Consultant Spotlight: Nisreen Akbari

Meet our Consulting VP of Finance, Nisreen Akbari! Nisreen has been a valuable part of Kranz Consulting for almost a decade. Her over 15 years of experience and passion for finance has allowed Kranz and our clients to not only succeed, but thrive. Get to know her better below!

Hometown: Castro Valley, CA

Alma Mater: University of Bombay, India

Favorite things to do outside of the office: Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, traveling and tending to our four goats!

How has your background impacted your experience as a consultant? I had my own consulting company before I joined Kranz. This helped make the switch from a consulting business owner to Kranz an easy one for me. Rooted in me is passion for brand building, providing the best service to clients and looking for new opportunities, while also fostering teamwork both internally and with clients.

What’s a typical workday like for you? It can vary and is very fluid.  I could be reviewing financials, working on a budget model, checking in with my teams, or responding to any urgent needs from a client.  It is important to be able to multi-task and shift gears in a matter of minutes.  I schedule weekly meetings with some clients to discuss ongoing work, other immediate priorities and longer term plans.

As part of a team that works 100% virtually, what technology or collaboration tools do you use to make your work life easier? Staying connected with my teams has become even more important since we transitioned to 100% remote.  I use email, Teams, Zoom and FloQast for month-end close to collaborate.  Use of cloud based accounting software enables us to work efficiently with results you can see in real time.  It is important to me to communicate with my clients, mostly via email, to keep them updated on important matters.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day? There is never a dull moment and I look forward to new challenges that the day may bring.  Each client is different and being able to tackle and solve issues is rewarding.  I have exposure to different industries, get to work with many smart and talented people and learn something new.

What kind of work have you been doing? I have been more focused on operational work of late.  Several clients have required a lot of cleanup work. This involves making sure they are GAAP compliant, assessing the needs and providing the services and tools to enable the client to scale.

Where do you see the benefits?  Setting up processes requires a lot of thought and effort. There is no one size fits all solution.  It is rewarding to see the smooth flow of work once processes are in place and the client can see clear results in terms of trends.  This goes a long way in strengthening the reputation/brand of Kranz.

Linking data to finance and accounting, explain environments that have had lack of reporting infrastructure/inefficiencies and how have you brought organization and solutions-implementation:  A home and senior care tech company was focused on revenue and gross margin reporting.  They needed this data on the 5th day of each month.  The company had built their own dashboard in Looker for revenue which I had to record in the accounting system as a single journal entry including a balance for accounts receivable.  Recording revenue involved downloading multiple reports from Looker.  I set up a template in excel that I used each month for almost 3 years before training the new hire in-house controller. I set up a workbook for gross margin reporting that the COO used in her presentation to the BOD.

What’s your process?  A Fintech client built their own dashboard for revenue that was linked to their node accounts.  There was a disconnect between Engineering and Accounting when this was set up and difficult to get meaningful reports.  The in-house team was recognizing revenue on cash basis and did not focus on the reports.  This became critical as we moved the client to accrual accounting.  There was no coordination between accounting and sales, often accounting was billing customers that had churned.  This resulted in an inflated AR balance. I had to work with Engineering and after some modifications, I was able to download reports that were critical for revenue and cash. Setting up a Slack channel for sales and billing was helpful.  I set up the parameters of information required from the sales team when a new contract was signed and when one churned. The result of this extensive effort was on time billing on the 2nd and 17th of each month, correct revenue recognition and deferred revenue.  When the client hired a new CFO 5 months into the engagement, he was pleased with the billing and revenue process.  The client went through an audit and we passed with zero adjustments.