Attractive mid adult businesswoman with long blonde hair talking to mature colleague with short grey hair in office.

Key to every successful medium-sized and large business is a successful finance team. They go together. The idea that you can have a successful business that grows and thrives without having a good finance team is nonsense.

And that comes down to people.

In the finance team, the value that your people can bring goes far beyond the production of the numbers.

Getting the right structure and skill set is important, but often the most crucial support is delivered through training and mentoring of key people. We see this as part of our commitment to helping improve our clients’ businesses for the long term.

Modelling the way

To give you a recent example, we have been providing in-depth mentoring support to an accountant who heads the finance team of a large business. It is a complex business, with various subsidiaries operating across different disciplines.

The accountant, who we’ll call Adam, had much of the required knowledge and an understanding of the tools, but he needed guidance on the practical application of these. This is a situation we see quite often.

With the support and commitment of the management team, we mentored Adam over a 12-month period. We helped him develop a much improved management reporting system and much better processes. It also involved helping him to work with the management team.

He is now a key member of that team.

Reaping the rewards

As a result, everyone in the business is now getting greatly improved information and value from the work Adam does. Likewise, Adam has achieved performance levels and career progression that he was not previously on track to do.

The client is delighted, not least because the previous solution mooted was that they needed a senior level FD. Whilst in some cases this is appropriate, it was a significantly more expensive option that has been proved unnecessary in this situation. In short, we have all seen the rewards of helping Adam fulfil his potential.

Tailored to your team

Whilst this is a surprisingly common situation, there is no single approach. It has to be tailored to the needs of your business, and to the talents – and weaknesses – of the individuals concerned. The level of support varies and the impact of the mentoring programme is greater with some clients than with others.

Our work with clients begins by listening, talking and asking the right questions. Many of the businesses we work with agree that the real value comes from sitting down with people.

The Chairman of one group of companies sums it up as follows:

“I wanted to say how pleased and thoroughly impressed I was with what you guys have achieved in a relatively short space of time. It’s excellent work and if I am honest, it exceeded my expectations. You are providing us with some invaluable coaching and at the same time providing us with the requisite tools to ensure we are close to the movements in the businesses. I know we will now begin to excel in all parts of the group to ensure we achieve or improve our already ambitious future.”
For advice on how to improve  finance team performance, contact Larry Phillips larry.phillips@goodmanjones.com

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