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

What seems to be the problem?

You run a business that has reached a decent size (let’s say, £12m turnover). You love what you are doing and want to kick on, raise some funding and scale-up to the next level (why not £50m turnover?). But there is a problem… Cash-flow is tight and you are not sure that your finance function is up to the job. … Read More

6 Finance Function Basics for ScaleUps

You’ve set up a business. You’re starting to grow and you are ambitious to scale-up further. You want to stay on top of your finances without going over-the-top. What are the basics that you need to put in place to be confident in your finances and be able to convince others to invest in you? This is my list of … Read More

Be Informed: 10 Questions that your Management Information Should Answer

Running a business without good management information is like driving a car with your eyes closed: the chances are that you are going to crash. But what information is useful? What things should you be seeking out on a regular basis? Although businesses vary, there is a core set of management questions that need answered in most businesses on a … Read More

What’s the point?

What’s the point? I am sure that there are quite a few of you out there who think this now and again. First, let me be precise in what I mean by the question: What is the point in running a good finance function? And the answer is…. happiness for all. What? The boring people with the calculators create happiness? … Read More

Big Stuff for Finance Functions

As the senior manager of a finance function you know that new technology is transforming the financial management landscape. But you may not know which competencies you should be focusing on to keep up. If you want to find out the big stuff to concentrate on, this article is for you. The diagram above shows how the amount of effort … Read More

Are you keeping up?

If you’re running a growing business it’s hard to keep up with everything. Here’s 3 things to focus on with your financial management. 1. Control Cash and Profit With the emphasis in the order shown. 2. Get Good Information Spend time on: planning and designing the information so it’s what you need. finding the right tools for the job. There … Read More

Financial Foresight

You may or may not be familiar with the teachings of Peter F. Drucker, something of a god amongst management gurus. I have spent some of my holiday picking through some of his classic writing. I love his requirements for the 3 early stages of a new venture: First, a focus on the market, not the product. Without this you … Read More

LASER: the 5 questions to pose your finance function

Further to last month’s blog, I have boiled the 5 principles for 21st Century Financial Management into an acronym for you to remember. To consider whether your finance function is up-to-scratch think “L.A.S.E.R.” standing for: Lean Access to information Speedy Engaged Robust. These principles can be applied to any business large or small. They lead into 5 questions that will … Read More

Something of an epiphany

It was a little strange. I didn’t expect Sir Peter Bazalgette to be my source of revelation. But he was. While listening to him give what was a stimulating talk in Bristol this evening, it all fell into place. I realised why I do what I do. What do I do? I help businesses, large and small, run great finance … Read More