Gartner Expert

Farrah Watson

Director Analyst

As a Director, Analyst in the Finance Practice, Farrah Watson advises executive and senior Finance Leaders in the government and non-profit sector looking to enhance efficiency, create transparency and meaningfully communicate information to stakeholders. Farrah Watson brings 20 years of leadership and management experience in the area of Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting including expert level knowledge in Oracle Hyperion and the BOSS Accounting ERP system.

Ms. Watson's experience and "big picture" thinking allows her to analyze individual financial decisions and how they impact the greater organization. In doing so, she has creates efficiencies and lasting organizational change. She is committed to supporting finance leaders though economic uncertainty, shifting priorities and changing funding sources.

Prior to joining Gartner, Ms. Watson gained her 20 years of experience by holding several progressive leadership roles in government and non-profit finance including roles with the U.S. Federal Government, Health and Human Services, Lake County, IL, and the GI Research Foundation at the University of Chicago. Throughout her career, Ms. Watson has managed dynamic finance teams and has championed the re-organization of an accounting office resulting in modernization of accounting processes and increased efficiencies.

Ms. Watson is passionate about helping finance leaders with questions relating to Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting, Business Process Improvement, Strategic Planning, Financial Reporting, Internal and External Audits, and ERP systems including Hyperion and BOSS Accounting.

Previous experience

While at Health and Human Services, Farrah Watson oversaw grants to states and territories in excess of $4.5B annually. Additionally, she designed, developed, and implemented financial management oversight systems to ensure fiscal and legislative requirements were met.

While working for Lake County, IL, Farrah Watson held multiple financial leadership positions driving the budget process for county departments that make up the $430M budget.

Professional background

Health and Human Services, US Federal Government


County of Lake, Illinois

Director of Finance

GI Research Foundation, University of Chicago

Director of Finance

Areas of coverage

Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting


MPPA, Northwestern University

BS, Grand Valley State University

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Top Issues That I Help Clients Address

1Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting for Government and Non-Profit

2Business Process Improvement for Government and Non-Profit

3Financial Reporting for Government and Non-Profit

4Internal and External Audits for Government and Non-Profit

5ERP Systems for Government including Hyperion and BOSS Accounting