The power of budget planning and forecasting

This episode of the Sage Advice podcast features Bruce Callahan and Jade Cole. Bruce is the Vice President of Finance and Controller for Cresa Global Incorporated (CGI). Prior to Cresa, he spent 32 years in government contracting and has worked mainly in finance and project finance roles, with some accounting. Cresa Global Inc. is a real estate company serving occupiers or tenants nationwide and across the globe. 

Jade serves as head of Product Development and is a co-founder of Limelight. He brings over 25 years of experience in consulting, product strategy & development, and management. As Limelight’s CTO, Jade plays a key role in the vision and innovation of our platform. 

Why do you do what you do?

Bruce Callahan: That’s a great question. I didn’t set out to be a vice president of finance. I had dreams of becoming a professional baseball or golf player. But I ended up down the finance track in college and I’ve been very lucky in the opportunities I’ve had in my current role.

I had a 180 degree shift in industry to corporate commercial real estate. I had an opportunity to come to Cresa. There, we focused on building a centralized finance team, built FP&A tools, processes, and policies.

I’ve been successful in building teams, supporting leadership, executing growth and adding value.

Jade Cole: I have a similar story to Bruce. I didn’t start off thinking I was going to do what I’m doing. I studied a very different area of focus in university and when I entered into the workforce, I found that I was more interested in the technological capabilities of the systems that I was working with, rather than the subject matter. I thought, what can we do with systems like this? So, I naturally gravitated towards information systems and software.

I got my first foothold into the FP&A (financial planning and analysis) space in the late 90’s when I joined a company called Clarity. I was the seventh employee at that time and everyone else was a consultant. By the time that company was purchased by IBM in 2010, there were over 400 employees.

Sometime around 2011, I was contacted by my current business partner about an idea that she had. We both saw eye to eye on what we would like to do, in terms of, “what does it look like to have an FP&A company in the 21st century?”

The world that I started in was very different than the one we are in now. When I first started working in this field, the internet was still sort of in its infancy. It wasn’t as robust and ubiquitous as it is today. We knew things have changed even in the last 10 years since the Clarity acquisition, and we knew that things would have to be different in this new on-demand internet age.

We started the company Limelight in 2011 initially, but we hit the ground running in 2012. We started off as a company working with IBM, but our goal was always to build our own solutions. We launched our first version of our product around 2016 and we’ve been progressing ever since.

As far as why I do what I do, I love working with technology and I love helping customers solve problems. I

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