Kashif Ghazali, CPA, has always been a numbers guy. After studying accounting as an undergrad and then as a graduate student, Kashif took a Big Four public accounting job. After a few tax seasons, he yearned for a job that allowed him to leverage his passion for data and analytics and offered a better work/life balance. In his years with Mednax, he's found the right mix of personal and professional fulfillment.
As the senior director of finance, Kashif and his team are responsible for supporting the company's internal financial reporting and enterprise-wide budget. They analyze the company's financial health and provide a "pulse check" to ensure the leadership team has all the financial information they need to make sound business decisions. The finance department also reviews and approves all organic growth initiatives and partners with corporate departments to develop their budget and financial reports, including analyzing data and providing return on investment (ROI) projections.
More than crunching numbers
"There's a common misconception that the finance team sits around with their heads down, just crunching numbers all day, but there's a lot of opportunities to be creative in the design and delivery of our financial models and reporting solutions ," says Kashif, who has been with Mednax for seven years. "We have to come to the table with a strategic analysis or financial plan, but there are a few different ways that we can do that. I'm fortunate to work with leaders who allow us to find answers in many ways."
This creativity keeps Kashif engaged in his work, which in turn motivates the employees on his team. The highly collaborative group pitches in when someone is sick, on vacation or feeling overwhelmed. Instead of a cut-throat atmosphere, the team celebrates each person's successes—a culture that he didn't see in his previous roles. Kashif credits the finance department's collaborative nature largely to John Pepia, Mednax's senior vice president and chief accounting officer, whose leadership style ensures that his employees feel valued and appreciated. "A good leader will roll up their sleeves and get in the trenches with their employees, not just sit in meetings and delegate tasks down," Kashif says. "John allows employees at all levels to work on high-profile projects and contribute to the success of the company."
A team of experts who value collaboration
While he's proud of his involvement in projects like the corporate forecasting and reporting and OGI tracking and analytics, Kashif says his greatest achievement is contributing to the team dynamic at Mednax, which extends beyond the finance department. "We're surrounded by experts in their fields who are open to sharing and transferring their years of knowledge to others," Kashif says. "I've been fortunate to have learned from and been supported by many long-time employees throughout my career here.
Taking time to recharge
Work/life balance is better for Kashif now, too. Before the pandemic, Kashif and his family were avid travelers. In fact, among his 2-year-old son's many flights include trips to Norway and Japan. This spring, the Ghazali's will welcome their second child. While he takes his paternity leave, he's confident that the department will continue to run smoothly in his absence, enabling him to truly disconnect. "When I was younger, I thought life was about just putting in the work to get to retirement, but why not make time now for the things that recharge your batteries," he says. "Life is too short. Enjoy it while you can."