Speaker Interview with Greg Tzavelopoulos from Pipelife

I called Financial Controlling Toolbox speaker Greg Tzavelopoulos (Head of Corporate Performance Management for Pipelife International) for our interview last week and I was more excited than ever to talk to him. The reason? Here at EBCG, Greg is not just a speaker. He has a long presence as a speaker on our conferences focusing on financial reporting, business modelling/analysis and product/customer profitability and he openly shares valuable insights of his functional and technical expertise with our audience. In other words, he is a friend to all of us.

Given he is an avid speaker on our events, I interviewed Greg to discover more about his session during our upcoming event in June. During his plenary discussion entitled “Financial Reporting Benchmarking”, you will have the opportunity to learn more about reporting functions, financial reporting and decision making.

Before we dig into our interview, tell me a little about your background and what’s the most challenging part of your job?

Our team delivers a financial modeling system and supports the decision making in local organisations. Our responsibilities cover business model design, technical implementation and change management projects. The technical work is always challenging. However, it has never been really difficult, due to the fact that we have expertise to solve any technical requirement. Instead, the most challenging part is to lead change management projects successfully, managing multi-functional teams of our subsidiary companies in order to increase the product/customer profitability.

What makes a financial controller or a controlling department successful?

The financial department analyses data from systems and raises the findings to the management or other operational departments. What makes financial professionals successful is not just to master their finance core tasks. They have to expand their skills and perspectives in both directions. The step towards business functions focuses on the “what to do” and the step towards IT systems answers the “how to do it”.

Could you please elaborate on what your session “Financial Reporting Benchmarking” presents?

This session presents the purpose, function and technology of financial reporting holistically, with valuable insights regarding business modeling, KPIs, standard reporting, workflows and reporting technology. All these are essential for the role of the Financial Controllers. Nowadays, the role of FCs is not limited to an excellent numerical and calculation mindset but goes beyond that. From financial expertise supporting decision makers to challenging management and leveraging the tools/applications of IT technologies.

What do you believe is the #1 takeaway of your presentation for those attending the event?

The three key areas of the presentation (purpose, function and technology of financial reporting) are complementary. Controllers with business partnership role will focus more on the purpose, the ones in financial services on the function and the ones with high technical skills on the technology.

Having attended and spoken at several events, what advice can you give attendees that want to make the most out of their attendance?

Two days is a rather short time to master the soft/hard skills demonstrated by the speakers. However, the Financial Controlling Toolbox is a great opportunity to exchange ideas with other finance professionals, to get inspired by Leaders and Experts and broaden your perspectives in financial controlling.

Interested in meeting Greg Tzavelopoulos in person and attending his workshop? Join our 4th Financial Controlling Toolbox in Prague and master your leadership, communication & reporting skills! Don’t forget to like our Facebook Page and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!