Top 50 Women in Business

Holding the door for women behind her

By Jorge Mercado

Staff Writer

Fay Sien Goon might have joined AppFolio less than two years ago, but already her impact is being felt over at the Santa Barbara-based company.

AppFolio hired Goon to helm the company’s CFO role in October 2021 and, in doing so, she became the CFO of the sixth largest company in the tri-county region ranked by market capitalization.

“Even now, a year and a half after joining AppFolio, when I look at AppFolio’s innovative solutions, passionate customers, and thriving culture, I’m still so excited to be a part of this company that has so much opportunity ahead,” Goon said.

“AppFolio has experienced a tremendous amount of growth over the last few years. As with any fast-growing company, the people, processes, and systems must evolve to stay ahead of the company’s trajectory. In my role as CFO, I have the opportunity to help drive operational excellence across all areas of the business.”

Before starting at AppFolio, Goon worked at ServiceNow, a global enterprise software company that delivers digital workflows and had a $5 billion revenue run-rate in 2021. 

As Chief Accounting Officer for ServiceNow, she led the accounting and finance functions through numerous years of successful growth. 

Prior to joining ServiceNow, she spent 11 years at Ernst & Young, leading external audits of large and pre-IPO technology companies.

All-in-all, she said the work she has done over the years excites her and she is proud to now be at AppFolio.

“I am fortunate to be in the field that I enjoy. I love solving big challenges and love the complexity of the business. I’ve had a unique journey to AppFolio, where my past experience scaling at a high-growth company has helped me prepare AppFolio for the next growth phase. We have grown and changed so much in the short time I’ve been at AppFolio, and we have more ahead of us,” she said.

More than just leading the company’s financial portfolio, Goon also made it clear that “paying it forward” is a big part of her everyday life in Santa Barbara.

During her free time, she gives back by contributing to WeQual, an organization that showcases women leaders and supports their ascension to the C-suite. 

According to the Journal of Accountancy, women made up 16% of CFOs last year, which is up from 6.3% in 2004. Moreover, the percentage of companies with diverse CFOs is about 10%, up from 5.2% in 2014 and 2.9% in 2004. 

Another good sign, according to The Business Journals, 36% of CFO hires in 2022 were women and 19% of CFO hires were women of color — a sign that things are truly changing.

“As a C-leader, I feel compelled to help other women overcome barriers because I believe diversity in backgrounds and perspectives creates higher-performing teams,” Goon said.

She also understands the role that affordable housing plays in strong and stable communities so she serves on a non-profit organization called MidPen Housing that develops, owns, and manages affordable housing throughout Northern California, she said.

“And of course, I pay it forward to my AppFolio community by supporting DEI initiatives that highlight AAPI and women employees like myself and promote belonging and career growth,” Goon said.

Fay Sien Goon, the CFO at AppFolio, gives back to her community
through her work with WeQual and MidPen Housing.