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3 Must-Know Dark Social Finance Communities

CFOs are no longer turning to the same old sources of inspiration when looking for quick solutions to workplace challenges.

Finance directors in the past may have been persuaded to purchase software by clever advertising efforts or information they acquired at a CFO conference on the other side of the globe.

Decision-making CFOs are now looking to something completely different for quick solutions to queries about people, processes, or technology. Even if you have never heard the term "dark social," you have almost definitely contributed to its development.

Dark social isn’t as furtive or unusual as its name suggests and is not a part of the dark Web. It's a term used to describe the "invisible shares" and conversations that constantly occur in Slack channels, WhatsApp groups, or SMS messages that are essentially untraceable web traffic. The phrase was coined in a 2012 piece for The Atlantic by journalist Alexis Madrigal.

It's also where you'll find CFOs in a private setting, discussing jobs, careers, various challenges, and needs for processes and automation.

Particularly CFOs have joined dark social in fast-growing numbers. Why you might ask? As CFOs they are prioritizing tech spend but are seeing multiplying service providers vying for their attention. Numerous emails from finance vendors come into their inbox on a daily basis seeking for their attention. But when a Slack channel of their’s is buzzing, they inevitably have a quick check. Here are 3 must-know finance communities you’ll want to join:

Off The Ledger

Airbase, the top spend management software for businesses from startup to IPO, introduced a Slack community for finance and accounting professionals from all forms of business and non-profits a private space for networking, advice, and members-only events. Due to the strength of the community and the increasing desire for a hub of finance professionals to engage online, it has experienced a spectacular growth, going from 50 members in January 2020 to over 2,500 today.

Off the Ledger is a "sales-free zone" where colleagues from the accounting and finance industries can communicate to one another on a variety of topics, such as business trends, hiring, the latest software to use, accounting treatment questions, and career guidance. Airbase created the community when they identified a gap in the market for a resource to allow professionals in the finance sector to collaborate and exchange ideas online. When the pandemic struck and employees were compelled to work from home, many of them felt they missed the teamwork of an internal team, and Off the Ledger grew as a result.

FP&A Community

Earlier this year, Datarails, a financial planning and analysis platform for Excel users, launched their own Slack community for anyone in financial planning and analysis (FP&A). More than that, the FP&A Community is a safe space to connect with finance leaders from around the world who are dealing with similar challenges and willing to give real-time advice in order to see FP&A best practices come to life. Some of the unbelievable FP&A talent in the group consists of:

  • Christian Wattig, former FP&A lead at Unilever, Squarespace and Procter & Gamble + runs FP&A Bootcamp (#1 course for FP&A)

  • Carl Seidman, FP&A Leader who works with Fortune 500 companies

  • Annette DeYoung, former FP&A lead at JL Clark and Berner Food and Beverage

  • Asif Masani, FP&A Manager, Coursera and FP&A Educator

  • Paul Barnhurst Barnhutst, aka The FP&A Guy, Host of FP&A Today who has 12+ years of finance and FP&A experience, having worked in several industries, including the US government, travel services, finance, automotive, Cyber Security, Ecommerce.

Finance Alliance Community

The Alliance, the world’s most forward-thinking professional development platform for high-growth organizations and individuals worldwide, launched The Finance Alliance in 2022 with a mission to connect a global network of finance leaders to enable and empower each other to thrive in their existing roles and beyond. The Finance Alliance Slack community is a supportive, informal, and inspirational space where finance leaders can gather and discuss with like-minded people. From sharing ideas to offering advice to your peers, their Slack community is the ultimate space for finance pros who want to accelerate their careers.

Their community covers everything from Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) to budgeting and forecasting, finance metrics, digital finance transformation, and more - including insider tips to help you align the C-Suite for ultimate collaboration. So, whether you’re a CFO, VP of Finance, Finance Director, Finance Manager, or an aspiring CFO, you’ll feel right at home as a valued member of their community.

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