#092: Reinventing Finance to Deliver Genuine Impact & Prosperous Careers

Andrew Harding

Our Guest Mentor:

Andrew Harding FCMA, CGMA, is the Chief Executive of the Management Accounting at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which represents 667,000 members and students in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues.

Andrew leads all management accounting activities for the Association and on behalf of CIMA members, develops plans and strategies, manages relationships and delivers results for members. He is also focused on driving value for members by sourcing the best management accounting resources and thinking from around the world.

Andrew is a Deloitte alumnus, having started his career in the mid-1980s as a trainee auditor. He progressed into training and development from there, and then began professional body work in 1991. He joined CIMA in 2009, originally as Executive Director for Global Markets, and became Managing Director in 2011—a position he held until 2016. Andrew served as Non-Executive Chairman of GTS Chemicals PLC, a Chinese company listed in London, from 2014 to 2016.

Andrew was born in London. He holds an MBA from Henley Business School at the University of Reading, and a BSc (Economics) from the University of Bristol.

Key Quotes From the Episode:

“[On an example the dramatic rate of change in our profession] In 1991 in the ACCA office at that point I think there was 15 of us sharing one PC … and then suddenly overnight we call got a PC on our desks, and no one talked about Internet in those days.” [06:15]

 “[On what hasn’t changed in accounting & finance] What hasn’t changed through is that primarily you’re working with people and you have to get things done, you have to influence people, you have to get the right decisions made, that’s still there, so that becomes the really key sustainable part of it which lasts forever, but other pieces, yeah you’ve got to move, you’ve got to change.” [09:21]

“[On how to stay relevant] To stay relevant is all about the value you create in the business. And it’s no longer good enough to turn up at 9 move the numbers around and go home at 5 and say my contribution is producing this report. Now what you have to be doing is anything you produce what’s the result of that, what does that create, who’s mind does it change, who’s thinking does it change, how does it impact on the business?  … Before you were the back office now you are regarded as the owner of the understanding in the business, people want to know if they pull a lever here what’s the impact here, and I’m that guide to them, and I create solutions, and I also help them develop their own solutions… and that’s where impact and influence are important and they can’t be automated.” [11:18]

“[On becoming master of the machine to improve job security] Those things that make you feel like a robot can be automated and why don’t you do that yourself.” [16:40]

“[On the importance of successful business in our society] Successful businesses create jobs, they create prosperity, they provide a tax take that allow governments to provide services, we sometimes lose that when we look at the ecosystem and what we need to be thinking is prosperous careers, successful businesses and that is really what the future is about and so much of that now is about getting the right decisions made.” [20418]

“[On the power of Finance & Accounting] Finance and Accounting is transformative of individuals, it is transformative of communities and corporations, it’s transformation of nations, it changes the destiny of things. So if you want to do something that is worthwhile, that is changing that has purpose there are many things you can do but a strong contender is finance.” [21:58]

 (Other resources and how to connect with Andrew below).

Key Points From the Episode:

  • How we keep ahead of the rapid pace of change and how must question what’s relevant today to have a sustainable career.
  • We discuss the importance of successful businesses and our role in addressing the trust deficit in our society.
  • The advantage of becoming known as a Value Creator for shareholder and stakeholders.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[02:42] – Andrew shares his 35 year career journey from trainee auditor to moving into the people, training & development, and the education side of our profession.

[06:07] – A dramatic example of the change that’s been happening accounting & finance

[08:20] – How we keep ahead of the rapid pace of change and how must question what’s relevant today to have a sustainable career.

[11:16] – Andrew explains some simple ways for us to stay relevant.

[11:50] – Share’s an example of what’s happening at top performing companies.

[13:40] – A real challenge put also an opportunity for finance professionals coming from the front line of the business.

[16:25] – We discuss ways of improving our job and career security as well as an example how the younger generations are dealing successfully with this.

[18:55] – The advantage of becoming known as a Value Creator.

[20:05] – What’s exciting Andrew most about his current work.

[20:43] – We discuss the importance of successful businesses in our society.

[22:18] – Andrew goes into one of the main rationales for creating the AICPA-CIMA Association to best serve members, the profession and business.

[24:10] – Andrew introduces the perceived trust deficit in society and our accountants and finance professionals role to play in addressing it.

[26:43] –The importance of stakeholder value as opposed to shareholder value.

[27:57] – The best bit of advice Andrew has ever received.

[29:40] – Andrew shares useful free resources for our audience to check out.

[31:00] – How best to connect with Andrew.

Resources Mentioned:

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