CFO John Behan is winning with innovation


John Behan talks about pioneering auditing transformation as the CFO of Circit.

John Behan, CFO of dynamic fintech company Circit, embarked on a remarkable journey from his early days as an auditor at Grant Thornton to becoming a seasoned finance expert. 

“Auditing is a great way to learn because you get to visit lots of different clients and see how they work. It also gives you a strong foundation in technical skills. But after those years, I knew I wanted to try something different and work in the industry instead of auditing. So, I joined MDL, a big motor distributor in Ireland and stayed there for eight years,” he says.

His thirst for innovation and passion for disrupting the audit industry led him to Circit, where he plays a pivotal role in reshaping how audits are conducted globally.

Cutting-edge auditing technology driving trust

Joining Circit 18 months ago was a strategic decision for John. Fascinated by the company’s pioneering approach to addressing the challenges of global audits, he embraced the opportunity to collaborate with the talented team and contribute to a vision that could transform the industry.

Circit’s vision to verify the trusted source in every business transaction has paved the way for groundbreaking innovation. At its essence, the Circit platform empowers auditors to seamlessly connect with evidence providers, eliminating outdated paper and email methods and streamlining the verification process. 

This technological breakthrough not only enhances efficiency, but also guarantees heightened security and accuracy. It facilitates real-time collaboration between auditors and responders, enabling targeted inquiries on specific items, ultimately resulting in amplified efficiency and precision.

Navigating constant change and expanding global footprint

As a leader in a rapidly growing company, John places great emphasis on the significance of maintaining agility in the face of constant change, while strategically planning for opportunities.

“We need to not only focus on our current set-up, but also plan ahead to ensure that we are prepared for the opportunities that lie ahead in the next 12 months,” he says, “As the CFO, I play a significant role in managing the structural aspects of our organisation.” 

“Additionally, one of the major challenges faced by finance leaders in every business is effectively managing their technology stack. This involves strategically determining which technology solutions to implement, where to deploy them, and how to align operational structures. It is a daunting task, but if executed correctly, it presents immense opportunities for automation and efficiency improvement.”

One of the most exhilarating elements of Circit’s journey as a young company lies in its blank canvas, providing it with the opportunity to cultivate innovation and adaptability within a cloud-native SaaS environment. This exceptional flexibility empowers Circit to cater to diverse markets, ultimately enriching the lives of auditors worldwide. 

John says, “The significant opportunities for Circit are in expanding our global presence. The problems we address are not limited to a specific region; they are global in nature. This is one of the remarkable aspects of the audit industry – it deals with universal issues. Whether we are verifying transactions or balances in Ireland or South Africa, we encounter the same challenges. Therefore, there is immense potential for us to broaden our reach and assist more businesses and firms worldwide, alleviating some of their burdens.”

Key trends in auditing

In the dynamic auditing industry, staying ahead of trends is essential. John highlights how auditors are increasingly expected to deliver high-quality audits with limited resources while catering to tech-savvy clients.

“Technology adoption has become a defining aspect of modern auditing, empowering auditors to harness data analytics, automate processes, enhance security, and reduce the risk of fraud and cyber-attacks,” he says.

The rise of data-driven auditing and leveraging APIs for seamless integration is a trend John is particularly excited about. Furthermore, he recognises the growing significance of addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the auditing process, seeing it as an opportunity for auditors to provide leadership and accountability.

Exciting developments

John is thrilled about Circit’s expansion in South Africa, where the emerging open banking infrastructure promises new opportunities for the company. Within just six months, Circit has already made significant strides, partnering with audit firms, banks, and regulators, showcasing its impactful global potential.

John finds immense fulfilment in his role as CFO, where he collaboratively drives projects from a finance perspective, cementing partnerships that are crucial for Circit’s continued success.

Apart from paying attention to the technical aspects of the business, as a leader, John believes strong teams deliver the best results. He says, “Partnership is important to me, and I believe it’s crucial for success. In all the roles I’ve had, I've always valued building strong relationships with my colleagues. Working collaboratively with others to achieve big goals is something I take pride in. I bring a finance perspective to projects and goals, which I find really rewarding.” 

Beyond the boardroom, John is an avid sports enthusiast. From playing basketball to watching soccer, rugby, and golf, sports are a major interest and a source of relaxation for him. As a dedicated family man, John cherishes spending quality time with his three young children, creating precious memories outside the bustling Circit world.

Related articles