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Nicole Ballestrin

Aspire CFO helps companies write their best chapter: we provide fractional CFO, Controller, and accounting services as well as full C-suite services to support companies in achieving high growth. We are exclusively focused on companies committed to transforming to achieve sustained profitability – domestically and internationally. We service private and public companies, start-ups, and established businesses across the economy.

We are best-in-class in the work we do, and we have fun while we do our turnaround client work.  We see endless opportunities in supporting businesses and providing women with opportunities to lead in driving the long-term profitability of the businesses we support.

Tell us about yourself?

I am a Certified Public Accountant. My career began at one of the big four accounting firms, EY. I grew quickly into leadership roles, navigating through a wide range of industries and sectors. I held CFO roles in start-ups and established firms, including McKinsey Canada. My motivation for driving client excellence in strategy and operations, high energy, and enjoyment working with the best talent and a deep desire to have a profound impact on our economy and environment while supporting women in leadership roles are what led me to create and grow Aspire CFO to what it is today.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Think about scaling the firm from day one with the very best people. The demand for my firm’s services is relentless, and so focusing on my firm’s growth alongside supporting my firm’s clients are equally important priorities.

What problem does your business solve?

For any business to stand a chance of succeeding in the long term, a strong finance function is critical.

My firm structures strong finance functions that operate efficiently, leveraging technology platforms and best practices within a modest budget that is affordable by small-medium businesses. From this foundation, my firm builds out strong cross-company processes and procedures so that companies can run smoothly on a day-to-day basis while keeping sight of the long-term strategic considerations – this is where we provide full C-Suite services and succession planning that is a central part of our work for companies to achieve a profitable long-term path.

We are committed to excellence in the services we deliver, providing small-medium businesses with access to exceptional talent and providing women with opportunities to lead strategic mandates for clients – to better balance the gender bias of what is still a male-dominated industry.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

A number of things inspired my business. I am motivated by driving efficiencies and performance excellence, and I surround myself with a team and clients who likewise value these things. Also, after having moved through corporate and start-up companies with a high level of energy, I came to appreciate that a business model that allows small to medium businesses to access exceptional talent and enjoy rapid turnarounds in their business strategy and operations – beginning with finance – made a lot of sense to me and the businesses calling on me for work. The problems I solve are in these buckets: cleaning up finances, providing businesses with access to exceptional talent, and providing women with access to leadership roles where let’s face it – the business world, including finance, is still very much male-dominated.

What is your magic sauce?

The way we structure business turnarounds from day one: we are precise, fast, and demonstrate high value because of the expertise we hold at Aspire CFO Inc. Our objective is to delight our clients with the opportunities immediately available for improving their business strategy and opportunities. We are motivated by the value we deliver to our clients, day in and day out.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Over 90 per cent of Canada’s economy is made up of small-medium enterprises. I intend to have Aspire CFO continue to expand exponentially in the companies we serve across the Canadian economy and to support more women leaders in Finance roles while doing so. Finance is still very much a male-dominated industry, and I am intent on changing that through the leadership roles my firm makes available to women who excel not only in Finance but across all key functions of a Company’s operation.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Growing a firm is a marathon. Maintaining a fast pace of responding to interest in my firm’s services is a central focus of ours.

How can people get involved?

Having a well-organized finance function is key for sustained company profitability. Connect with me at to start an engagement with Aspire CFO.