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Archive for May, 2007

Will A Management Accountant Please Stand Up?

May 25th, 2007

I was going through my mail this morning and I came across a brochure for a two day Management Accounting program. Programs such as this are attended by corporate accountants who have functional titles such as business analysts, CFOs, controllers, cost accountants and of course management accountants!

One of the sessions being offered is called Fusing Strategy, Operations and Budgets. The blurb notes that organizational success is enhanced by linking strategic intent with business performance management. It talks about identifying cause and effect relationships between goals, actions and outcomes. It emphasizes the critical importance of continual KPI monitoring to achieve fusion of strategy and operations.

Another session is titled Better Reports = Better Decisions. This session recognizes the link between the quality of information and the quality of management. It addresses the issue of timeliness and accuracy as well as integrating non-financial metrics into the reporting framework. It talks about strategy maps and balanced scorecards and it addresses the issue of how report presentation (e.g. visual dashboards) impacts the level of management understanding and therefore operational impact.

There are other sessions that fit this genre but the point I want to make is that the people who present, and those who attend, these classes work for companies that rely on their professional advice and input. As you would imagine these companies would, in the main, be large relative to the SMEs that we generally deal with.

SMEs have precisely the same information needs as larger businesses. In fact a strong case can be made that a large business is nothing more than a small business that has been well informed and well managed!

SMEs need the services of the people who have the necessary training and skill to provide this type of reporting. They don’t need them 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year but they do need them. Enter the public practitioner AKA management accountant, business analyst, CFO – what ever you want to call yourself.

SME’s need your help with their management information system. You have the basic training, you can supplement your skills with a little more study, you have the tools and you have the clients. It seems to me you add all of this up and you get “wonderful opportunity” to deliver real value, get paid for it and differentiate your firm. We’ll be talking a lot more about this at our Annual Conference in Las Vegas this year. Don’t miss it.