Lori LaGrow is the Chief Financial Officer at QPS Employment Group. She is responsible for overseeing all of the financial/accounting activities at QPS, including the payroll department. Some of her responsibilities include analyzing profitability, cash flow, forecasting, and more. Some of her challenges include trying to forecast unknowns such as figuring out what direction the economy is headed, what customers will pay invoices for cash flow forecasting and what customers QPS will gain or lose. Despite that, she enjoys being involved in all facets of running a business because almost every part is finance-related.
Lori is a graduate of UW-Madison with double major in Accounting and Finance. She is also a CPA. Before joining QPS, Lori held a variety of different positions, including VP of Finance at Tiki Brand Torches, Controller at ABB, Cost Manager at Shur-Line, Credit Analyst, Corporate Consolidation, Cost Accountant and many others at SC Johnson. Lori currently belongs to the MMAC CFO roundtable.
Lori has learned many business lessons through her years of experience. She has learned not to jump to conclusions and to get all the facts before assuming you know the answer. In addition, she learned that you need to earn respect and trust regardless of your position. Finally, always lead by example; leaders set the pace and direction that people will emulate. She has also learned the “KISS method:” Keep It Simple, Stupid. You don’t want to make things more complex than needed because it doesn’t impress anyone; it just frustrates your audience.
Lori’s best mentor was at her first job out of college. She had a great boss who managed all of the new finance hires. He taught her that the “how” really makes a huge difference; that you can meet every goal but if you have to walk over people to get there, it negates the impact.
Lori would advise women to get into accounting; over 50% of CPA’s are women. Accounting is valuable for anyone looking to get into the business field. Her final piece of advice is to find a mentor whom you admire and respect.