The Purpose-Driven CFO Part 2: What Are We Budgeting For?

Understanding why you do things makes a difference

The second in my series of LinkedIn articles is out now. It’s all about something which has seemed like a massive headache in pretty much every large business I’ve worked with – budgeting. In a purpose-driven Finance team, we must understand why we use budgets. My thinking is that understanding why helps us to do things better.…

Continue Reading →

Accounts Payable Automation – Benefits and Pitfalls

Beware the pitfalls of AP Automation

Where you work, have you automated Accounts Payable? I’d love to hear. Please tell me your experience in the comments below. Accounts Payable (AP), in case you were unsure, is the process by which the business pays the companies which supply it with goods and services. The suppliers send in invoices which must be paid…

Continue Reading →

The Purpose-Driven CFO: Introduction

Understanding why you do things makes a difference

Part One – Why Be Purpose-Driven? Understanding the purpose of what we’re doing can have a massive impact on how we do something and how we feel about doing it. In this new series on LinkedIn, I start to explore the reasons behind the things that we do in Finance. If you’ve ever, like me, got…

Continue Reading →

Managing Financial Reporting Like a Football Match

managing financial reporting like football

How do you motivate a Financial Reporting team to go through the stress and pressure of “month end” and be happy about it? How do you stop it becoming a monthly grind that makes them curse the day they decided to train as an accountant? I once took up an interim position heading up Group…

Continue Reading →

Need Big Cost Savings in Overheads? For the Sake of the Business, Do it the Right Way!

How to make overhead cost savings safely

What do you do, as a Finance Director or Senior Finance Manager, when the Board suddenly decides that one of their key strategies is an urgent round of cuts to make cost savings in overheads? And I don’t mean the 5% “budget task” or absorbing inflation. I mean what if there’s a downturn in the…

Continue Reading →

Projects – know why THEN plan what!

project rationale

With any project, you need to be clear why you want to do it before specifying what it is exactly that you want to do. So just waking up one day and saying, “we’re going move transaction processing to China”, is not a really great idea even if you can demonstrate that it reduces costs.…

Continue Reading →

Cash management – my learnings from nearly going out of business

cash like fuel

The cold, hard fact The basic – some would say the obvious – fundamental requirement in keeping a business alive is cash. Not customers, and not profit – you can have both of those things and still have a business failure. Cash is like the lifeblood of a business. That’s why the maxim, “Cash in…

Continue Reading →

What does it mean to be a business partner in Finance?

business partner

Is the Finance function a true business partner? The Marketing Director of a business I worked for once said in leading a seminar, words to the effect that, “functions like Finance, HR and IT are just overhead costs. They don’t add value. They don’t bring in new business or sell anything, and they don’t produce…

Continue Reading →

Business Performance Reporting – It’s Not All About the P&L


If you are going to be successful in managing your business, you need measurement. You need facts that tell you how well you are doing and where you need to improve. And those measures of business performance are much broader than just financial measures, such as profit, cash, margins, etc, however important they are. Performance reporting…

Continue Reading →

Stating the Bloomin’ Obvious

The Fundamental Principles of Business

The Fundamental Principles of Business I’ve been thinking recently about the fact that it’s difficult to say useful things that are relevant to businesses of all sizes. In reality the difference between small and large businesses, and the way they’re managed, are huge. We tend to talk about ‘small business’ as if it were one category,…

Continue Reading →

Page 5 of 5