IN ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE
That is the challenge laid down by Martin Gilchrist, founder and manager of Gilchrist and Co. Chartered Accountants, a 300 client boutique practice. Martin has mentored many businesses and start-ups and has even been described as one of Northern Ireland’s best-networked professionals. He has a huge following on social media, 35k followers on Twitter alone, and is known for saying there are so many networking events going on in Belfast that “you could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner for free every working day”. It’s no surprise then Martin’s advice is very practical and valuable for listeners, in this episode he shares:
• The importance of resilience in business, the different types and its main benefits.
• Shares 5 practical steps for building more resilient networks around us.
• Why he is not worried that technology will put him out of a job; and
• Why mirror neurons matter for accountants and finance professionals.
Accountants and Finance professionals sometimes get a bad rap and are seen as boring because we can occasionally get so caught up in crunching the numbers, getting spreadsheets to work, or stuck in the financials that we end up detaching from the commercial reality that good business is fundamentally about people.
More specifically, it’s really much less about the numbers (which some of us finance professionals generally hold as important) and instead much more about developing rapport and trusting relationships with ‘real’ people so that you earn the right to start doing business with each other.
In this episode I share one simple step that you can repeatedly use to develop trusting relationships with your customers, clients and other stakeholders in the business.
Well our guest mentor Robin Kiziak has been there and not only successfully answered this question and made a real meaningful impact for this business but he also found himself stepping outside his comfort zone to do so. He shares with us his story, some very practical advice we can all benefit from as well as some key points around:
• How to practically develop the confidence to build relationships, particularly where we’ve not been used to doing this before;
• How we can do some simple things to scale our impact; and
• A story on how to improve the perception other teams might have of Finance.
There’s this stereotypical image of the boring ‘Dilbert-like’ accountant who sits behind their desk all day crunching the numbers, however the research suggests that extraverted accountants not only liked their jobs more, but they were almost always among the most successful and were most often promoted to supervisor or managerial positions. So which is the best way to be?
In this episode I deconstruct some of the research and share what is thought to be the most successful approach that luckily most of us can follow.
The actress Andie MacDowell said “talking to your hairdresser is almost like talking to your therapist,” which in effect means if we wish to have our customers, clients and business partners share with us their challenges and issues we must similarly be good at our communications as well as building a trusting environment for open conversations.
In fact our guest mentor, Michelle Gasson is a former trainee hairdresser come finance leader, and she shares an amazing career story, as well as some great tips on improving our communication skills. Specifically in this episode Michelle shares:
• Practical advice on how to prioritise time between building a career, work, studies, kids, partner, and other activities.
• How we can improve our communication leveraging her prior experiences with scientists.
• With the rise of robots in our profession how we can future-proof ourselves.
Generally in Finance & Accounting we want to help our organisations make better, more sustainable decisions. In fact we pride ourselves on presenting our ideas clearly and logically but sometimes our insights and expertise seem fall on deaf ears. Why?
So on this bitesized episode I explain why this happens and share a 5 step approach to use this to your advantage.
With the uncertainty created by all the digital disruption going on in Finance, in particular how fast things are happening and the blurring of traditional business models what does all of this mean for our FP&A teams?
Our guest mentor Kenneth Fick, who is an FP&A thought leader and also the founder of fpaexperts.com provides some answers to this question as well as offering further advice on what FP&A professionals can be practically doing today to continue playing an important role into the future. Key points from the episode:
So on this episode I explain why and share a 5 step approach to use this to your advantage.
It’s generally accepted that we’re pretty handy with reporting and analysing the numbers, but are we using the right language when talking about them?
Our guest mentor Steve Rosvold founder of CFO.University helps us understand why we need to become multilingual and how we can practically go about it so we can experience more success in accounting & finance. Other key points we cover in this episode are:
• Steve shares the key skill involved in building relationships.
• the 3 languages that help us make a difference to the businesses and communities we serve.
• The role of finance professionals and accountants as teachers.
If you haven’t heard of the outcry for the death of Excel then you must be living under a rock. This highly emotive topic has gained a lot of high profile media attention, fake news and even changed the views of many finance professionals all the way up to the C-suite and Wall Street.
It’s so dramatic this shift in sentiment that it’s almost hard to tell who is actually right or wrong and what to do next in Finance Transformation.
There are very compelling arguments for and against. So rather than debate it online Chris and Lance go head to head in a gloves off session.