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Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Chief Financial Officer

For our Day in the Life series, we look at the daily work habits, schedules and routines from people in a variety of roles and careers around the world.

Kurt McFarland, Chief Financial Officer at Kinela

Kurt McFarland is the Chief Financial Officer at Kinela, a healthcare company that empowers people living with disability and older Australians to take control of their health and wellbeing.

In recent times a typical day begins with me waking up around 7:30am, making coffee and taking my dog for a walk before returning home and preparing a light breakfast (I sometimes meditate in the morning but not always).

Logging onto Zoom for an 8:30am check-in call with our Exec team, the first of many for the day. Another Zoom call with a regular 1:1 session with one of my direct reports. A 1 hour window opens up which I use to review our fortnightly accounts payable run, while attending to slack or email messages.

I get ready to log into another Zoom call for an update on a major data project underway across the business. I have scheduled a lunch break into my calendar so I go outside for another walk and listen to a podcast.

My afternoon is a combination of a call with one of our major food suppliers, a strategy forum with the Exec team and a discussion with our CEO ahead of an important meeting with a board member the following day.

Around 5:30pm I go outside for a run to clear my head before coming home to shower and prepare dinner. In the evening I spend a couple of hours doing some financial modelling for the company budget while listening to music, when it is much easier for me to focus.

I read for half an hour in bed before going to sleep around 11:30pm.

Belinda Hogan, Chief Financial Officer at 86 400

Belinda Hogan is the Chief Financial Officer at 86 400, Australia’s first smartbank. Previously she worked at Illawarra Credit Union for 12 years.

This might be a surprise confession amongst executives, but I’ve never been an early riser. My routine in COVID is to be up around 7am.

A new habit now we’re working from home is to have a proper breakfast, I would previously skip it or grab a muffin or smoothie on the way out the door. I read the news and quickly check emails to see if there’s anything urgent.

I logon around 8am, and my day can be quite varied. Usually, there’s a lot of time spent communicating. I have a lot of stakeholders, including the finance team, the broader 86 400 team, auditors, investors and regulators, so I spend a lot of time talking or responding to queries.

Throughout the day I’ll be in video meetings, on Slack, responding to emails or 1:1 with team members talking through and solving problems.

One of the fun and challenging things about a start-up is you’re doing something for the first time a lot, so we try to bounce ideas around, and have discovered lots of ways to do this in a remote environment.

Alexey Mitko, Chief Financial Officer at Eucalyptus

Alexey Mitko is the Chief Financial Officer and part of the founding team at Eucalyptus, a brand engine that builds and runs digital consumer companies.

My role in startups has an interesting curve of progression to it. Early on (like the few first months) I am a reliable person for any kind of a general role. 

For example, I did a bit of product wireframing and design, thinking through logical steps customers need to go through, while also handling the customer experience side and customer emails.

That was a powerful combination, but once the ground is established I pass these responsibilities to people who are a lot more talented in these things than I ever would be.

I am a chartered accountant though, so a similar pattern happens in other functions like HR, I make sure all the contracts are in order and policies are in place before a specialist takes over, similar case for legal, or finally my core skill – finance and accounting.

So my recent workday goes something like this – a bit of investor reporting and management, some legal reviews in relation to our next brand launch, a bit of financial accounting to close the month for one of our brands, a bit of bookkeeping and some payroll, review of the lease for our next office, join a few meeting in relation to our next core product ideas and help train up recently joined people in their understanding of our business plan and industry.

A lot of details, but that means my cofounders don’t have to worry about these things and can excel in things they do best.

Magdalena Kosior-Molloy, CFO of Holman Webb Lawyers

Magdalena Kosior-Molloy is the CFO of Holman Webb Lawyers, commercial and insurance law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

I wake up around 6am and go for a walk or have a PT session. I can’t start without my morning coffee and reading an online paper. I then check my emails and plan my day.

The next job is to get my daughter ready for daycare for an 8.15am drop off. I start work around 8.30am with an Executive team stand up, followed by multiple meetings. We normally have a family dinner around 6pm.

Jacob Muraca, COO & CFO at Bondi Sands

Jacob Muraca is the COO and CFO at Bondi Sands, an Australian company which sells self tan, skincare and suncare products.

Morning calls with the US team while they are online, then I attempt to get through the backlog of email which comes in overnight, the perks of working for a global company!

My day is usually back-to-back Zoom calls with sales, marketing, finance and the Director. Lunch is usually had at my desk. After lunch I might be lucky enough to get a couple hours to myself where I can start chipping away at my to-do-list before evening the calls start with our UK team.

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.