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KC Chiefs’ CFO Has a Winning Game Plan for Management Accounting

I recently watched a new video featuring Dan Crumb, CPA, CGMA and CFO of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs. The video brings to life one of so many unique paths for CGMA designation holders. Dan says that he never thought he’d work for a football team. Now, as the Chiefs’ CFO, he leads finance, IT and the ticket office. His job is to make sure that all systems are functioning 100% of the time so that the Chiefs can focus on football.

Like many CGMA designation holders, Dan’s mandate is broad and goes beyond finance. He’s managing risk on one hand, and overseeing technology on the other. He talks about how dealing with thousands of fans and cars, plus employees, cheerleaders and teams, makes risk management a central challenge. At the same time, Dan’s team focuses on the technology to recreate at live games some of fans’ favorite aspects of watching at home. Today’s fans demand more integration between their experiences at home and at the stadium, such as viewing fantasy football stats, tracking other games and sharing everything through social media. Just as the Chiefs fight to win, he and his team fight for fans’ discretionary dollars, requiring regular and expensive technology upgrades.

To me, it’s Dan’s ability to lead and relate to his people that enables him to be such an effective CFO. Toward the end of the video, he says, “Leadership is about having the trust of your team that where you’re going to lead them is the right path.” That sounds like what a quarterback might say, and I can understand why. He draws inspiration from the football team he serves—their teamwork, ability to look at the big picture and intense, detailed preparation.

For management accountants, it’s all about driving success for your team and your organization. As Dan points out, central to your role as a management accountant is the ability to look at the organization’s processes and determine what you can contribute to make them the best. Like all of us, he looks to organizations inside and outside his industry to find best practices and bring them back to his team.

I found Dan’s video to be inspiring, and every time I view it I find something new. What inspires you? Let me know by leaving a comment below or on the video page at cgma.org.

Arleen Thomas, CPA, CGMA, Senior Vice President - Management Accounting and Global Markets, American Institute of CPAs.

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