Finance function leaders: are you running too hard to stand still?

Are you stressed out? This blog is a call to those of you who run finance functions that are struggling to call for help. You are not alone. Asking for help is a sign of strength not failure. As I have identified in an earlier blog and has been shown in Dunn & Bradstreet research, many finance functions are finding … Read More

So what? The impact on performance of your finance function

In this blog I explain the impact on an organisation of a finance function being in a particular performance state. In my last blog I explained the 3 states of performance in which I classify finance functions and the indicators I use to determine which state they are in. The table below recaps the states and shows their impact on … Read More

Confused, good or high performance? The 3 performance statuses of finance functions and their indicators

In my experience of reviewing finance functions there are 3 performance statuses into which they can fall: Financial confusion or blindness indicating a lack of preparedness to invest in and value the benefits of decent financial management. Lack of clarity of where the business really stands follows and all the confusion this brings. Good financial control where the basics are … Read More

Is finance overloaded?

This interesting research paper by Dunn & Bradstreet indicates that finance functions have become overloaded. The conclusion is that there is mounting pressure on finance as a result of its increased role in supporting business growth rather simply being the risk protector. There is concern that mistakes are being made as less checking and due diligence is done. An underlying driver … Read More

Let’s Find Out What Makes Up an Effective Finance Function!

I’m on a mission to find out what makes up an effective finance function. Aged 53 with 19 years’ experience of being an FD behind me, I think that I’ve already got a good idea but I’m not sure. The world of finance is changing and I want to find out what other people think. By pooling our knowledge I … Read More

Does your finance function measure up?

If you are serious about managing a good finance team, you need to track their performance. What measures have you in place? Here are my top 5 for getting your team on the right track: 1.What do your stakeholders think? To measure this you first need to work out who your stakeholders are. Then simply record a score on a … Read More

I don’t like transformation

Since the start of the year I have been delving deeper into the world of change management and looking at different approaches for improving finance functions. And my conclusion is that I don’t like transformation: the word not the process. What’s the problem? It makes it seem too easy. Transformation sounds like you click your fingers and hey presto! Everything is sorted. … Read More

Are you connected?

Have you ever arrived in a finance department and thought that this place feels neglected? It seems remote and does not appear to be valued by the rest of the organisation. Any person with get up and go probably got up and left a while ago. Unfortunately, there seem to be too many finance departments like this around. Is this … Read More

For transformation finance has to be robust

Some of you may already be familiar with the LASER framework for assessing a finance function. Great finance functions are: Lean Accessible Speedy Engaged and above all Robust. The position of robustness at the base of this list is significant: it supports everything else. If accounts are wrong or controls are weak then you can be as lean and speedy … Read More

Don’t let your BS put you in La-la land

Whimsical musicals are all very good when you want to escape reality. They are, however, not what you need when reviewing where your business’s finances stand. This information should be coolly realistic propped up by the accountant’s core touchstone: a fully reconciled balance sheet. I sometimes hear some finance directors or accountants explain that they do not fully reconcile the … Read More