Understanding why you do things makes a difference

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

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.…

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Beware the pitfalls of AP Automation

Accounts Payable Automation – Benefits and Pitfalls

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…

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Understanding why you do things makes a difference

The Purpose-Driven CFO: Introduction

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…

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managing financial reporting like football

Managing Financial Reporting Like a Football Match

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…

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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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