Give Your Finance Function a Boost to Give Your Business a Boost!

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[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left” font_size=”14″ font_font=”Open%20Sans” font_style=”normal”]Hi, I’m Andy Burrows. Welcome to

I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you what this website is all about.

It’s aimed at people who work in Finance teams in business. CFOs and Finance Directors will probably be interested in the content, but this isn’t just about “how to be a good CFO”. If you work in a Finance function, and want to do your best work, my aim is to provide information here that will help you.

What I’ve learnt over the years is that the purpose of the Finance function in any business is to drive business performance. There are many things we do in Finance, but the main reason we do them is to drive the business to perform better.

Why do I say that?

Well, aside from the CEO, who do investors and shareholders hold to account for the performance of the business they own? It’s the CFO! The guy who heads up the Finance function.

But let’s unpack that a little. How is performance in a business managed?

Well, I probably wouldn’t be saying anything new by reiterating what you already know. To manage performance you have to have a cycle:Finance Drives Business Performance

Planning, Execution, Measurement and Feedback.

Every business has a plan, saying what it’s going to do and what the management hope the outcome will be.

Then the plan has to be executed – do what we say we’re going to do.

At regular intervals we measure whether the outcome of our actions is what we hoped for.

And we feed back based on the results. That includes analysing the outcomes and assessing whether our execution needs improvement, or whether our plan needs to change. Then we go round the cycle again.

Finance gets involved first of all in planning, reporting and measurement, analysis and feedback – all those things are obvious. But we also support execution by ensuring that change projects are viable, pricing is set correctly, and that expenditure is controlled and directed to the right places.

But there are more factors that go into the performance of a business. Consider:

Stakeholder management

  • shareholders are not the only ones with an interest in the business, but Finance definitely engages with them to provide information;
  • then there are suppliers (we deal with),
  • customers (we deal with),
  • bankers and lenders (we deal with),
  • auditors, tax authorities, etc, etc.

Risk management and control

  • We must be aware of the risks that threaten the performance of the business, both externally and internally.
  • Internally, we can mitigate risks by ensuring controls are in place.
  • Finance is in the forefront of identifying, assessing and managing risk, and in ensuring there’s an effective internal control system in place within the business.
  • And there’s also what we could generically call, “compliance”. The interest in legal and regulatory issues normally falls to Finance, because the rules are mainly there to enable consistent corporate governance and prevent financial fraud and mismanagement.

Resource management

  • First and foremost, cash management and forecasting. Cash is like fuel for the business, and just like a Formula One car, that fuel needs to be managed for performance in the race;
  • But then there’s also allocation of funds to get the best “bang for our buck”.
  • Finance leads both of these.

Transaction management

  • recording transactions,
  • paying the bills,
  • collecting the cash from customers,
  • managing the loan payments and dividends,
  • the shareholder investments,
  • paying the employees,
  • managing and paying the tax bills, the VAT;
  • providing the reports to the market, the shareholders, etc.
  • Finance is involved in every single transaction the business makes, either enacting it, recording it, or needing to be aware of it for reporting or other purposes.

In short, whilst Finance may not do the day to day business – the buying and selling, the making and creating, the provision of services – we are at the heart of enabling every aspect of it.

Now, we can either do that passively – so we serve the business in enabling the transactions and reporting back on how it’s going.

Or, we can do that actively – we partner the business, driving it through our involvement to optimise every aspect of performance.

My argument is that we should do the latter – because the CFO is held to account for business performance, and because we’re involved in every aspect of performance management and control.

In fact, those two reasons are linked and can be looked at either way:

Either the CFO is held to account because Finance is involved in every aspect of performance; or Finance should be involved in every aspect of performance because the CFO is held to account for it.

What Supercharged Finance, and this website, is all about is helping you in your Finance functions to do a better job in driving the performance of your business. Give your Finance function a boost to give your business a boost!

That’s it in a nutshell.

I really want you to get the most out of what we produce here, and to think about it and engage with it.

So, do please check out, and sign up for, the free resources that are available on the website. One of those is an introductory mini-course showing how Finance can drive and improve the performance of the business.

And I’d love it if you would follow on social media. The best ways to get our social media content are:

  • By following me (Andy Burrows) on LinkedIn (so, go to my profile and click the Follow button shown next to my articles and activity); or
  • By ‘liking’ the Supercharged Finance Facebook page,
  • The buttons are on our home page to link to those accounts.

But the best way to keep in touch is simply to enter your email address below and get updates, more material to help you do your best work in Finance, direct to your inbox.

I look forward to keeping in touch! Thanks for listening![/text_block]