22 Quotes on Finance Management

22 Quotes on Finance Management

When your momentum has stalled, or you’ve hit a roadblock, sometimes all you need is to look to the stars for guidance. We’ve compiled a collection of quotes from distinguished business people of the past and present. These priceless quotes offer insight into their struggles, lessons learned, and knowledge that only first-hand experience can bring.

Quotes for managing the budgeting process

  1. “Managing a budget today is like driving a car by only looking in the rear-view mirror. You have zero visibility into what is happening right now.” — Mike Volpe, CEO, Lola.com

  2. “If you want to change the fruits, you will first have to change the roots. If you want to change the visible, you must first change the invisible.” — T. Harv Eker, author, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
  3. "In big companies, you have a marketing budget of millions of dollars. You do a lot of these little events. I don’t think there’s a great understanding of the ROI of going to an event out in Las Vegas or a tradeshow or whatever you’re doing at a big company. You can always explain it away or talk it up like ‘it was good we got in front of people.’  At small companies, there are bigger decisions such as ‘Hey, am I going to spend 10K to have three people travel out there, set up a booth, and do this event?’.  You can see the results a little bit cleaner at a smaller company.” — Mike Clayton, CFO, TinyTags

  4. “What’s worse than knowing you are over budget? Not knowing if you are under budget or over budget.” — Mike Volpe, CEO, Lola.com

  5. “If you save a dollar, you’ll drop a dollar to the bottom line. But if you save a dollar and you reinvest that back into the business in a disciplined way, a returns-based way, that dollar is actually worth a lot more in the future. And that’s really what running a business is all about.” — Cathie Lesjak, former CFO, Hewlett Packard

    Quotes to inspire when you’re hiring a finance team

  6. “I don't know where we should take this company, but I do know that if I start with the right people, ask them the right questions, and engage them in vigorous debate, we will find a way to make this company great.” — Jim Collins, author, Good to Great
  7. “If the financial system has a defect, it is that it reflects and magnifies what we human beings are like. Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong. Booms and busts are products, at root, of our emotional volatility.” — Niall Ferguson, faculty, Harvard University

  8. “You wouldn’t go build a bulletproof engineering infrastructure as you're launching a product so you wouldn’t build a full finance infrastructure if you’re doing the same thing [...] as you start to raise more money, especially with venture-backed companies, and you’re into the 40-50 employee range, it probably makes sense to hire a full-time finance person.” — Mike Macaluso, Finance Manager, Yesware

  9. "Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless." — Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

  10. “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people.” — Steve Jobs, founder, Apple

  11. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” — Simon Sinek, author, Start With Why
  12. "You can tell when talking to someone what side of the fence [accounting or finance] they’re on. I feel like the accountant side might be more interested in the specifics, and the finance folks are more high level.  You know when you try to get into specifics with [a finance person], and they’re like, “Oh, yeah that's fine.”  Whereas if you’re an accountant, like me, and you want to talk about debits and credits, I'll talk about debits and credits.” — Kevin Neary, Controller, Wistia

    Quotes from CFOs and finance executives on financial leadership

  13. “What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths — and can call on the right strength at the right time.” — Donald Clifton, founder, CliftonStrengths

  14. “Rule number one: never lose money. Rule number two: never forget rule number one.” — Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

  15. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” — Albert Einstein, physicist

  16. “Being able to welcome changes is a mindset. You have to understand that changes are going to happen. They’re sometimes completely out of your control. If you have the proper mindset and welcome changes with open arms, you’ll be better equipped to mentally handle them.” — Mike Volpe, CEO, Lola.com

  17. “Engineers have technical debt and I think, a lot of times, we as finance professionals have operational debt. We put off the billing system for three years, and we’re still paying for it. You take responsibility for it, but it’s the trade-offs and what you do with the resources you have at that point.” — Mike Macaluso, Finance Manager, Yesware

  18. “I think, as is the case with a lot of finance teams, there’s just a lot of stuff that falls through the cracks that are not anyone’s specific responsibility. So, it will sort of trickle down to us, and we’ll make a decision. It could be something stupid, or it could be something that just doesn’t find squarely in marketing, support, or sales. I think we’re the catchall for things that need a decision made.”  — Mike Macaluso, Finance Manager, Yesware

  19. “Try to foster a culture of experimentation within your team. This might be uncomfortable for a lot of your employees at first. That’s because a result of experimentation is failure. Let your team know that you’re going to support them through their failures. Help your team learn to accept and even celebrate failures—because failure is one step closer to success.” — Mike Volpe, CEO, Lola.com

  20. “We had to pretend as if we were public and try to hit those deadlines and milestones and levels of detail that we were providing of our financials to the rest of the business. We had to provide that well in advance of being public; we had to operate as if we were.” — Christina Capracotta, Controller, Drift 

  21. “I'd say invest in systems as early and as often as possible. One thing finance teams tend to do is work with a very lean team, and they tend to grind through spreadsheets. That's what people think that people do in accounting and finance; they always have these spreadsheets up. Elimination of spreadsheets is 100%  a goal that I have. I want to be able to automate and put systems in place to have a limited number of humans in spreadsheets.” — Christina Capracotta, Controller, Drift 

  22. “When money realizes that it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands.” — Idowu Koyenikan, author, Wealth for All

Lola.com is the spend management solution that keeps you on budget.

About the Author: Sagar Velagala
Sagar is the Director of Growth at Lola.com. Before this, he worked in analytics, finance, and operations roles at companies like The Boston Beer Company and HubSpot.