As a failed corporate accountant, by that I mean I had to organise my own ‘leaving do’, I feel particularly well qualified to write this article. I have however discovered many better practices, from accountants across the world, as that is what I do for a living. The twenty major blunders since Paciolo sent us on our way are randomly listed.

1. Having over 80 account codes for the P/L
2. Only forecasting to year-end
3. Breaking down the annual plan into twelve before the year starts
4. Giving budget holders an annual entitlement
5. Budgeting at account code level
6. Taking months doing an annual plan –when it can be done in 10 working days or less!
7. Producing numbing monthly financial reports
8. Reporting on the wrong performance measures
9. Not producing daily/ weekly decision based reports
10. Selling change by logic
11. Allowing month-end reporting to go past three working days
12. Using Julius Caesar’s calendar as a reporting tool
13. Spending months on the annual accounts
14. Investing in a complex G/L and upgrading unnecessarily
15. Letting Excel dominate the finance system
16. Working Hard but not Smart
17. Not investing enough in Accounts Payable
18. Not adopting the purchase card – a free AP system!
19. Not investing effort and time into leadership
20. Not celebrating enough

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