Financial Analyst - Chizuki Watanabe


This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.

Without continued financial success, it’s difficult for Cummins to invest in building stronger communities, reduce our Company’s environmental footprint or build innovative products.  Our financial team is important to the accuracy and the speed of our business so we can make decisions quickly.  Chizuki Watanabe is that type of quick thinking, analytical expert who helps our Distribution Business Unit (DBU) make sound financial choices.
Chizuki, a Finance and Supply Chain graduate from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, is in her first role with Cummins and was hired as a Financial Analyst after completing a successful internship.  She is excited by the challenge, especially learning new things about the Company.
“We have distributors around the world who provide their financial results.  We consolidate the data and report back to management so they can make important decisions based on performance.  It’s exciting work because those decisions are made based on financial data from our department.”
Chizuki’s internship showed her how Cummins is a professional environment where she can succeed.
“Cummins is a culture where employees help each other. As a summer intern, I was fortunate to ask people for help and learn from them.  It went beyond getting things done—they helped me understand how our department affected the whole company.  As a student, it was great to use what I learned in school and then apply my skills in a real business environment.”
And now for your All Access Pass:
Chizuki starts her morning with a confidential request from a leadership team member asking for an update on department budgets. It’s a critical inquiry since there are many departments inside the business unit and her team is responsible for keeping accurate forecasts at all times.
“Our team is aligned with Corporate Finance because it is important to the accuracy of our Wall Street earnings report.  This morning I’m helping with the monthly expense “actuals” report so our management team can compare expenses to the original forecast.”
Chizuki also knows the request has implications for next year’s forecast.  She joins the DBU Corporate leader in a brief review meeting before sending the data to the leadership team.  They collaborate on determining how these actuals might fit into next year’s overall budget projection.  
“It’s important for us to be able to communicate results clearly.  Our team works together closely to ensure the analysis is accurate.  We know our leadership team uses this data to measure if our growth is developing on pace around the world.”
After the meeting, Chizuki is back at her desk working on Cummins quarterly earnings financial report.  The leadership team wants a deeper understanding of a large integration with a company that was acquired by Cummins.  It’s slightly beyond what is a normal project for her, but it’s high visibility work.  
“I’m helping our team to prepare a final set of numbers with DBU corporate leaders.  I’ll need to reach out to a regional finance team to determine the business justifications for the trend in our financial analysis. Leadership will want more accurate explanation behind the growth to our shareholders.”
 Chizuki leaves her desk at lunchtime for a Japanese affinity group “Lunch and Learn” event with a guest speaker and employees.  There’s close to 50 people in the room when she arrives and the speaker is General Manager of Cummins Japan.  He provides an overview of what work is like there.
“Employees like the affinity group because they can increase their professional network through these and other events.  It helps our culture when employees can connect and appreciate the Japanese perspective.  Our group gave him a nice gift and thanked him for his perspective about our business.”
After the event, Chizuki has a one-on-one meeting with her supervisor to discuss her current role and professional development workplan.  She wants to work for a Cummins distributor in Japan in the future and today they are having a conversation about she can plan her career path to realize her career goal.
“I hope to visit our distributor in Japan next couple of years and see what Cummins business is like in my home country.  Cummins really helps employees make their professional aspirations come true.  I have family there so I’m planning beyond my desk to make an impact at Cummins Japan someday.”
Around mid-afternoon, Chizuki joins a Six Sigma meeting for a project about finance and strategy.  The initiative involves minimizing work inside the business unit and reporting to departments multiple times.  Chizuki knows the project will help everyone be more efficient and accurate.
“Every day, there is a lot of learning that happens at Cummins.  Everyone benefits from the Six Sigma process here, especially as we’re finding innovative ways to coordinate data across departments and test new financial templates.  We’re reducing mistakes through this process, which can help the Company’s investment initiatives.”
Finally, Chizuki leaves work and meets her daughter and fiancé at home.  She’s looking forward to hearing about everyone’s day and sharing her day with them.  
“I recently started road biking with a local bike group. I believe it is important to keep a good balance between work and personal life. That includes my family as well. Tonight we’re relaxing with my family and enjoying each other’s company at home.  Cummins is very pro-family and encourages work-life balance.  As a working mother, I like that and appreciate the culture a lot.”