7 Things Finance Can Do to Make Business Projects Successful

Finance and projects

I’ve worked in many businesses, and only two of them had what I would have judged to be a proper grip on change projects. In the other ones, senior Finance people would sometimes talk disparagingly about certain projects, and almost ‘tut’ with disapproval in seeing projects underdelivering and overrunning on time and costs. I never…

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How to Develop KPIs That More Than Count

How to develop Key Performance Indicators that explicitly link through strategy

This article looks at how to go about developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If you’re interested in this topic enough to start reading, you’ll know that KPIs give you a richer view of performance than the normal accounting stuff that we produce in Finance. You’re also probably painfully aware that there are so many metrics…

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What does a good forecast look like?

How do you know whether your forecast is any good?

“Does anyone in FP&A ever review the accuracy of their predictive financial models from time to time?” That’s the question I posed on LinkedIn recently, and it generated a surprisingly good discussion. It turns out that FP&A professionals generally care quite a lot about the accuracy of their forecasts. One of the businesses I worked…

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Assessing Finance Effectiveness

Is your Finance function effective?

There are many different ways of looking at the performance of a Finance function. As with any question of performance, before you can tell how well you’re doing, you have to know “what good looks like”. How can we tell if we’re doing a good job if we don’t know what the definition of “good”…

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The 4 ‘i’s of Stakeholder management

Stakeholder management skills

Stakeholder management (or stakeholder engagement) is one of the skills that you need in increasing measure as you develop in your business career. It’s a strange term, I think, because it sounds like terminology. Do you know what I mean? The thing is, stakeholder engagement is not just one skill. It’s a group of skills,…

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Does Finance Need to Take More Risks?

Do we want risk takers in Finance? Does that conjure up positive or negative images in your mind? I sent some thoughts on this out in the Supercharges Finance newsletter recently (if you haven’t yet signed up for that, click here and join the other Finance superchargers!). I don’t normally put the same content on…

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Developing Finance Business Partnering (The Purpose-Driven CFO: Part 9)

Understanding why you do things makes a difference

I’m turning my attention today to Finance business partnering, a subject of growing interest. What is Finance business partnering? And why do we have those roles and job titles within Finance? Why do we need Finance business partners? However, I don’t take it for granted that anyone reading this will have read the other articles…

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5 Reasons a Top Management Meeting Can be Life-suckingly Useless – And How the CFO can Fix Them

Finance mistakes that drag down business

During my career, I’ve sometimes worked at the top level in Finance, and had the privilege of sitting alongside other functional heads in the “Senior Management Team” or “The Exec”, or even “The Board of Directors”. Obviously one of the chief ways we stayed in touch with each other, and with what was going on,…

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What is a Purpose-Driven Finance Function? (The Purpose-Driven CFO Part 8)

Understanding why you do things makes a difference

To date in this series, I’ve been picking activities that we do in the Finance function, and looking into why we do them. That’s the essence of my purpose-driven approach. We’ve worked through some big ones, like budgeting, strategy, financial reporting and financial analysis and others. (The links to all previous parts in the series can…

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What’s Best for Getting Process Efficiency in Finance?

robotic process automation

Here’s Something New You Should Be Considering I am trying to start this article in a way that won’t put people off reading before I even start. And that means going against the SEO principles I’ve been taught, and not mentioning my keyword straight out. You see, I think that the very terminology being used…

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