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

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

Why do we exist?

A deep question which it makes infinite sense to answer… not only if you are feeling spiritual but also if you run a business. I have recently read two business books that positively gush about the importance of clearly answering this most fundamental of questions. The first is Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why”. To get his point, my recommendation is … Read More

Management: the Netflix way

Most of us know Netflix for its innovative entertainment business, not for its management. In the last few days I’ve been learning about its ground-breaking management culture and high performance working environment. I’ve been really impressed how it has got rid of processes that are a complete pain in too many businesses and invested in a culture that encourages responsibility … Read More