Consultant Spotlight: Cristine Befanis

We are thrilled to highlight our Senior Financial Analyst, Cristine Befanis. Read the full interview to learn more about Cristine’s expertise, her passion for her work, and how she helps her clients thrive.  

What is your hometown? I am from Satellite Beach, FL where I currently reside. It’s a small beach town on the East Coast of Florida, located in the same county as the Kennedy Space Center. The area is known as the Space Coast, as it’s common to see rocket launches from your backyard. The closest metro city is Orlando, about an hour away.

What is your alma mater? I am a hybrid Ibis Gator which is always interesting to explain to football fans. I completed my undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and received my MBA from the University of Florida.

What are your favorite things to do outside of the office? I love to spend time outdoors on activities such as playing tennis, kayaking, and visiting parks. I also enjoy traveling and seeking new adventures, whether attending farmer’s markets and festivals or even trying a new restaurant.

How has your background impacted your experience as a consultant? I’ve worked in a variety of different industries including federal government, construction, wellness, healthcare, fashion, retail, technology, and financial services which has equipped me with the tools necessary to learn business dynamics quickly and approach situations from a unique perspective. While my career has been finance-focused, I began my consulting career 5 years ago in the public sector, where I worked in a few different roles spanning from finance to business development. That experience helped ensure I understand the complete client lifecycle process, and I switched to private sector consulting in 2023 where I’ve been able to apply that experience successfully since.  

What’s a typical workday like for you? I start my workday by checking my emails for any urgent matters or calendar updates that may have arisen especially when considering the time change to EST. Then I go about listing all my goals and tasks for the day according to upcoming deadlines and prioritize each to dictate the course of my day. Currently, most of my work is focused on building out processes and templates for the Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) team to be utilized for our financial modeling capabilities. If any meetings are scheduled that day, I ensure a plan and agenda are prepared in advance. Ad hoc requests and team meetings may lead to task and deliverables updates throughout the day, so I adjust my prioritization list accordingly.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day? I’m very intrinsically motivated by the desire to make a difference. I’m passionate about the FP&A work I’m completing and look forward to seeing how my financial modeling experience impacts our clients.

What kind of work have you been doing? My expertise is in analyzing data and building financial models for clients that provide actionable insights and drive organizational decision-making. Most recently, I have been focused on detailing our processes and updating templates that will be utilized to continue achieving the highest standards for our clients.

Where do you believe you deliver the most value to your client? I apply my unique experience working in many different industries to put myself in the client’s shoes and understand their challenges. I’m a very empathetic individual, and through my attention to detail and clear communication, I prioritize efficiently and effectively developing solutions for client needs.

How do you organize environments with a lack of reporting infrastructure or inefficiency? I usually start by gathering and analyzing all current data available and making observations. I utilize that insight to generate a list of questions to review with the client to ensure I have a proper understanding of their processes from how they are generating and recording data to how the team is setup including all the roles and their responsibilities. Usually through those conversations, areas of opportunity arise, and I work with the client to complete a discovery of their reporting software and ensure they are maximizing its capabilities which leads to implementing updated processes.

What’s your process like? My process in working with clients really begins with understanding their industry and business by conducting research, reviewing information, and conducting meetings. From there, I assess the client’s needs and challenges to provide the most appropriate solutions. Many of my financial models have resulted in organizational changes, such as implementing software to track key performance indicators key to driving and increasing revenue.