focusing the finance function on business performance

New book available now: Supercharged Finance

My new full colour ebook is out now. It’s called Supercharged Finance – Focusing the Finance Function on Business Performance. It is structured around what I call the Business Performance Management Wheel. That’s a model I came up with to describe the main elements that go into business performance management. I first came up with the model…

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How to make overhead cost savings safely

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

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…

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what does Finance function exist for?

The Finance Function – What does it exist for?

One of the things I’m really thankful for in my career in Finance is the chance to get involved in a variety of business change projects. I learned a lot through those projects. But there were two defining moments for me that transformed the way I look at projects. The first was an internal course…

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project rationale

Project Kick Off – know why THEN plan what!

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.…

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cash like fuel

Cash management – my learnings from nearly going out of business

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…

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business partner

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

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…

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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…

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The Fundamental Principles of Business

Stating the Bloomin’ Obvious

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,…

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