Open Position: Associate
Note: If you are interested in applying for this position, the application can be found at the bottom of this post or here.
You’ve been cranking. You’re early in your finance career, know your way around a three statement model, and have developed some promising data chops.
You’re here because you want to go faster. You’ve proven you can quickly learn the skills you need to be successful in your role, and perhaps you’ve also taught yourself a thing or two that weren’t required, because they were of interest to you and/or you saw the application to your development roadmap and didn’t want to rely fully on others for your advancement.
You don’t fear steep learning curves. You want to step up, get a seat at the table that belies your years of experience, and you want to do so as part of a team and tribe that are obsessed with advancement. If you can show it, First Water Finance offers an unparalleled opportunity to propel your finance career.
ABOUT FIRST WATER FINANCE
First Water Finance (FWF) is the Finance Advancement Platform, connecting finance leaders, business owners, and capital partners within a finance ecosystem spanning FP&A, Corporate Finance, and Community. FWF has supported over 100 management teams, investment sponsors, and partners. We have developed proprietary process methodologies for FP&A and have extensive experience building and developing finance teams and processes for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and private equity portfolio companies.
FWF is integrated with The CFO Alliance (CFOA) as the premier sponsor of the community, combining FWF’s FP&A business process outsourcing (Managed FP&A), FP&A and corporate finance related project consulting, and transaction advisory solutions with CFOA’s peer group community, network of sponsors and vetted partners, and talent acquisition services for the Office of the CFO. This combination represents a step-change evolution in the world of professional services – no other finance advisory firm offers the breadth of solutions, flexibility of engagement (outsource, implement, transact, recruit, refer), and commitment to pour into the professional development of the finance leaders we work alongside every day.
Our strength lies in a “mutt culture” formed through experience across finance disciplines and perspectives from both sides of the table. Team backgrounds include financial planning & analysis (FP&A), private equity, investment banking, commercial lending, consulting, and small business leadership.
To build the next generation of finance professionals, we pound the drum on an operational culture that promotes access to opportunities and allows voices to be heard. Key components are as follows:
- Be a Mutt. You’re here because you strive to expand your experience and knowledge sets within finance, business, and varied situations/circumstances. You actively seek to step outside your comfort zone and advocate for opportunities to step up to the plate. In doing so, you do what it takes to get yourself up the curve in real time while managing deliverable timelines.
- Value is our Output. Everything we do for our companies is connected to growing, preserving, and/or monetizing business value. You step back from technical work to synthesize the why and how it matters for various stakeholders. The purpose of data is dialogue, and our companies rely on us to deliver value, not just numbers.
- Best Idea Wins. We are always better than we were [insert some period of time ago]. It is our responsibility and privilege to find better paths to deliver results to our partner companies. You think critically about innovation and tech-enablement and speak up in contributing to process improvements. It is better to be wrong than to not have an opinion.
- Transparency is the Process. Our companies rely on us to lead and/or own critical processes they otherwise cannot manage internally. You lean into project management and documentation to provide internal and external visibility and drive confidence in our ability to consistently deliver. Transparency is not part of the process, it is the process.
- Pedigree is not a KPI. We work in a sector (finance) where pedigree often serves as a barrier to entry. You don’t assign value based on names on a CV or letters after a name, and you treat team members and customers accordingly. Coachability, work ethic, professionalism, and intellectual curiosity move the needle here.
JOB DESCRIPTION – ASSOCIATE
We are a growing, scrappy team seeking another professional to join our team as a Associate. This role is particularly attractive for somebody seeking to expand his/her finance skill sets, including:
- Core FP&A processes (financial and operational reporting, 13-week cash flow forecasting, three statement budgeting and forecasting);
- Financial modeling (deployment of internal build methodologies and bespoke/ad-hoc builds);
- Data structuring/organization and Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) mechanics;
- Data transformation and visualization (business intelligence, particularly Power BI);
- Consultative communication for discovery, design, and presentation of deliverables with partner company management and lenders/investors; and,
- Project management and process documentation.
Many traditional finance roles run a high risk of pigeon-holing, as professionals become more and more versed in a single company, industry, system environment, and/or set of processes. At First Water, we believe learned skills should open exposure to other disciplines and perspectives, not just the next rung on ladder. As a result, we are not only building a better set of finance solutions for businesses, but we are also building the environment to cultivate better finance professionals.
- Execute on all phases of partner company initiatives spanning FP&A and corporate development, including project management, discovery and design, component builds, recurring process maintenance, and stakeholder communication.
- Deliverable examples include management reporting packages, BI dashboards, 13- week cashflow forecasts, driver-based three statement models, custom forecast builds, management/board presentations, and other ad-hoc requests.
- Process documentation and quality control.
- Occasional travel to client sites (infrequent since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic).
- 2-5 years in FP&A or other finance roles.
- Ability to operate independently and drive deliverable work streams, while knowing when to raise your hand for help and not spin your wheels.
- “Competition-level” Excel skills and supreme attention to detail.
- Desire and ability to quickly build competency in data transformation and visualization tools, particularly the Microsoft Power Suite (Pivot/Query/BI).
- Strong PowerPoint and presentation building skills.
Additional Details – Financial Modeling:
- A strong financial modeling skill set is integral to the position, with a preference for experience in: three-statement financial analysis, corporate finance/capitalization analysis, budgeting/forecasting, reporting/KPI dashboard templates, financial projections, working capital analysis, profitability/performance analysis, and manipulation of non-financial/operational data sets.
- A financial modeling assessment will be conducted as part of the interview process.
Note on Remote Work / Work-From-Home
- We are headquartered in Houston, TX, though we serve partner companies across the United States and Canada.
- We value face-to-face collaboration for process design, troubleshooting, onboarding/training, and team camaraderie; however, we currently have fully remote team members and are open to flexible work setups for the right candidates.