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10 Ways to Spot a Weak Finance Executive


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Are financial reports at your company always late? Is the controller always stuck behind his or her desk? Here are 10 tell-tale signs of a weak finance manager.

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10 Ways to Spot a Weak Finance Executive

  1. 1. 10 Ways to Spot a Weak Finance Executive By Joya Martin
  2. 2. My Background I started my career in finance in 1997 when I joined Ernst & Young, as an Audit Associate. In the years following, I have also worked with Big Four firms PwC and KPMG and as FC and CFO in several industries, and finally as a telecoms GM.
  3. 3. A changing role More than ever, there is a demand for skilled accounting professionals. Over the years, expectations of the role of chief accountant, finance manager, financial controller, finance director and chief financial officer have evolved significantly.
  4. 4. A changing role The accounting profession is no longer the realm of bean counters in dark, dingy offices piled high with papers and overflowing with adding machine tape.
  5. 5. A changing role Today’s finance executive is not just an administrator or cost cutter, but a key partner in the business, creating value and providing a high return on investment. Top performers expand their skills beyond the purely financial to become true leaders within their organizations.
  6. 6. Weak finance executives Here are 10 red flags that will help you spot a mediocre accounting executive. If you are a finance executive who is guilty of any of these indicators, it is never too late to start diligently focusing on improving your own performance.
  7. 7. 1. Frequently missed deadlines Ineffective finance managers forget that for financial reports to be effective, they must be provided to decision-makers in a timely manner. Strong executives work well under pressure to produce timely, reliable and accurate information.
  8. 8. 2. Hard work with few results Ineffective finance managers get addicted to putting in the long hours required without tying the strenuous effort to tangible goals and visible improvements. Skilled controllers focus on becoming better at what they do, not just on burning the midnight oil.
  9. 9. 3. Chained to a desk Weak chief accountants are out of touch with the day-to-day happenings in the organization. They fail to understand that finance crosses all areas of the business, and missing the opportunity to assert themselves as leaders, are ignored by both colleagues and line staff.
  10. 10. 4. Not supported by GM/CEO The relationship between a financial controller and the general manager is one of the most critically important to the success of the business. Skilled finance professionals make it a priority to win the trust of leaders and make sure there is open and frequent communication.
  11. 11. 5. Poor communication Poor financial executives lack the communication skills to engage effectively with people at all levels of the organization. Skilled finance managers communicate company performance clearly and concisely both orally and in writing. They are not afraid of delivering bad news and provide information to stakeholders without having to be asked.
  12. 12. 6. Lack of commerciality Inept accountants fail to grasp critical processes and non-financial drivers of business success. An effective finance director will have well-developed commercial skills and be intimately familiar with the functioning of all business cycles.
  13. 13. 7. Poor team building Weak CFOs downplay the importance of attracting the best and brightest people. They fail to create a nurturing environment which challenges young professionals. They expect hard work without providing adequate coaching or clear paths for advancement, and find themselves in a disrupting cycle of losing key people, rehiring and retraining.
  14. 14. 8. Bad cash flow management Unfit accountants encounter frequent difficulties meeting important financial obligations. Strong financial executives think ahead to skillfully juggle scarce resources, negotiate with suppliers and perform miracles to ensure that staff are not paid late.
  15. 15. 9. Lack of accountability Ineffective finance directors are intimidated by their colleagues and don’t challenge them on targets, variances and overall performance. A skillful CFO will demonstrate self- confidence and have the gravitas to hold the executive team accountable for results.
  16. 16. 10. Lack of added value Weak accountants are undisciplined, pay insufficient attention to detail and produce low-quality reports, and poor forecasts based on faulty assumptions. Sound finance managers are fiercely committed to achieving the goals of the company. They are fluent with their numbers, able to think strategically and translate plans into effective action.
  17. 17. Thanks for viewing!