Employee Spotlight: Meet Trovata’s CFO, Catrina Zhang

Written by Sergio Garcia
December 8, 2023
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In recent years, the role of the CFO has evolved far beyond its traditional finance-centric responsibilities. Today’s CFO is intricately involved in shaping and executing portfolio strategies, pivotal investment and financing decisions, and maintaining transparent communication with key stakeholders. 

Effectively navigating the complexities of modern day financial leadership is a formidable task on its own, but what distinguishes an exceptional CFO is boundless curiosity, a passion for innovation, and an unmatched drive for success. Catrina Zhang, CFO at Trovata, has embraced the evolution of her role over the course of her 22 year career. 

Accelerating Financial Growth for Over 20 Years

Catrina Zhang’s remarkable journey spans continents and industries. She began her career in China, gaining invaluable experience as a financial analyst at ExxonMobil. She then moved to the United States to pursue an MBA at the University of Michigan. Upon successfully graduating, she joined Amazon, where she spent nine years managing various financial organizations. Catrina played a pivotal role in the growth of Amazon’s grocery and fashion e-commerce businesses, overseeing expansions and acquisitions with companies like Zappos. Under her leadership, these business units were able to gain phenomenal growth and improved cash flow to over $100M on an annual basis.

Upon driving significant success in Amazon’s grocery and fashion businesses, Catrina transitioned to California to take on the challenge of helping grow the Kindle business division from $200 million to over $2 billion while transforming the team and improving profitability. After nine years at Amazon, she sought a new challenge in Silicon Valley, joining Jawbone as their Head of Finance and playing a key role in the company’s turnaround and pivot into healthcare services. Catrina then ventured into the world of SaaS, spending four and a half years as CFO at Apollo Graph, contributing to the company’s growth and success in selling to Fortune 500 companies. Her impressive journey reflects not only her financial expertise but also her adaptability and leadership in diverse business environments.

After a well-deserved break to spend time with family, Catrina joined Trovata after having great conversations with Trovata’s Founder and CEO, Brett Turner. She was drawn to the company’s talented people, innovative product and its potential to revolutionize treasury and finance. 

What Convinced Catrina Zhang Trovata Is “The Place to Be”

During the process of joining Trovata, Catrina asked herself a simple question: “Would I, as a CFO, use this platform myself?”, her answer was a resounding yes. Catrina was impressed with Trovata’s transformative capabilities. She believes the inherent value lies in how Trovata  eliminates the complexities of integration and mitigating quality issues, as everything operates seamlessly within the same system – having all functions on a single platform. Centralizing operations generates a range of interconnected functionalities, offering substantial advantages from a business perspective.

“During my initial two weeks at Trovata, navigating the multitude of bank accounts the company has proved to be a significant challenge, especially with a lean team. Accessing data required navigating multiple bank portals which was a cumbersome process. But, once I started using our platform to streamline processes and centralize data, it was a game-changer. Instead of dealing with the intricacies of numerous online banking systems and manual reconciliation, I could seamlessly review all our bank accounts through Trovata in a single source of truth. The experience was fascinating, especially considering that during the interview phase, we discussed product features and customer service. In those first couple of weeks, without formal training or demos, I was able to effortlessly explore the tool, which confirmed that Trovata aligns with my vision of simplifying finance functions through intuitive and efficient tools.”

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Adapting to the New Responsibilities of a CFO

With a career spanning over the past two decades, Catrina Zhang has experienced the evolution of CFOs from senior accountants focused on financial reporting to strategic leaders driving key business decisions. This journey has propelled CFOs from number crunchers to strategic visionaries, actively involved in forecasting, resource allocation, and shaping the company’s direction. The paradigm shift has prompted the need for efficiency in day-to-day operations. Catrina emphasizes the importance of balancing the demands of traditional tasks with the strategic inputs necessary for a company’s success.

“CFOs are faced with managing day-to-day operations efficiently. The time-consuming nature of tasks like online banking and account reconciliation hinder the speed at which crucial financial information becomes available to decision-makers. That’s why platforms like Trovata are so essential for contemporary CFOs. They address not only the speed issue but also the lack of evolution in finance systems and platforms compared to other sectors like online shopping and hospitality. By automating repetitive, non-value-added tasks, Trovata enables finance teams to redirect their focus towards strategic initiatives, ultimately enhancing the overall competency of the business.”

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Trovata is Leading Digital Transformation in Finance

Trovata provides CFOs with three key attributes: speed, data quality, and advanced analytics. Empowered with real-time visibility into financial data, CFOs can eliminate delays associated with manual reporting. Moreover, the direct linkage to banks ensures higher data quality, reducing errors and offering a more accurate representation of the business’s financial health. Experience firsthand how Trovata is transforming finance operations through APIs, AI, and revolutionary bank connectivity. Book a demo today!

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