CFOs have to sweat the details. Getting the numbers right (and being held responsible for them) is part of the job.
Finance chiefs of government contractors like Pact, a $200 million non-governmental organization (NGO), come under closer scrutiny. Pact provides relief and development to the poor and disadvantaged in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia. Its CFO and executive vice president, Leonard Williams, says the federal government is a difficult taskmaster. “Contract work is one of the most challenging things you can do,” Williams says, because the government “wants to make sure every dollar dispensed is put to the best possible use.”
Williams would know. He’s also the former COO of Verizon Federal Systems, a $600 million business that provides telecommunication services and products to the government. At Verizon, he he oversaw more than $10 billion in federal contracts. Now as CFO of Pact, Williams spends much of his time creating structures and policies that help Pact work with both governments and and non-government donors, including organizations like The Global Fund and the Gates Foundation.
Williams sat down with CFO at our Rising East conference in Miami to talk about the challenges of running finance at a government contractor.