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Monica Arora, EVP of Commercial Finance at Sage – Finance Leadership Interview Series [Video]

Co-Founder & Director
Co-Founder & Director
Phil co-founded The Consultancy Group in 2015. He provides expertise in placing senior finance professionals into FTSE Listed businesses through to fast-growth SMEs. Typical roles include CFO, Finance Director, Group / Divisional Financial Controllers, Head of Finance, FP&A Director and Commercial Finance leaders.

Monica Arora, the Executive Vice President for Commercial Finance at Sage, sits down with Phil Dye from The Consultancy Group for an insightful conversation on her career progression, the role of commercial finance, and the ever-evolving financial landscape in today’s tech-driven world.

The Journey to Sage

Monica’s journey is an exciting tale of continuous learning and seizing opportunities. After becoming ACA-qualified, she joined Inventis, a publicly-listed multinational IT company, where she covered an array of corporate finance roles. Following an acquisition by Schneider Electric, Monica soon became their finance director for software, closely involved in the acquisition and integration process. She transitioned to the FTSE 100 group Sage, quickly rising through the ranks, witnessing significant business growth, and playing a pivotal role in Sage’s accomplishments.

Defining Commercial Finance

According to Monica, the term “commercial” in finance is often misinterpreted. She identifies commercial finance as:

  • A key player in strategic financial planning, aligning business objectives with financial strategies.
  • Instrumental in resource allocation, ensuring investments promise adequate returns.
  • Central to performance monitoring by establishing relevant KPIs.
  • Crucial in cost management, particularly emphasising margin management.
  • Responsible for effective stakeholder management, ensuring trust and clear communication.

Embracing Technology

Monica highlights the profound influence of emerging technologies like AI and blockchain on their financial strategies and operations at Sage. They use AI-driven analytics for real-time insights into financial performance, predictive analytics for accurate forecasting, and robotics for automating repetitive processes.

Leading and Innovating

Monica emphasises the importance of cross-functional teams and business partnerships. She believes finance representatives should be involved in all major decisions. Furthermore, her team at Sage always looks for innovations, setting innovation goals annually and reflecting them in bonuses.

Continuous Learning

For Monica, fostering a culture of continuous learning is paramount. This includes leading by example, encouraging questions, providing resources, and promoting mentorship. She emphasises the need for finance professionals to stay curious and open-minded and continually learn from various sources and experiences.

Parting Wisdom

Reflecting on her career, Monica identifies her post-maternity return to work as a pivotal moment where she felt a renewed determination. If she could advise her younger self, it would be to be “more bold, brave, and curious.” Monica’s story is a testament to the idea that continuously seeking knowledge, asking questions, and pushing boundaries can propel one’s career forward.

In Conclusion

Monica Arora’s conversation with Phil Dye provides:

  • Invaluable insights into the ever-evolving financial world.
  • Emphasising the importance of continuous learning.
  • Cross-functional collaboration.
  • The integration of technology.

Her journey serves as an inspiration for finance professionals at every stage of their careers.

Watch the full video today.

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