Meet our DLC Finance and Accounting Consultant, Connie Xue!


Hometown: Shanghai, China  

Alma Mater: Graduated from Gannon University with an MBA  

Time with DLC:  Almost 3 years! 

Favorite things to do outside of the office: Play tennis and hike at national parks  

How has your background impacted your experience as a consultant? I came to DLC after spending time in both accounting and finance roles in both start-up and Fortune 500 companies. My hands-on experience and project leadership roles have allowed me to not only deliver the work for my clients’ needs but also anticipate new phases of the next generation of work. I am a collaborative business partner with a customer service mindset.   

What’s a typical workday like for you? I like to start the day with the top 2 to 3 priorities in mind. Then, I focus on the most difficult work or whatever has the longest lead time before moving on to other work.  I try to dedicate 5 to 10 minutes a day to think about the work I’m doing and how it relates to the client,  company and their larger strategy.  I meet with the clients’ leaders at least once a week to review my work, gain feedback and understand any changes to my work scope or longer-term priorities, as well as the immediate plan for the next few weeks or months.      

As part of a team that works 100% virtually, what technology or collaboration tools do you use to make your work life easier? TEAMs meetings or IM messaging are the normal communication vehicles, along with email communications. Exchanging files via Share Point on clients’ secure sites has been an effective way to communicate deliverables. I find that providing a brief and concise written summary of deliverable status or update is just as important as communicating in person or working side by side with your client. It’s very important that the work you are doing is visible to the client – especially when working in a remote environment. Also, I find anticipating the client’s needs and providing them with good solutions helps you win your clients’ appreciation and trust. 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day? I love the content of my DLC engagement projects and the great people I am supporting.  Learning is what I love about my job.  Being a consultant, I have opportunities to work in different industries, tackle new and unique problems, gain exposure to different leadership styles, and stay current with financial systems and innovative system solutions. Being valued by my clients is a great motivating factor, regardless of virtual or in-office environment. 

What kind of work have you been doing?  I’ve provided financial analysis, planning and modeling work on the self-insured medical benefits (over $950M spend for my client). I filled an interim role for Intercompany accounting and helped a client outsource the work overseas. I led a process improvement project using a value stream mapping tool to help identify opportunities to reduce the month-end close from 15 to 9 days. I supported an ERP system selection and implementation.  Currently, I’m working on financial reporting, analysis, and cash forecasting for a start-up company. 

Explain environments that have had lack of reporting infrastructure/inefficiencies and how have you brought organization and solutions-implementation: For the self-insured medical benefits (over $950M spend), the reporting structure was fragmented as some of the KPI tracking and projection data were sourced from external parties. It was very time consuming to do the 3-year planning or budgeting/forecasting due to challenges with data availability and comparability.  To be effective and efficient in financial reporting and expense management, I developed an executive workbook template used for the monthly financial and operational reviews. The workbook can be a portable financial tool for senior leadership to use for strategic planning and vendor performance reviews.  

What’s your process? 

I’ll use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide you an example. 

S & T: Managing the self-insured medical benefits (over $950M spend) is a very complicated process with the rising medical costs and pandemic uncertainty.  On top of external challenges, the client also had internal challenges: leadership turn-over and fragmented reporting structure on medical benefits spending.   

Actions: I documented the current reporting process and account definitions so that it was easy to provide on-boarding training for new employees that may be responsible for this work.  I developed a dynamic executive workbook used for monthly financial and operational performance reviews. 

Results: The clients loved this executive workbook and recommended it to senior leadership. Now the team can spend more time analyzing data rather than compiling data. The finance team can make an impact as they manage over $950M spend.