Agate: the publisher and consumer network of the future

This blog is about Agate, a start-up business that I am working with. Why have I written it? Because Agate is exciting and doing something great. An added bonus is that, if you have an interest in the future of the media and are a high net worth individual, you can invest. What’s the story? I first learned about Agate … Read More


5 Ways That Good Design Principles Can Apply to Finance.  Because finance undoubtedly relies on a decent level of numeracy skills, people like to think of it as being an “objective” function. I am not convinced. Great financial management has always required large doses of competence in softer skills: arguably more with the machines taking over the calculations. One of these … Read More

The Providers of Reliable Information

We live in an age when nearly everyone is being asked to turn out higher quality work in less time using fewer resources. Ok, the tech is there to help us do this, but it can be a gruelling challenge when whatever progress you make is never enough. And this never-ending march can lead to what can be catastrophic mistakes … Read More

Are they up to it?

10 Questions To Assess the Performance of Your Finance Function You’ve decided that you want to improve the performance of your finance team but where do you start? To work out how to improve anything, you need to start by working out how well it is performing now. The answers to the following questions will indicate how things are in … Read More

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

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

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