You don’t have to be demanding in order to hold your employees accountable. You don’t even have to raise your voice if their efforts have fallen short of your expectations. In most cases, all you really need are the right performance criteria, many of which are measured by running the numbers.
What kind of impression do your financial statements convey to your financing sources? Beyond the actual financial results, a disorganized chart of accounts may be providing unintended insights into your management savvy and level of sophistication, causing your banks and investors to discount your numbers. It may be time to declutter.
It’s not always the numbers that are the critical variable in the life of a chief financial officer. In fact, to be successful, any financial manager has to develop arguments that transcend the numbers and to communicate his or her recommendations effectively in order to contribute to operating decisions that make financial sense. In this respect, verbal presentations in management meetings or to an outside party can be important, but in order to marshal your arguments to make certain that your audience understands, there’s nothing that beats writing for money.
Most small company owners will agree that timely and accurate financial statements are critical to their effective operational management. But that’s just the start. You’re the president. You have your controller’s monthly statement in front of you. What does it tell you? What other information should you and your managers be chewing on?