The general image is that accountants have a different mindset and are sometimes difficult when it comes to practical situation. This may be due to we are taught to be conservative. However accountants play an important role in keeping the business on track.
ACCA study points out that finance need a structured training. In another report on management accountant, they argue that the best way to broaden and deepen a management accountant’s experience is to have them work with other specialists, including engineers and marketeers. To be part of a team you have to trust the other members of that team. This is what the accounting function needs to learn more of and it is closely related to personal development, learning to work and play with others.
So what is your approach to understand the business ? Is it reading the financial statements or going to the shop floor, seeing the manufacturing process or a day with a sales team.
Whenever we start our SAP implementation, we would request the management to take us around the manufacturing plant or depots to understand the business. See the people working. Walking through and talking to really helps to understanding the business.
Long time back, our company had organised a training program for Internal Audit Department and I was one of the team member. The first day, the trainer gave us a quick test. He said, “The scenario is a of a shipping company. One of the ship had to station somewhere in the sea. They drop the anchor and the chain of anchor breaks and anchor goes down to the ocean floor.
The crew are unable to retrieve it. Now the question – how to explain loss of anchor to the financial controller? The captain of the ship comes out with a simple solution. He writes a memo to the Financial Controller of the shipping company that the anchor has been eaten by rats. Please write off !!! … After a couple of days, Financial Controller replies… Note Approved !!!”
Our trainer then asked us a simple question, “How did the Financial Controller approve the write off of the Anchor worth thousands of dollars ?”…. We gave numerous reply, but not to the satisfaction of the trainer. He said, “Financial Controller did not know the business of the company”.
Management Accountants… make it a point to work with the business. You will be looked favourably and you will climb career ladder very quickly.
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