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The podcast featuring finance leaders driving change within their organizations.

Jul 17, 2022

Looking back at the early years of his finance career, David Bedell recalls being frustrated when a business unit leader remained leery about the merits of a potential deal.

“I had done all of the analysis and was convinced that it would make a lot of money for the company, but I just couldn’t figure out how to convince him,” explains Bedell, who spent the balance of his early career years at software developer Intuit, where he advanced from running the gauntlet of FP&A projects to serving in multiple CFO business unit roles.

“Finally, I bet my entire bonus for the year on it—I told the leader that if the deal failed, he could keep it, but if it was a win, I would appreciate my bonus being doubled,” explains Bedell, who notes that his confidence in his own analysis of the deal compelled him to break what he refers to as the “glass wall.”

Says Bedell: “If we in finance limit ourselves to only making recommendations and choose to keep that wall between us, it’s just not personal enough.”

For Bedell, his hefty investment in 13 Intuit career years appears to have been well spent, as the company achieved a number of strategic milestones, including the acquisition of and the sale of Quicken.

“I was just there at the right time with my hand raised, always being eager—and for people early in their career, it’s about being there at the right time,” comments Bedell.   

As for the business leader whom Bedell once risked his bonus to win over, the end appears to have justified the means.

“He just laughed at me and said, ’If you’re that confident, we’re going to do it,’” remarks Bedell, who adds that while his bonus bet may have been a bit “childish,” it got the job done.

“Sometimes it’s not personal enough for finance,” he observes. “You have to push that emotion or excitement forward to the point where you’re part of the business and your soul is on the line—that’s what makes a great finance person.” –Jack Sweeney