. I think at one time during our last round I had 13 subject matter experts on the phone from Deloitte (the firm advising our equity partner), pinging me about all kinds of different tax and accounting details. The process involved a month of providing documents and answering a myriad of questions about our team and structure and what our processes are. They ask about every facet of your compliance. And they’re all experts in their field, so we have to know our stuff. It’s always a hectic time, but exciting – and funding means more growth.
What’s your educational background?
I received bachelor’s degrees in both Commerce and in Asian Studies from The Australian National University. And then I went on to do the Chartered Accounting program.
What’s a typical workday look like for you?
Today I’m digging through payroll, but every day is different. Usually, the first third of the month is all about customer invoicing and revenue recognition. Then we’ll move on to closing the prior months’ accounts and completing all our tax and reporting obligations for that month. Finally, we’ll close the month by tackling new projects – and there are always new projects!
What skills or personality attributes would you say are important for a role like yours?
Attention to detail is a big one; there are just so many particulars when it comes to finance. You also need to have a genuine willingness to dig into the technical aspects of accounting standards. Also, our team here all came in with Australian expertise and qualifications, but we’ve had to be ready to learn various aspects of the U.K. VAT, the joys of the IRS and US GAAP in the U.S., and other localised accounting principles.
What’s the best part about working at Instaclustr?
Definitely the team and being in a growth stage. Especially here in Canberra, you don’t get many companies with the kind of overseas customer base and international exposure that Instaclustr has, so it has made for a particularly unique and exciting professional opportunity. We also have a very collaborative and strong company culture, and a lot of work-life flexibility.