March 31, 2022

How Artem Mashkov of SwagUp is investing in FinOps for a competitive edge

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For growing businesses, the evolving landscape of finance automation and finance operations is revolutionizing the way they approach work. Finance leaders have realized that implementing both into their day-to-day workflows can give them a competitive edge. For Artem Mashkov, CFO of SwagUp, investing in FinOps was a course-changing decision. 

Before building out the FinOps function, SwagUp had only two people on the finance team. Despite this, they grew to nearly $22 million in annual revenue. But once they built out a dedicated FinOps team, they were able to streamline their operations and improve their efficiency. As a result, Artem’s team was able to accelerate their growth. 

We’ve condensed some of the major themes from our recent conversation with Artem on the FinOps Today podcast and summarized them below. But to get a full picture of Artem’s story at SwagUp, be sure to check out episode 6, available on all major podcast streaming platforms. Here’s some of what you’ll hear about in this episode: 

How SwagUp’s finance team is uniquely structured

“We have a very, very lean finance team. Besides finance, I also have legal reporting. Technically speaking, there's five departments under me. We don't have a COO. I take the functions of back office operations, and we have an SVP for physical operations. Right now I have an accounting team with roughly three people and a director of accounting. I have one FP&A person. Then I have a FinOps function, where there's one director and six people there, too. This is just recent. Before that, we got to $22 million with two people in finance. That's all thanks to SaaS, honestly. But yes, we run very lean.”

Artem’s view of the FinOps landscape

“The way I like to explain it to our new hires is like the three branches of government or even time. Financial operations is the present, accounting is the past, and FP&A is basically the future. Accounting is also the controls and checks on the other teams. Then finance ops, that team is large, mostly because of our business model….the efficiency of the finance operations is critical. If we pay a vendor late, they're not going to ship us the goods, or those goods could just go out of stock, because there are other players buying them.”

The importance of prioritizing your employees

“I'm a firm believer that your product doesn't matter. Great, you guys have a great product. You know why you have a great product? Because you have a great engineering team, and you have a great product team. The minute you take away that product team, and that engineering team, your product is going to fall behind. Same thing, you guys have great customer service, it's because of the team. You can have the most incredible food in the world. But if your service is bad, you're not going to be a good business.”

The full transcript is available here.

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