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Life @ PointClickCare: James Yersh

As a four-time winner of the Canada’s Top Growing Companies award, it’s safe to say PointClickCare’s books are in order. But have you ever wondered who keeps us on this growth chart, connecting the dots behind the scenes, and ensuring everything adds up? That’s right, it’s the finance department, and today we’re introducing our CFO, James Yersh. When he’s not on the links or tearing up the slopes, you’re sure to find him crunching numbers and staying on top of the bottom line.

What Does a CFO Do?

Starting off small, we asked James to describe in his own words what his responsibilities are as a CFO. He said, the simplest way to describe it is that the CFO helps the organization and its leaders, to achieve its goals. “When it comes to day-to-day tasks, the rest of my team manages the company’s finances, and I am responsible for how we are managing those assets and ensuring we are properly utilizing them to achieve objectives.”

He also mentioned that a big part of his role is managing the board and investor expectations. “The board and all our investors have certain expectations, mainly financials that are tied to strategy, but there is an art to managing both sides, listening and showing that we are making progress towards our combined North Star, and ensuring we are all working together.”

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Like most financial professionals, James has always had an affinity for numbers. “My father was a high school math teacher, which proved very convenient when I had issues with math in school, and I always knew I wanted to do something with numbers.” Even as early as high school, James’ mathlete status started opening doors for him when he had the opportunity to do two co-op terms with accounting firms. “I was very popular, as you can imagine,” he joked. “I really did like it, though, and it allowed me to validate very early on the career path I saw for myself. Years later, when I went to university, I went straight into the specialization of finance and accounting.”

James spent most of his career in the financial side of technology companies, enabling him to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of growth-oriented companies, learning how to think like them and how to anticipate needs. He says through this experience he learned the importance of crafting a story. “In finance, it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about what is happening around the numbers, because of the numbers, and how the numbers will impact the future. Storytelling allows you to provide the meaning behind results and projections by bringing others along and providing the necessary context for what is happening and how it will impact the business.”

Second-time around

James joined PointClickCare earlier this year, but it isn’t his first experience with our organization. “About 8 years ago I was interviewing for a job with PointClickCare and really responded to the mission, values, and the opportunity. But because I knew this was a special organization, I wanted to make sure I was ready for the role and I didn’t accept it. Instead, I spent the last 8 years in other organizations making myself a better CFO so that when the opportunity came back to me, I would be ready. This time, when I saw the opportunity, everything just lined up in terms of where I was at, what I needed, what the organization needed, and ultimately, what I could bring to the table.”

James also said it was amazing to reconnect with Mike and Dave years later and see all that the company had accomplished. “The first time I met Mike and Dave, the company was 10% of its size. Now, as I am fully immersed in the organization and see how much PointClickCare has grown since then, it’s truly remarkable.”  He also mentioned that one of the reasons he knew he wanted to be ready for the next opportunity was the culture at PointClickCare. “Our culture is unique and it’s not something you find every day. As we go through decisions and talk about budgets and strategies, it is always at the forefront of Mike and Dave’s mind. In other organizations, business goals are always financially driven. But the fact that we talk about it a lot, and people really do live the values of PointClickCare, says a lot about our organization.”

On Leadership

When we asked James about his leadership style, he told us that he is very hands off and trusting in people. “People know what to do; I am not there to micromanage, I am there to help, to steer, and to guide. But ultimately, I am here to build people’s careers. I always say an employment relationship only works if the company is moving forward and the employee is moving forward. I think the best way to describe my leadership style is coaching. Through coaching, I am representing my partnerships with employees, building them up and ensuring growth, and I am representing my partnership with the business, ensuring needs are being met and we are achieving our goals.”

In James’ opinion, leaders need to be confident in their vision, but at the same time remain flexible. “It’s okay to admit you don’t know everything and that things may need to change course along the way. Part of being a good leader is listening and adapting.”

Learn more about joining the PointClickCare team


October 7, 2022