How CFI’s Training Boosted Financial Modeling Skills and Organizational Impact at YoungMinds UK

“CFI helps finance teams support their organizations in understanding their performance and shaping decisions. It offers very solid principles and a clear method of doing that.”

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity campaigning for children’s and young peoples’ mental health. In operation for over 25 years, the past few have brought steady growth as the need for mental health support increased, particularly with the 2020 pandemic and global shutdowns.

As Head of Finance, John Decruz-Young was on the lookout for tools and training to best equip himself for the financial modeling needs this growth demanded — and landed on a solution not only for himself but his current and future team. 

“My introduction to CFI was just using some Excel templates,” John said. “But then I was looking to learn a particular cash flow model. I found the training both incredibly useful and appropriate for our size and scale.”

“You’re taking what can be quite complicated and making it as simple as it can be.”

John took the FMVA certification himself initially, giving him firsthand experience with the lessons and teaching quality before deciding to share it with his team. His confidence in it as a training solution grew as he progressed through the course, finding it straightforward, intuitive, and focused on practical skills.

“It teaches really solid principles on how to build a model, so I was keen for them to do it for their own learning and development. Very intuitive interface, very structured in its approach. The combination of videos, quizzes, and practical exercises, I found it very easy to use.”  

A simple, interactive approach to in-depth learning is what keeps learners engaged — and makes knowledge stick. John appreciated the consistent approach to building models, and the methodology and principles behind them, while covering specific scenarios and concepts for real-world application.

“CFI’s training is scalable, robust, and made easy for others to pick up.”

Even for smaller teams, standardizing skills is key to maximizing productivity and efficacy. CFI gave John a way to build necessary skills for himself and his team, with the bonus of a better company-wide understanding of their output.

“It tends to be that the person who created it knows how it works, but others can’t really follow it,” John said. “CFI has helped our team directly with things like cash flow forecasting and income forecasting, while also helping our team tell the story to the rest of the business about what’s going on.”

John is excited about the reporting improvements they have in store and diving deeper into data visualization and analysis courses — potentially the BIDA certification program — to be able to communicate his team’s contribution toward larger goals in a uniquely integrated company.

“As a nonprofit, we’re driven by impact and outcomes, it’s not just one perspective,” John explained. “We have a separate challenge in terms of integrating some of the non-financial with financial stuff. Things like the charts we design are really visually appealing and key for my team to learn those solid principles and be able to point to their work and the benefits they produce.”

“We don’t have a massive training budget and are grateful to have found something as high-quality as CFI.”

Seeing the impact CFI learning has had on his team and YoungMinds as an organization has John looking forward to exploring other courses and future training expansion as the company grows.

“From my practical experience, the quality of the training materials is fantastic. We want to embed the modeling and design principles we’ve learned across the team, and have CFI to get that consistency of approach.” 

Looking for ways to build practical finance skills at your organization? See what CFI for Teams can do for yours.

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