ABBYY’s Chief Financial Officer James Ritter knows the importance of hard work and emphasizing a great people experience, whether for ABBYY’s customers or its employees. His valuable work and life experiences continue to help him in his role today with a focus on solid teamwork and supporting ABBYY’s emphasis on excellent customer experience. In our latest Meet Our Team interview, we asked James about his job and his hobbies. Here’s what he had to say…
What attracted you to ABBYY?
ABBYY is at the forefront of the Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) space and it’s exciting to be a part of that journey. Automation and artificial intelligence capabilities will continue to revolutionize how business is performed and ABBYY’s software is an integral part of that transformation.
What is your title and describe your role? What inspires you most about your work?
As CFO, I oversee the financial functions of the company – everything from accounting, financial planning and analysis, tax and compliance, customer invoicing, accounts payable, as well as operational responsibilities such as software license fulfillment. It’s a lot of responsibility, but my inspiration comes from my team. Seeing the team put so much into everything they do motivates me to do a better job representing them.
What was your previous experience before ABBYY?
As for my recent professional experiences, I held various financial leadership roles in the technology and financial services industries, primarily international service organizations, including working for two of the Big Four firms - Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers. I’ve also been fortunate to work with prominent SaaS organizations such as BigCommerce and Accruent as well. However, before starting my career in finance I also worked in a deli cleaning the kitchen, as a student computer lab monitor, as a department store associate, an intern to a stock brokerage firm in Manhattan, a floor sales associate for TVs and stereos, and an employee at a music record store. Those latter experiences were when I was in high school and college but those journeys certainly contributed to my desire to understand and support our customer experience, and my admiration and respect for our employees no matter their role in the organization.
Your top advice to someone working in finance?
I think it’s the same advice I’d give to anyone. Embrace humility, empathy, and integrity as character traits. Listen more than you talk, but don’t be afraid to speak up. And no matter how small you think your role might be, the reason you have a role is because someone decided it is important to the company, so don’t underestimate your contributions and ability to make an impact. As a side note, if you have finance experience, we’re currently expanding our team and looking for people to make an impact in our finance team in Serbia, so if this sounds of interest, then check out the open positions here: Open positions
How do you spend your free time?
Time with family and friends is always a good time to focus on the truly important things in life. I also play in an adult league soccer team on the weekends and enjoy travelling and skiing when I can. Also, I’m an avid sports fan of baseball, soccer, and football and try to watch games when I can.
If you had one wish come true, what would it be?
Easy, world peace. We all have limited time on this planet so it’s a shame so much of it is wasted on hatred of others and war.
What’s your pet peeve?
Do we still need to give instructions on a plane on how to use a seat belt? I’m hoping one day this becomes common knowledge, but it doesn’t look like we’re there yet. 😊
Name any inspirational book/movie/music you have recently discovered.
Not a recent discovery by any means, but I was fortunate to see the Rolling Stones for the first time this summer in Miami and it was such an incredible experience. Despite their age, how often they have been playing these same songs or the fact they could have retired a long time ago, they performed on stage as if this was their most important concert with passion, energy, and showmanship. Regardless of our role in life, I hope that all of us can find ways to bring that much passion and energy into whatever we do.
Thanks James, it sounds like you got a lot of ‘Satisfaction’ from that concert!
Embrace humility, empathy, and integrity as character traits. Listen more than you talk, but don’t be afraid to speak up.
No matter how small you think your role might be, the reason you have a role is because someone decided it is important to the company, so don’t underestimate your contributions and ability to make an impact.
James Ritter, Chief Financial Officer at ABBYY.