When Adam Ante first arrived at Paycor in 2017, the seasoned finance executive was tasked with prodding Paycor management to begin monitoring daily performance metrics.
“At first, it was about building the relationship with the executive team so that they understood how important it was to understand how the company was performing on a daily basis,” explains Ante, who equates his task with shortening the distance between management and the company’s data.
“At the time, we were just piling a set of numbers and metrics into Excel spreadsheets daily and distributing them,” continues Ante, who upon his arrival was given the title of vice president of analytics.Read More
“We didn’t know where all of the data was, and we didn’t know always what it meant,” reports Ante, who notes that sometimes one manager might be sharing certain data that contradicted numbers being disseminated by another.
For Paycor, the solution was to adopt a new data management framework, a process that began with first clarifying what the company wanted to know about its performance and then identifying which metrics would best reveal this information.
According to Ante, “You begin by asking, ‘What should this metric really show?’ And then you say, ‘Okay, now, where does this data come from? How do we access this data?’’”
Back in 2017, Ante recalls, most of Paycor’s data resided within a single SQL server.
“At every turn, this meant that somebody had to go in and figure out how to write SQL queries and pull the needed data together,” remembers Ante, who adds that the company subsequently upgraded its data infrastructure.
“The most important thing is the ability to bring the data together into a place where people can access it and measure it and put the right level of governance around it,” comments Ante, who observes that as more managers have gained confidence in the data and grown to better understand the information being provided, they’ve also grown accustomed to monitoring the metrics daily.
Says Ante: “It can take a long time—it’s a cultural shift.” –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about Paycor … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Ante: Paycor is an HCM software company focused on the SMB market. We frame up our market size based on companies with from 10 to 1,000 employees. We’ve really built a world-class HCM and payroll software that’s designed for leaders within the organizations, and we’ve configured it to work for key verticals within the markets—manufacturing, healthcare, professional services, food and beverage. But we’re a horizontal platform as well, so we do have clients across all markets.
One of the interesting things and key items for us is that we have developed really deep integration capabilities that enable us to partner with third parties and additional pieces of software so that we can create a more holistic software experience for these SMBs. We really go deep and differentiate our product offering around talent management as well.Read More
Helping leaders to manage their organization, to manage objectives within their business, and to access, manage, and keep talent is clearly critical right now in the market and one of our key focuses. Executing on our strategy and driving metrics into the organization, you can always do more, and we’re going to continue to execute on the things that we said that we were going to do. I think that the most important thing that a CFO needs to say is, “We’re going to do what we told everybody we were going to do.”
We’re also hyperfocused on corporate compliance to SOC standards. ESG is a big topic right now, so we’re navigating that, too. We continue to invest in scaling the organization and in creating not only an amazing customer experience but also an infrastructure on which we can continue to build for the next 20-plus years. I spend a lot of time working with our chief product officer, our chief strategy officer, and our chief technology and information officer to make sure that we’re focused on the right things so that as we drive revenue growth, we can also scale the business to support it over the long term.
“Be authentic in your leadership style. You will want to incorporate all of the best attributes of the leaders you have worked with previously, but none of this will come across well until you are being yourself. There are a ton of organizational pressures on the CFO—from driving revenue and showing profitability to managing shareholders and the board and capital structure and organizational governance. Make sure that you surround yourself with other great leaders who can fill in your gaps so that you can lead authentically.” –Adam Ante, CFO, Paycor
Paycor | www.paycor.com | Akron, Ohio