Pete Dankwerth, CFO PAR Systems

Pete Dankwerth, CFO PAR Systems

Pete Dankwerth, CFO of PAR Systems, brings a perfect background to his leadership role of this systems engineering firm specializing in automated manufacturing. Starting with an undergrad in Mechanical Engineering followed by a successful career path of accounting and finance roles with global manufacturing brands, Pete has experience with large scale processes and best practices that lend to his approach. His intelligence, wide range of interests and authentic passion for what he does, made Scouts Talent curious to learn more…

If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?

Teacher…it’s the epitome of having to figure out how to connect with others in a meaningful way that grabs their attention.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

Find a path and environment that you are passionate about versus being lured by title or compensation. Then, listen, and continue learning and ask a lot of questions. Keep asking questions throughout your career. When you get into a more heated debate which will happen at some point, seek to understand the other person’s point of view by listening for facts versus opinions. You can always respond later, but you can’t take back what may escape in the heat of the moment.

What is your mantra?

To quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Be flexible and focus on how you choose to respond…that’s really all you can control.

How do you get yourself out of a slump?

It can be tough getting out of a slump, but I worry more about becoming a victim of hype. Surround yourself with people who really know and care about you. Let them tell you like it is and call you on the carpet under all circumstances.

What companies or leaders do you admire?

Authenticity goes a long way. I’m a big believer that people can handle the truth and while they may not like the outcome sometimes, they will appreciate transparency and authenticity.

What has been the biggest shift you’ve noticed in your industry in the last decade?

Advancements in automation for transactional aspects of financial management (e.g. account reconciliations, payments, receivables, fixed assets) and the resulting shift of talent to analysis to drive insights as quickly as possible. Long gone are the days of just reporting the weather…it’s more about learning quickly and then taking action.

Who has been most instrumental in your career?

I’ve learned something from everyone with whom I’ve worked. Sometimes, it’s what to do and sometimes it’s what not to do. I look to adopt their approach and adapt to my style.

What is your go-to celebration meal, drink, or tradition?

Nothing better than getting together with my family or life-long friends over a long, lazy breakfast to catch up and tell stories. It usually ends with us laughing so hard, our stomachs hurt.


Be a Finance & Accounting Insider.

Stay current on trends, get tips for success, and hear from industry influencers with Scouts Talent insights, delivered right to your inbox.