How should my finance team be performing?

Many accountants who qualified doing audits are inadequately prepared for the transition into corporate accounting.  I had spent five years with Arthur Andersen &co and one year with Price Waterhouse before I moved to my first corporate accounting job.   While seeing many different organisations was a great start I had never worked on a month-end, completed an annual plan, managed a team of accounting staff or presented to the Board.   I thus did not know how a good finance team should perform or how to get my team to that place.

Imagine your Finance team making history rather than just reporting on it.  Imagine your month-end reporting being completed within 3 working days or less, your annual planning process being replaced by quarterly rolling planning, a year-end when you have the end of audit party within 3 weeks of your year-end, a happy and well function team. This website will offer you methodologies to fix the common problems in the finance team that will have a profound impact on your organisation and on your career.

We can make this a reality. I’m David Parmenter.  I am the author of  The Financial Controllers and CFO’s Toolkit 3 rd Edition.  It is a follow- on from winning CFOs and Pareto’s 80/20 for corporate accountants.

I teach how to develop winning KPIs, replace the annual planning process with quarterly rolling planning, speed up accounting processes and winning leadership. I’ve delivered workshops and key note addresses in 31 countries. Companies where I have delivered in-house workshops include European Space Agency, Australian Post, Lloyds of London, Open University, and the Singapore government (Peoples Association) and more.

Switching from a big 4 audit into corporate finance

Whilst working in audit provides a marvellous overview of industry, government and not for profit agencies it does not prepare us for running a finance team. In the big 4 your management skills are seldom tested,  staff underneath you are compliant  as they know they will only have to  put up with you on this audit, and in any case, they can easily avoid you when at the  client.  In order to make a successful switch it is important to work in a finance team which is well run and uses a number of better practices.

If you are planning your first, or next 100 days with a finance team here is what I would do:

  1. Fully understand my knowledge gap, remembering that audit does not show us how to manage a G/L, close a month-end or orchestrate an efficient annual planning process.
  2. Plan your approach to speeding up your month-end reporting.  Then cut down your reporting pack replacing it with concise A3 page dashboards.  With the time saving from these changes, then streamline your accounts payable processes with a view to reducing transactions.  The benefit you will get from these three initiatives will pave the way to tackling annual planning and performance measures. You can achieve these three changes by purchasing and reading my toolkits and the articles on this web page.
  3. Access some of my pay-to-view recorded webinars with ACCA, CAANZ, & ICAEW.  Also access my Serving leader toolkit that will lift your leadership.
  4. Consider  getting me to deliver an in -house webcastIn-house, implementation focused, one and two day workshops, for you or book a one-to-one gotomeeting with David Parmenter.
  5. Access my Four books.

Attending a public workshop or getting me to run an inhouse

I have two day, one day master classes and different in-house training options including web based training for your team to get you and your organisation on the journey. So either attend one of my public courses, book me for your conference, or get me to deliver an in-house workshop.  I travel around the world on two to three tours a year so we can make it work for you.

What are my courses like? Read what delegates say. Start today by reading my books and listen to some recorded speeches.

Common problems in the finance team

Are your month-ends one drama after another Read more. Is your organisation succeeding in spite of the annual planning process rather than because of it? Read more Is the finance team a collection of individuals rather than a cohesive team? Read more Is the year-end a process that carries on months into the new year? Read more Does the finance team have a history of late and/ or failed projects? Read more Do you have too many KPIs, many of which are leading to dysfunctional behavior? Read more. Are the accountants spending too much time reporting history rather than making it? Read more.

David Parmenter Winning CFOs Series

Some of the Published Articles & Chapter Extracts

Mastering the traits of a winning CFO

Never before has the role of the CFO been more complex, multi-faceted and rewarding. The CFO is now juggling more balls in the air than ever before, in front of an audience that is more demanding and knowledgeable.

What makes the difference from average to good and from good to great performance?

In this article I will attempt to shed some light on why you may not be scoring the goals you should, save training drills and suggestions. Please note that I am not writing this from personal success. I have never been a CFO, nor was I a good corporate accountant. I am basing this article on countless years of benchmarking CFO’s from all sectors and whose success varied from poor to great.

The CFO is now juggling more balls in the air than ever before, in front of an audience that is more demanding and knowledgeable. What makes the difference from average to good and from good to great CFO performance? I believe I have the answer. The model I have developed is based on countless years of bench marking CFO’s from all sectors and whose success varied from poor to great.

Once the foundation stones in place, you can now use them as a platform from which to juggle the areas of focus, see Exhibit 1, that make up being a winning CFO. Many of the focus areas have a soft skills component, an area which is often not on the CFOs radar screen. These have been marked with an ‘S’.

Exhibit 1 A winning CFO model

To continue reading please view Mastering the traits of a winning CFO here.

I have developed much material to help revolutionize the CFO performance: