Why Business Needs More Boring Accountants

honesty in accounting is what business needs

When I came out of public practice and went to work for a business in their Finance team, I was fairly naïve. I still had a very black and white view – an auditors view – of accounting. And so, some of the practices of the management accountants were a real shock to me. My…

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Sharing the Love – Useful Resources For Finance People From Other Sources

Since I’ve been writing articles on Finance topics, I’ve been paying more attention to others who are doing similar things – providing resources for Finance people. And one of the great benefits of doing the writing (and I think everyone who publishes thought-provoking material will say the same) is that you get to connect with,…

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Finding purpose in the boring bits of Finance (The Purpose-Driven CFO Part 10)

purpose-driven cfo

I haven’t written in this series for a while. So, for new readers, I’ll just briefly reiterate the premise of The Purpose-Driven CFO. What I set out to do was to investigate what difference it makes going back to first principles with the things we do in Finance, and asking “why?” I know from experience…

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Finance transformation without new software or shared services

Transform vision in Finance first

This article was inspired by a comment that Andrew Jepson made in response to Part 2 of my series on Innovation and Finance, which spoke about the attitude that Finance should have to innovation within its own function. He said (in commenting on my LinkedIn post), “Can innovation in finance be as simple as: Put…

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Innovation and Finance Part 3 – Big Software Vendors Discourage Innovation

We don't need no innovation?

Ok, so my Innovation and Finance series was supposed to have two parts. But I thought of a third, and potentially a fourth! In the previous parts, I’ve spoken about how Finance should be supportive of business innovation that benefits the customer and brings competitive advantage. And I’ve spoken about how Finance should be cautious…

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Innovation and Finance Part 2 – Another Brick in the Wall

We don't need no innovation?

This is my second article looking at the relationship of Finance with innovation. Last time I shared a few thoughts on how Finance can support strategic business innovation, which benefits customers and provides competitive advantage. This time I want to turn my attention to innovation within Finance, affecting what we do on a day to…

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Innovation and Finance Part 1 – Customer Focus

How can Finance support but control innovation in business

Two innovation problems for Finance When we think about the attitude of Finance towards innovation, there are two key questions: What should our attitude be towards business innovation? And, What should our attitude be towards internal innovation within Finance? It’s going to take me two posts to deal with these questions. But, before I kick…

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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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