Nearly 6 million professionals work within the CFO’s office in US companies alone (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Once seen as occupying backroom functions, a raft of podcasts have sprung up spotlighting strategy and leadership of the finance function in companies. These podcasts are tailored to uncovering the hidden workings and strategies of bookkeepers, accountants, treasury, controllers, Financial planning and Analysis managers, Investor Relations experts, M&A integration specialists, and of course, the CFO themselves: the finance chief ultimately pulling the finance strings (or spreadsheets).
The following podcasts produce some of the most entertaining, agenda-setting, and actionable free learning available for anyone within the finance function.
To come up with this list, we used nominations from leaders within the CFO’s offices at top companies. This is combined with independent reporting. We prioritized podcasts that have shown staying power (many run into hundreds of episodes) and that have a track record of providing consistent value.
Top 4 CFO Podcasts in 2023
Let’s start with the podcasts most prized by busy chief financial officers (CFOs) giving them the secret insights and strategy to forge ahead in their careers.The CFO provides overall oversight of the financial actions of a company and the following 4 podcasts reflect the challenges to their role through inspiring CFO interviews, insight, inspiration, validation, and benchmarks for CFO strategy-building.
1. CFO Thought Leader
CFO Thought Leader is the granddaddy of CFO podcasts. With a back catalog of interviews with CFOs recorded over several years, CFO Thought Leader recounts CFO career high and low points from a multitude of CFOs across sectors. Interviewees range from the biggest brands (Harmit Singh, CFO, Levi Strauss & Co for instance) to lesser-known companies including small restaurant chains and e-commerce companies.
Host Jack Sweeney is an early adopter of the podcast format. In each episode, Sweeney grills a CFO in on their career journey. He pulls out a list of questions which include categorizing the “main business KPIs that you look at when you have your first coffee in the morning” to the most inspiring books that have guided their strategic leadership. The highlight question is when CFOs describe a time in their career when they experienced a “finance strategic moment”— defined as a strategic insight that later empowered them to drive change within the organization. Findings from the show’s annual listener survey rank this question top for delivering listener value.
2. CFO Weekly
- Host: Megan Weis
With nearly 200 episodes under their corporate belts, CFO Weekly comes from outsourcing provider Personiv. Hosted by Megan Weis VP and General Manager at Personiv, the podcast won Gold for “Best Business Podcast” in the Stevie Awards first year. Guests have ranged from Ken Wentworth, Fractional CFO at Mr. Biz Solutions (the CFO’s path to cutting costs) to Drew Hamer, Chief Financial Officer at Velodyne Lidar, giving the lowdown on special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).
3. GrowCFO Show
GrowCFO is an extension of the educational platform of the same name, an organization mentoring CFOs to succeed. Host Kevin Appleby uses the podcast to “help the next generation of finance leaders develop into dynamic and influential CFOs”. The show is thematic, covering debates around CFO competency assessment, organizing the look and feel of your finance function, and mentoring opportunities available for CFOs. In one episode, Dan Well, GrowCFO’s founder and CEO, and former KPMG partner, provides a blow-by-blow account of what you need to do in your first 100 days as finance chief. In another, fellow GrowCFO mentor, Susana Serrano-Davey delves into the impact of successful storytelling for CFOs.storytelling for CFOs.
4. Inside the Strategy Room (McKinsey & Company)
From the world’s most famous consultancy, Inside the Strategy Room has a CFO track that is analytical and panel-based, tackling some of the hot-button issues facing CFOs. In one episode, McKinsey strategy and Corporate Finance communications director Sean Brown talks with three of McKinsey’s corporate-finance experts about the top imperatives for CFOs during a time of crisis. Another must-listen episode is a roundtable discussion on how companies can elevate their cash-management capabilities.
Top 3 Treasury Podcasts
In the finance team, Treasury represents the management of money and financial risks and ensures the business has the cash needed to manage day-to-day business obligations while developing long-term financial strategies and policies. This provides a fertile mine of great guests for these top treasury podcasts.
1. Treasury Career Corner
Treasury Career Corner is hosted by Mike Richards. Richards is the founder of Treasury Recruitment Com (which hires for treasury roles), stockpiling Richards with access to guests able to open up about treasury challenges. The podcast boasts interviews with more than 280 Treasury professionals. For a flavor listen to Tanja Holden, Group Treasurer at UK e-commerce giant, Ocado Group, chatting about the crucial role of relationship-building in treasury. Or Joel Campbell, Chief Financial Officer of TreviPay, on the best ladder-climb from Treasury to CFO.
Treasurycast from Treasury Management International is hosted by Eleanor Hill who also edits the news site Treasury Management International (TMI), renowned globally for its sharp editorial focus and breadth of opinion. Hill has secured a mouthwatering lineup of treasury talent including Matthew Davies, Head of Global Transaction Services EMEA, Bank of America, and hosted case studies such as how UK grocer Ocado’s treasury function strengthened treasury and payment controls. In another episode, Tarek Elyafi managing director of Cash Management at bank Standard Chartered provides a timely and insightful interview on how treasury can respond to inflation.
3. Treasury Talent
- Hosts: Simon Lynch
- Website: https://treasurytalent.com/treasury-talent-podcast/
Simon Lynch’s lively podcast from Australia aims to “bring the brilliant stories about people’s careers that we hear all the time to life so that others in the community can be better for the experience.”
Lynch, a manager at executive search and selection specialist Treasury Talent. He interviews treasurers at household names such as car giant Nissan and insurance company Liberty Mutual Insurance. These interviews feature alongside smaller companies and their treasury challenges.
While there have been no new episodes recently, the back catalog of about 200 episodes provides plenty of listening.
Top 3 Bookkeeping Podcasts in 2023
The untapped power of bookkeepers is a lively niche. These 3 standouts celebrate the vital finance pros who are there to make sure you have accurate and timely records of business transactions.
1. The Successful Bookkeeper Podcast
Some 400 episodes have been hosted by Michael Palmer who admins one of the largest bookkeeping communities, The Successful Bookkeeper, boasting dedicated 6.2k followers. In one episode, Sharon Francisco, an Australian bookkeeping business coach speaks about why bookkeepers need to “overcome barriers and limited beliefs” by getting hands-on with the aspects of business that have previously scared them. In another pod, Mark Wickersham a value pricing expert discusses how an entrepreneurial mindset will shift bookkeeper’s perspectives.
2. Your Bookkeeping Matters
Lisa Turner helps female-led businesses flourish through bespoke bookkeeping services and provides insights into a successful bookkeeping career. Describing herself as your “resident small business cheerleader & number cruncher” her favorite episodes include an analysis of what a business activity statement is, and how she personally increased her profits and what other bookkeepers can learn from her experience.
3. I Love Bookkeeping
Host: Ben Robinson
I Love Bookkeeping is a global community of Bookkeeping Professionals “for people who don’t want to get lumped in with accountants” says Ben Robinson in one episode. Reporting comes from locations such as the Digital Bookkeepers Association. We all “bleed bookkeeping and want to grow and prosper our businesses” and the show delivers on this promise.
Top 7 General accounting podcasts
On to the accounting function within the CFO’s Office. However, these podcasts provide ample learning for anyone in the CFO’s team. This list keeps finance professionals generally in touch with the latest developments in accounting vital to business success.
1. The Accounting Podcast
- Hosts: Blake Oliver and David Leary
- Website: https://acounting.show/
- CPE Credits
Blake Oliver, CPA, and David Leary host The Accounting Podcast, which bills itself as the #1 accounting, bookkeeping, and tax podcast in the world. It provides a weekly roundup of accounting news, analysis, and interviews.
Host Blake Oliver is also the creator of Earmark CPE, an app that offers NASBA-approved continuing professional education (CPE) credits for listening. Co-host David Leary has over 22 years of QuickBooks experience, providing an added technological element to the show.
Other hit CFO office podcasts offering CPE credits through Earmark are FP&A Today and Oh My Fraud (see below).
2. Oh My Fraud
- Hosts: Greg Kyte and Caleb Newquist
- Website: https://ohmyfraud.com/
- CPE Credits
Agatha Christie meets actuals in Oh My Fraud. CPA and comedian Greg Kyte and Caleb Newquist unpack accounting fraud cases in the series. They call it “true crime with spreadsheets instead of corpses”. In one episode, the duo retells the most audacious scams to ever hit Hollywood, detailing how actor Zach Horowitz fooled investors into giving him over $650m.
3. M&A Science
Offering insights from top leaders in M&A.. Fans of the podcast include corporate development professionals, FP&A leaders, private equity, investment bankers, and consultants. Hosted by M&A Science founder and CEO Kison Patel.
4. Count Me In (Institute of Management Accounting)
Courtesy of the educational division of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) educational division, Count Me In provides answers to those niggling accountancy questions which come up frequently. With a global network of more than 125,000 members, the podcast has a ready-made audience.
5. AFP Conversations (Association for Finance Professionals)
- Hosts: Various
- Podcast website
AFP Conversations is hosted by leading personalities at the AFP. The eclectic show provides insights on trends including corporate treasury, blockchain, fintech, cybersecurity, payments, risk, FP&A, budgeting, forecasting, leadership, and career development. Guests range from aces in treasury (including John Clarke, Assistant Treasurer for Google) to panel discussions such as viewpoints on Managing Current Liquidity Structures).
6. Accounting Best Practices with Steve Bragg
With more than 5 million downloads (yes we double-checked) the Accounting Best Practices podcast is a compendium of discussions about accounting management, best practices, controls, throughput accounting, and GAAP for the accountant, controller, or CFO in your business. Learn about accounting technology, controls, closing the books, financing, and payroll. There is a spinoff book as well. Steve Bragg has been hosting since 2006, so the podcast has a vast library with nearly 350 episodes.
7. Accounting Today
Accounting Today blends news and accounting with in-depth discussions on some of the hottest topics in accounting and changemakers. It is hosted by Daniel Hood, who has been editor-in-chief of Accounting Today since 2011. He hosts in-depth discussions on the latest issues with thought leaders from around the profession.
The Top 4 Financial Planning and Analysis Podcasts
FP&A analysts are essential in the CFO’s office. These business strategists advise senior management and business executives on the most effective ways to utilize financial resources to increase profitability. FP&A analysts also proactively identify operational and financial risks by carefully analyzing a business’s finances and carrying out scenario analysis. FP&A skills required in corporate roles are constantly adapting.
These podcasts hone in on this team within the CFO’s Office.
1. FP&A Today
The top show for FP&A provides a front-row seat into previously secret FP&A processes. The frank and often funny interviews encompass financial planning and analysis leaders at companies such as Walmart, Cotopaxi, Netflix, and The Economist about their opportunities, challenges, and career advice. But the show is also never afraid to get out of its comfort zone with some powerful episodes.
Some of the reviews for the show include the following: “Great real-world insights and CPE credit at the same time is one of the many great reasons to listen to FP&A Today” and “What I love most about this show is its reach – I can listen to people all over the world to better understand their finance experience, and almost always end up with a takeaway that can improve my work” says Chris Reilly, a world-leading financial modeler.
Hosted by Paul Barnhurst, known to his tens of thousands of LinkedIn followers as the FP&A Guy, the show is produced by leading FP&A solution, Datarails. Bonus: The Show provides CPE Credit per episode by answering a few simple questions on the content over at the Earmark app.
2. Finance Master
From the world of one of the most entertaining and consistent FP&A influencers, Anders Liu-Lindberg, FinanceMaster is a podcast based on a weekly live LinkedIn Audio event that takes a slightly different approach to the podcast format. Anyone can be a guest on Finance Master or as Anders puts it “simply raise your hand and come on stage”.
3. The Financial Modeling Podcast
This Podcast explores how financial models help to build companies and structure deals with guests that include model experts, advisers, auditors, engineers, and visionaries. The podcast looks at how financial models help us understand complex transactions and their role in the global economy.
4. Storytelling with Data
- Host: Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic and team
- Podcast website: https://www.storytellingwithdata.com/podcast
Why don’t we use triangles in charts more often? Can design considerations come before we have the data? Do we take data visualization too seriously? Just some of the questions to geek out on with Storytelling with Data. Topics covered include better business communication, data storytelling, and knockout presentations. FP&A leaders in the know say they love the insights the show provides on presenting the finance story.
That’s a wrap
In short, there has long been an issue that finance is unknown and shrouded in secrecy or worse still not taking sufficient credit for its powerful role in business and the wider economy. These listens allow us to see the full power of the CFO’s office recounted with world-class interviewees who know how to tell a good story and provide actionable advice.
The CFO’s Office has never sounded so good!