160: What's the difference between a controller, comptroller, and CFO - with Mark Schanen

About Mark Schanen

Mark is the owner of Supporting Strategies Milwaukee, his franchise provides bookkeeping and controller-level services to small and middle market businesses as well as nonprofits.

He is a former CFO for a division of GE and he held senior finance roles at JPMorgan. Mark has experience with mergers/divestitures, international financial management, pricing, comp planning, strategic planning, new product development, cash/treasury management, and dealing with large, matrixed organizations.

Can you tell the audience a bit about the Business Fundamentals Bootcamp and why you do it?

“every year, in every market that Supporting Strategies works in, we try to have an event where we try to give back to the local business community. Both to our clients as well as some of the strategic partners we have…”


What’s a controller, a comptroller, and a CFO? How are their jobs different?

“…your controller is kind of like your chief accountant. So, they’ll help you with making sure your recognizing revenue the right way. So, if you are in certain industries there are certain ways you should be accruing for revenue.”


What are some of the key things to look for from an accounting resource in your business?

“…people try to do everything. And you’re not going to necessarily get the best level of service if you are going to somebody that does taxes, they’re also doing all of your accounting and bookkeeping…”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“so, I’m a member of a BNI chapter. And I took a look at a couple of different networking groups. One of the big things in my franchise that they preach from the get-go is were big on what we call an angelist development or center of influence development…”


How do you stay in front of, or best nurture your network community?

“so, one of the things is the event I just talked about at the start of the show which is the Business Fundamentals Bootcamp. Another thing I try and make sure of is I tend to make a cursory appearance to every single networking group that I’m in.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“I would encourage you to take a look at Eventbrite and take a look at things like BNI or any of the chambers of commerce.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“so, I do both. I think digital is more to keep me top of mind. As opposed to developing a huge section of potential clients or partners.”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“don’t worry so much about the hours, worry about your on the job education.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree? How would you start that journey?

“I think one thing that would help my business is getting to know franchisors and talking to them a little bit about what they’re doing for franchises when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping…”


What book are you reading right now?

“I’m reading the Trusted Advisor, by Richard Wagner…”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“It’s not about net-taking, that’s one of the things I always try to caution people about. If you are in a networking situation and the first thing you do is hand somebody your card, you’re probably doing it wrong.”


You can get in contact with Mark at:

Website: https://www.supportingstrategies.com/milwaukee

Email: mschanen@supportingstrategies.com