Pierre Francois, Finance Expert in Barcelona, Spain
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Pierre Francois

Verified Expert  in Finance

Finance Expert

Barcelona, Spain
Toptal Member Since
June 22, 2018

A strategic finance professional, Pierre has established the reporting, forecasting, internal controls, and ERP of an internet startup growing 500%+. Previously, he led the financial due diligence for several acquisitions, including a $14 billion beverage company and created valuation models of firms in various industries. He leverages his extensive CFO and audit field experience in the US and Europe to advise clients on a wide range of topics.

Career Highlights

Acting Partner
Mazars USA
Mazars UK

Education Highlights

Master's Degree
Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC)
Master's Degree
Community of European Management Schools (CEMS)

Certification Highlights

Certified Public Accountant (CPA), New York State
New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions
UK Chartered Accountant (ACCA)
ACCA | Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Case Studies

Work Experience

Business and Finance Consultant

2018 - PRESENT
  • Advised a travel startup on its optimal organizational structure, the flow of operations, financial setup, and funding strategy.
  • Coached a beverage startup and reviewed its investor presentation materials ahead of its pitch to angel investors and meeting with a large retailer in France.
  • Advised on the strategy of an events startup and reviewed promotion materials.
Focus areas: Valuation Modeling, Three-statement Modeling, Forecasting, Financial Advisory, Business Advisory, Business Planning, Strategic Planning & Execution, Tax Planning, Finance Strategy, Financial Systems

Financial Model Audit for a Startup's Due DIligence Phase

2018 - 2018
Eppik (via Toptal)
  • Audited a financial model for internal projections and external funding.
  • Reviewed the business plan.
  • Assessed the lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, MRR, churn rate, and burn rate.
  • Reviewed the three statement operating model (P&L, balance sheet, and cash flow statement).
  • Developed a company valuation (DCF, multiple).
Focus areas: Cash Flow Modeling, Forecasting, Budgeting, Financial Model Auditing

Head of Finance | Senior Controller

2015 - 2017
Opportunity Network
  • Designed, implemented, and led all aspects of the global finance function including FP&A, planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, bookkeeping, tax strategy, compliance, and cash management.
  • Produced monthly reporting figures and insightful analysis by business unit across all geographical locations with relevant KPIs, performance-tracking tools, and dashboards including MRR, churn rate, Lifetime Value, ARPU, burn, profitability, and other financial metrics.
  • Formulated and presented quarterly analyses and recommendations to the management team, the finance and audit committee, and the board of directors.
  • Defined and implemented the ERP platform Intacct globally across subsidiaries; transitioning from NetSuite.
  • Set group accounting policies, reviewed financial clauses in contracts, advised on resource allocation and compensation, oversaw overall compliance, and ensured the timely filing of financial and tax records in all jurisdictions.
  • Managed relationships with external auditors, accountants, tax advisors, and consultants.
  • Led the initiatives to improve firm profitability such as the centralization of procurement and the rationalization of relationships with banks. Identified a list of preferred suppliers and banks and renegotiated terms, decreasing the number of suppliers by 75% and banking relationships from 20+ to 8, driving a decrease in bank fees and procurement costs by 50% and 30%, respectively.
  • Represented the company in financial and tax matters with stakeholders and regulators.
  • Designed, implemented, and monitored internal controls and procedures across subsidiaries.
  • Produced, every year, a dividend growth model to value a class of shares in the company comparing the dividend level to similar companies and the observed probability of survival of a startup.
  • Strengthened risk management by integrating the procure to pay process within the ERP, implementing dual-level monitoring of travel expenses, and implementing ongoing management of tax risks in every jurisdiction involving country-specific external experts. The company addressed all queries from the tax authorities and achieved a 100% success rate on all VAT refund claims as a result of the improved documentation.
Focus areas: Equity Valuation, Cost Reduction & Optimization (Cost-down), Taxation, International Finance, Accounting Consolidation, Financial Statements, Remuneration, Financial System Implementation, Charts, Accounting, IFRS Audit Planning, Performance Management, Finance Process Improvement, Cash Management, Controller, Financial Reporting, Forecasting, Budgeting, Tax Planning, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

Acting Partner

2013 - 2015
Mazars USA
  • Led four large group audits across multiple locations, supervising teams of up to 30 people for the US subsidiary of Mazars.
  • Acted as an audit partner on three U.S. GAAP audit assignments in the energy, aerospace, and utility industries for companies generating $500 million to $2.5 billion in revenue.
  • Led the tenders for 20+ audit and advisory bids, securing $900,000 in additional fees from new and existing clients.
  • Established Mazars' relationships with US subsidiaries of German companies and US companies seeking to expand to Germany—achieving profitability within a year and resulting in German clients becoming the second biggest foreign revenue contributor to the company for new work generated.
  • Created a strategy with Mazars' CEO, successfully negotiated a budget, recruited team members, wrote articles and organized networking events to raise the company's profile, and pitched to potential clients.
  • Performed a DCF valuation for the US subsidiaries of a nuclear energy group, representing $1.5 billion revenue, and conducted discussions with senior executives to determine and allocate the asset impairment charges.
  • Optimized staff utilization and improved the quality of training resulting in enhanced staff productivity and increasing the percentage of staff trained on IFRS to 90%.
Focus areas: Quality Management, Cost Reduction & Optimization (Cost-down), Pitch Decks, Budgeting, Business Planning, Financial Asset Impairment Models, Financial Model Auditing, IFRS Audit Planning, Control Audits, Management, Audits, US GAAP


2004 - 2013
Mazars UK
  • Promoted to manager, senior manager, and director more quickly than my peers. Elevated to the role of primary decision maker on complex IFRS audit assignments in the waste management, renewable energy, retail, construction, media, beverage, transportation, and logistics sectors—managing teams of up to 30 people at peak periods for the UK subsidiary of Mazars.
  • Contributed to the business development and corporate brand development efforts in renewable energy, sustainability reporting, and human rights.
  • Developed in-depth expertise in complex group audits and reporting, internal control reviews including Sarbanes-Oxley design and implementation, IFRS, U.K. GAAP, and ISA.
  • Served as a mentor to junior and mid-level staff, helping to enhance their abilities and support their promotion to the next level.
  • Managed or advised buy-side due diligence of a large sports rights company, a car rental business, and the $14 billion acquisition of a beverage company, including supporting its integration to the new parent company, auditing the opening balance sheet and harmonising accounting policies.
  • Drafted high-quality long-form financial reports for the £50 million listing of a telecom company and the £88 million listing of a luxury retail group on the AIM market in London.
  • Provided direct input and challenged the assumptions of the DCF valuations of a UK waste management company with €1 billion in revenue, a tunnel concession with €3 billion in net assets, and an advertising group with €100 million in revenue. The valuations were prepared to determine the potential need to impair the assets.
Focus areas: Due Diligence, Internal Control, Sarbanes-Oxley, Initial Public Offerings, Pro Forma Financial Statements, Financial Statements, Data Analysis, Internal Financial Reporting, Budget Controls, Accounting Consolidation, Accounting, Project Accounting, Financial Model Auditing, IFRS Audit Planning, Control Audits, Management, Audits

Audit Assistant to Audit Senior

2002 - 2004
Mazars Germany
  • Led several audits after only 12 months of experience versus the usual 36 months of experience typically required. Individually completed the entire audit of a €50+ million revenue parcel delivery subsidiary and the Swiss subsidiaries of a French consulting group with €150+ million of revenue for the German subsidiary of Mazars.
  • Performed an embezzlement investigation of the management of a French consulting firm's Swiss subsidiary.
  • Managed the financial due diligence review of a parcel company in Sweden, drafted the report with detailed financial analysis and findings, and presented the conclusions to management.
  • Valued a German hospitality business using a discounted cash flow analysis.
Focus areas: Internal Control, Sarbanes-Oxley, Due Diligence, Financial Reporting, Valuation, Financial Model Auditing, IFRS Audit Planning, Management, Audits, Control Audits

Fixed Income Sales Intern

2001 - 2001
BNP Paribas Germany
  • Recorded daily sales transactions instructed by the sales team and ensured that they cleared.
  • Performed market research on a portfolio of fixed income values.
  • Created an Excel macro to automatically assign and disseminate the research department's buy, sell and hold recommendations to individual salespeople. This process reduced the time required for salespeople to implement the recommendations by 65%+.
Focus areas: Valuation Modeling, Roadshows, Market Research, Bond Indices, Bonds, Fixed Income Analysis
1998 - 2002

Master's Degree in Management and Finance

Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) - Paris, France

2001 - 2001

Master's Degree in Business Administration

Community of European Management Schools (CEMS) - Paris, France and Cologne, Germany


Certified Public Accountant (CPA), New York State

New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions


UK Chartered Accountant (ACCA)

ACCA | Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


Three-statement Modeling, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Budgeting, Forecasting, Cash Management, Financial Model Auditing, Control Audits, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Due Diligence, Acquisition Accounting, Financial Reporting, Financial Modeling, Valuation Modeling, Corporate Finance, Financial Asset Impairment Models, Profitability Optimization, Remuneration, Financial Systems, Finance Strategy, Tax Planning, Business Advisory, Financial Advisory, Controller, Finance Process Improvement, IFRS Audit Planning, Accounting, Financial System Implementation, Accounting Consolidation, International Finance, Taxation, Cost Reduction & Optimization (Cost-down), Equity Valuation, Project Accounting, Budget Controls, Internal Financial Reporting, Data Analysis, Pro Forma Financial Statements, Valuation, Fixed Income Analysis, Bond Indices, Market Research, Cash Flow Modeling

Output Software

Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel

Industry Expertise

Utilities, Aerospace & Defense, Transportation & Shipping, Construction, Energy, Retail & Wholesale, Renewable Energy, Technology, Software, Sustainability

Geographic Expertise

United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Spain, France

Data & Analysis Software

NetSuite, Bloomberg, Microsoft Access


Audits, IFRS Financial Reporting, Multicultural, Project Management, Team Building, Coaching, Mentorship & Coaching, Team Management, Financial Controls & Processes, Financial Statements, Auditing, External Audits, Reporting, French-English Translation, German-English Translation, Analytical Review, Consolidation, Accounting Policy Development, ISA, Board Presentations, Waste Management, Contract Review, Financial Statement Preparation, Sarbanes-Oxley, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Internal Control, ACCA, Financial Controlling, Intacct, Excel Modeling, Manufacturing, Media, Advertising, Employee Stock Options, US GAAP, Strategy, Business Development, Compliance, Risk Management, Prospectus Drafting, Dashboards, Spanish-English Translation, Tax Returns, Pitch Decks, Strategic Planning & Execution, Business Planning, Performance Management, Charts, Management, Quality Management, Initial Public Offerings, Bonds, Client Presentations, Cash Flow Analysis, Roadshows, Visio

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