sara vigeland SFVBJ HR award

SFVBJ – CFO & HR of the Year Awards

Business Journal Recognizes CFOs, HR Professionals at Awards Luncheon

Woodland Hills, CA. June 12, 2019 – Sara Vigeland, Vice President of Human Capital for the DLC Group, brought home the Emerging Private Company HR Professional award. Vigeland has more than 14 years of experience in finance and accounting.

Finance and HR professionals in the San Fernando Valley gathered at the Hilton Woodland Hills for the Business Journal’s annual Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Awards ceremony on Wednesday.

The program was hosted by Business Journal Publisher and Editor Charles Crumpley, with Miklos Ringbauer of CalCPA and Danone Simpson with Montage Insurance Solutions presenting awards.

Thirteen winners were chosen out of 30 finalists based on the length of time in the industry, the impact of their work, the stability of their organization and involvement in the community.

For the full San Fernando Valley Business Journal article, click here

Sara Vigeland has over 11 years of experience in Finance and Accounting recruiting, supporting organizations that have ranged in size from the Fortune 1000 to early stage startups. Her ability to recruit the best and most qualified F&A professionals, regardless of level, has helped DLC grow tremendously. Prior to joining DLC, Sara spent five years at Tatum where she held the position of National Recruiting Director supporting the CFO. Before Tatum, she held senior recruiting roles at Corporate DNA, Deloitte, Bank of America and Ameriquest Capital Corporation. Sara holds a dual Bachelors degree from the University of California, Irvine in Social Psychology and Criminal Law.

succession plan

Do You Have a Strong CFO Succession Plan?

You may be surprised to learn that according to a recent study, 80% of CFOs say that there is nobody in line behind them to take over when they move out of their role with the company.  Even more disturbing? Only 38% of Chief Financial Officers indicate that there is even a trace of a succession plan to replace them.

What exactly does this mean for a company? It could mean that financial management takes a hit or even worse, that management makes a hasty decision in order to fill the role. Because CFOs play such a vital role in the company, the selection for this position should be carefully considered. Failure to have a succession plan in place often times leaves companies high and dry.

Companies Need to Focus Internally

So often, we see companies focused on out-maneuvering the competition at the expense of planning for the company’s future internally. Leaders should remember that their company is only as strong as the people that they have operating it, and ensuring that they have a CFO succession plan should be a primary focus.

Make Sure Candidates are Ready

According to research, 60% of CFOs are appointed internally. While there is nothing wrong with finding a candidate within the business, you should make sure this person is ready to take on the position. Appointing a CFO should be done so intentionally and not hastily because you didn’t create a succession plan. CFOs need to be ready for the responsibility and have the desire to move into the role.

Taking the time to create a succession plan may feel tedious, and like it’s taking away from your current strategy, however, this mentality must change. A CFO succession plan should be at the top of the list of your long-term company strategy.

Looking for a Succession Plan Solution?

DLC can help! Using interim staffing allows your organization to function smoothly while a careful, un-pressured search is made for a new CFO. DLC’s interim CFO consultants are highly credentialed, Big 4 CPA’s and/or MBAs from the top 25 graduate programs.


Sustainable Value Creation

A company is only as successful as the value it brings to its customers. Part of that value centers on providing a quality product and exceptional services to the consumer. While so many companies are trying to keep pace with the technologically driven transformations they are experiencing, it’s importation to keep in mind that the “customer first” mentality should remain the primary focus. After all, this is what will determine if a company remains in operation.

New Role for CFOs

This puts CFOs in an interesting position. They are tasked with meeting their reporting requirements while simultaneously acting as a strategic partner that creates value with the bigger picture in mind. In order to accomplish this, CFOs must be able to rely on other departments to assist them. For example, with the proper budget the Marketing and Sales Departments can reduce financial risk by obtaining new customers.

How Will Data be Evaluated?

The solution may be a single-data model. This allows CFOs to evaluate both operational and financial data and then create insights based on their findings. This single-data model will also ensure that only the appropriate data is being evaluated and is readily available.

After a certain amount of time, data simply is no longer relevant. Consequently, it is important to ensure that only the most current information is being analyzed.

Success in the Workplace

The processes used for value creation should be an ongoing conversation with employees. As they will need proper training in order to make the most of it. This allows companies to utilize innovative technology while still keeping people at the center of their strategy. Allowing companies to stay in tune with their “customer first” mission while adding value to the company overall.

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Cybersecurity: The Latest Hacks

Cybersecurity seems to be the permanent buzzword of our current business climate. Today’s workplace is more threatened by hacking attacks than ever before. Nearly one in five CFOs claim hackers have struck their companies. As hackers launch cyber-attacks, everyone from your customers to your CEO should be concerned about their privacy.

What Are Hackers Looking For?

Most hackers are looking for credit cards, social security numbers and trade secrets they can sell on the black market. Most recently, the FBI has released a warning to H.R. professionals of a W-2 Form Phishing Scam that victimized hundreds of businesses during the last two tax seasons.

How the W-2 Form Phishing Scam Works

Cyber-criminals pose as a high-level executive in your company and send emails to payroll personnel, requesting copies of employee W-2 Forms or ask for a list of all employees and their Social Security numbers. Hackers use a technique known as, business email spoofing, these emails look like they were sent from within your company making detection difficult. Criminals then use the stolen personal information and data on the W-2s, such as Social Security Numbers, to file fraudulent tax returns or they simply sell the information on the Dark Web.

According to CFO magazine, almost half of all data breaches result from lackadaisical employees. The solution isn’t just to create stronger security for your network. It’s to create an office culture that understands, values and routinely performs computer network security protocols. We have compiled some tips recommended by top cybersecurity professionals.

Cybersecurity Tip #1: Do Not Post Personnel Email Addresses Publicly.

Internet posts containing personnel email addresses provide hackers an email that can be spoofed for sending phishing emails to employees.

Cybersecurity Tip #2: Avoid Unsecured WiFi.

Using Unsecured Wifi leaves your network exposed to hackers.

Cybersecurity Tip #3: Remote Wipe Missing Mobile Devices.

Employees should notify IT before notifying their carrier if their device is lost or stolen. So, IT can remotely wipe any corporate data from the missing device. Do not let the carrier turn off the device before this step as you will loses the ability to wipe any data from it.

Cybersecurity Tip #4: Limit removable media and cloud storage.

Removable and cloud storage limit your control over the portability of your data. If you need portable data, limit your employees to company approved solutions that you can monitor and control.

Cybersecurity Tip #5: Phishing emails.

Do your employees know how to recognize an attempted phishing attack, a cyber-criminal impersonating a trustworthy source in order to steal information, or place malware on your system? Your network security is only as strong as your least-trained employee.

Cybersecurity Tip #6: Limit Access

Most employees only need access to a small amount of your company’s network. By limiting access, if an employee’s account is hacked, the hacker won’t have access to your entire network.

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now-gen cfo

The Now-Gen CFO

It isn’t just the role of the Next-Generation CFO that is evolving, the Now-Generation’s role, is as well.  In order to be an effective strategic partner, the Now-Gen CFO must embrace BI (Business Intelligence).

BI is the technology that improves the way businesses analyze and organize the information they collect. BI combines financial and operational data to produce critical business insights.

Below we examine how BI can help CFOs become more efficient.

Finance Operations and Reporting

BI can provide the Now-Gen CFO with the ability to collect data from multiple sources and make it cohesive. BI can:

  • Automate financial statement preparation and distribution
  • Assist with budgeting and forecasting
  • Provide predictive analysis and bench-marking
  • Calculate compensation packages
  • Enable operational reporting of core business drivers
  • Calculate revenue recognition
  • Provide working capital analysis and monitoring
  • Identify, review and reconcile monthly results

Transaction Execution

BI can help navigate transactions and even warn of reasons to pause them. BI can also be  a valuable tool for merger integration and divestiture management. Additionally, BI can both diagnose the drivers of synergy and divestiture benefits and track them in real-time. Providing monitoring and analysis to inform post-transaction company efficiency.

Now-Gen CFO Performance Improvement

Unlike the old methods of finance function reporting, which measure company performance at designated intervals. BI is responsive and can measure in real-time. The targeted reports are instrumental in getting to the cause of financial flaws. BI can also provide turnaround strategies.

BI can also be helpful with:

  • Payroll trends
  • Invoicing and collections
  • Pricing impacts
  • Inventory
  • Procurement
  • R&D
  • ROI


BI can convert the old-school CFO to the Now-Gen CFO and optimize business diagnostics for transaction execution. That being said, BI can be an extreme value-add and bottom line booster.

Click here to learn more about the Transformation of the CFO

Finance Function

Transformation of the CFO and Finance Function

One of the exciting things about today’s CFO position, is that it is evolving beyond just the finance function. After all, the CFO has insights into all aspects of the company and often will work with various departments to get projects completed. It has become their responsibility to guide the entire company toward success by creating strong financial teams that are competent in strategy, data, technology and so much more.

Handling Disruption

As the finance function continuous to transform, CFOs must adopt the mindset of disruption. This doesn’t mean that they avoid changes in the financial sector, but rather, they work to foresee those changes on the horizon and then make necessary adjustments. The idea here is to stay abreast of trends and then survive the disruption.

Embracing Technology

Effective CFOs will embrace the use of cutting-edge technology and learn the best ways to use it so that productivity is enhanced without sacrificing quality. Keep in mind, the use of technology should not create more stress, but rather, assist professionals in doing the best possible job.

Changes in Finance Function Mindset

CFOs currently entering the workplace may have an advantage simply because they have not spent years working with systems that are now considered outdated. However, those that have been in the industry for some time shouldn’t be discouraged by this. Instead, embrace change and welcome opportunities to learn new systems that will help them perform better.

New skills will be needed in order to continue succeeding in the financial sector. That being said, CFOs should put their focus on learning such skills and implementing them into their roles. The financial world is changing, and it’s critical that accounting and finance professionals update their approach accordingly.

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A CFO’s Role in Start-ups and Growing Companies

CFOs have always been seen as valuable players, but that role is even more significant than it was first thought to be. Not only do these leaders play a pivotal role in the development of the financials of the company, but also in the long-term strategies and methods that are financial and non-financial.

 As companies grow and develop, the need for these professionals becomes even more critical. This bigger-picture thinking focuses on the need for qualified CFOs and what their involvement really means as far as the success of the corporation.  Their role is much more meaningful than simply identifying and implementing financial policies. In fact, their methods and systems can play a huge role in whether or not the company succeeds or fails.

Key Areas of Influence

CFOs are historically known for their impact on the financial aspect of the business. While this is certainly true, there are other areas that CFOs can influence that will impact the company well into the future.

Some of the critical areas that CFOs influence include:

  • Raising capital
  • Creating reporting systems
  • Establishing a company strategy
  • Maintain balance in investment growth
  • Preserving capital for future opportunities

What this really says is that CFOs are not just part of the financial strategy, but rather the finer details of what makes a corporation really grow and prosper. Companies can actually accomplish more by having a skilled CFO in their corner.


CFOs bring a specific skill-set to the table that not only changes the financial climate of the business but can also influence how the company grows and reaches milestones.

Essentially, understanding the level of influence that a CFO has, can help companies identify the best candidates for the role and also have a better understanding of how their role will be a critical part of the entire corporation.

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CFO questions

Answering Commonly Asked Questions from CEO to CFO

As the potential CFO of a company, it’s important to make the most of the time you get to sit down with the CEO. Not only is this a valuable conversation that needs to occur simply for the success of the company, but it also gives you the opportunity to step outside of simply being the company’s go-to financial person. After all, a CFO brings much more to the table than just their knowledge of numbers. Here are a few questions you can use to create a new dialogue with your CEO.

What is the status of your long-term goals?

You must be prepared to answer this question fully. After all, you are the key player in the financial goals of the company. Of course, the CEO likely has his finger on the pulse of the situation, but you should come prepared to provide current financials and data to support it. This is a great time to evaluate your company’s reporting system. Is it outdated? If so, bring this up as a caveat to this question. CEOs appreciate the efficiency and this is a great way to make your job easier while helping reach the long-term goals of the company.

What are the investment opportunities you are exploring?

This is the time to shine your skills. You know why certain investments aren’t strong enough or why you should be exploring other avenues that perhaps the CEO has been hesitant to explore. Speak up! Let the CEO know exactly why certain investments are stronger than others and be prepared to showcase how each investment opportunity compares.

What is our funding and cash status?

This question is not only asking about the current cash flow of the company, but also how spending and expenses are expected to change over time. This is one of the most important roles of a CFO, so make sure that you are fully prepared with all of the appropriate information to provide a thorough answer. Projects will depend on it. 

If you have relevant experience in a Fortune 1000 company and are a Big 4 CPA and/or an MBA from a Top 25 Business School, we want to hear from you! We are always interested in speaking with qualified candidates about our accounting and finance consulting opportunities. DLC’s focused service offerings generally fall under the purview of the CFO.