Meet Ouahiba Thierry, VP of Finance for Southern Europe at Launchmetrics. Based in Paris, Ouahiba joined Launchmetrics in October 2016 and has since day one been upholding and improving financial procedures like a boss.
What does a normal day look like for you at Launchmetrics?
“On a typical day, I arrive at the office at 9:30 am and spend the first two hours on emails and phone calls to follow up on various projects that I have listed as urgent, ensuring that they’re on track. I dedicate the next half hour to our Chief Accountant in France, Marcel Ebbo, where we plan the cash flow, approve invoices, and validate payments for France.
Throughout the day, I spend time managing staff, solving problems and attending internal and/or external meetings. I also have a number of non-daily activities like managing relationships with third parties such as lawyers, banks, public administration, tax administration, external CPA’s, auditors, external consultants, etc.
Every Monday morning, I spend some time planning what I want to accomplish with my team in the upcoming week. During the monthly closing period, I review the status of collections and delinquent receivables for potential provisions. I prepare commission calculations for the Sales and Customer Success teams. My finance team provides the comprehensive trial balance, allowing me to update the monthly financial reports for Spain and France. Then I start to conduct analyses and reconciliations comparing the current period and year-to-date results with the company’s budget and prior years’ results, explaining any variations. I send these reports with my comments to our CFO Alexandra Shainskaya, allowing her to prepare the financial consolidation for the overall group, which she will communicate to the company’s board. My days are full and there’s no time to be bored!”
What’s your favourite part about your job?
“My position covers a broad range of responsibilities and requires great versatility, which I like.”
Did you always know you would work in finance?
“Yes, I did! When I was growing up, sometimes my family had difficulties in stretching the money until the end of the month and I remember when I was about 10 years old, I drafted a very detailed family budget that I shared with my mum!”
Who is a major source of inspiration for you?
“My mother – she is a very brave woman. She left Tunisia to join my father in France in the late 1970s and during my childhood, despite financial difficulties, she did her best to make sure there was nothing lacking in the house. She worked hard and at the same time went back to school to get her Baccalauréat (high school diploma) and then studied at university with 3 kids at home!
In short, she always told us that everything is possible and that there are no limits, as long as you work hard for what you want. Later in my life, I realised that she helped me develop a strong self-confidence, and as an adult I can say it’s a great gift to have in order to cope with our world!”
Where did you grow up?
“I grew up in the South of France, Provence – the most beautiful region in the country, of course!”
What’s your best advice for someone starting out in finance?
“For journalists one recommends ‘fact-checking‘; for finance experts I would recommend ‘double-checking‘!”
What passions do you have, besides work?
“Running. I run every morning before going to the office, and more generally, I love outdoor activities during holidays like hiking, biking, kayaking, canyoning, rafting, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and diving (I have a PADI rescue diver level).
Spending entire holidays laying on the beach for hours is no paradise for me at all, but more like hell – the same goes for my husband!”
Have you met any obstacles in your career path?
“A few years after starting to work, I tried to obtain the CFA designation (Chartered Financial Analyst) to move my career towards the investment industry. Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve the designation, which is one of the most difficult in the financial industry; it’s a self-study program which requires great commitment (4 years on average and 6 months of preparation for each exam). At that time, it was very hard to consolidate this with my busy work life at Accenture.”
What do you do to help yourself stay productive?
“The desire to return home to see my baby boy helps me stay productive and focus on my work. A minute wasted is a minute away from him.”
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
“My husband, my son and my running shoes!”
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