By Frannie Coggeshall
The Vice President of Finance of HP’s Enterprise Group, Jas Sood, discusses the change of the business finance role over the past years, the part technology has had in changing that role, and gives some advice on how to grow your career at a large company.
[Frannie Coggeshall] How has the role of a senior finance executive changed over the past 5 years?
[Jas Sood] The role of a senior finance executive at HP continues to expand and broaden. We are truly involved in every aspect of driving the business and play a critical role with customers. We are often directly involved in closing deals and engaging in complex negotiations. We are responsible for balance sheet and financial accounting reviews and reconciliations. We also help execute and drive short and long term growth plans for the company. All of these responsibilities are in addition to our primary fiduciary responsibility. We have a very close relationship with our business partners and have a true partnership in running the business.
"We are truly involved in every aspect of driving the business and play a critical role with customers.”
As technology continues to evolve the way we do business, can you elaborate on how technology has changed your role? And how you think the relationship between the CFO & CIO has transformed.
Technology has truly impacted my role as a senior finance executive over the last ten years. I am now always accessible via technology (smart phone, IM, email, social media), and able to respond quickly to my customers and partners. Today’s technology allows you to always have access to data that you might need when traveling, enabling the ability to provide fast, fact-based decision support. Access to my email and important documents has enhanced my role as consultant and business partner. I think the partnership of CFO’s and CIO’s continues to evolve into a closely aligned partnership. We connect on strategic levels to discuss IT spend, future direction of IT spend for the company. We also work together on security aspects of IT products. The finance community regularly deals with confidential information, so security is especially from mobile or remote devices is important. Lastly, with the complexity of organizations and businesses we support, we absolutely need IT support to help automate financial data so strong alignment and planning between CFO’s and CIO’s really help with this.
What advice would you give to others on growing their career at a large company?
I would say, own your career. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Be the driver. Don’t be afraid to do something new and different every few years. Learning curves are steep, but the reward is greater.
You’ve been at HP for 18 years, what’s kept you there?
The opportunity to move around to different roles in different business units in order to broaden my experience, HP’s culture, the HP people and the flexibility.
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Jas has worked for Hewlett Packard for 18 years. She has worked in a variety of finance roles beginning as a Financial Analyst, Manager, Director, Senior Director and now Vice President. Jas has spent most of her career in a Business Support role supporting multiple HP businesses including Test and Measurement/Semiconductors (spun off to Agilent), Personal Computer Division, Printing Division, Services and Servers/Storage and Networking. She has held Country, Regional and Global roles. She has focused experience in supply chain, sales and FP&A. She did her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of California Irvine and received her MBA from Pepperdine University. Jas lives in Pleasanton, California with her husband and 3 young children. On a personal note Jas enjoys watching action and drama movies, working out and running.