Archive for April 2013

The Future Of Financial Controlling (1) – Defining the Commercial Finance Controller Job

Finance controller's job is to watch the money flow.

Finance controller’s job is to watch the money flow.

Looking how the commercial finance functions have developed in the last 15 years, one cannot pass easily over the ascent of a new breed: the finance controller. Nowadays almost every multinational company has one individual who acts as an interface between the business and its numbers/accounting functions. We talk here about the controller, that strange animal who is neither a finance manager nor a finance director or accounting manager, but a bit of everything.
This controlling blog that starts here tries to capture just that paradox: how has it come that controlling became such an important function in the multinational companies? What is the role of the controller? How can she or he evolve professionally and as a business partner to add better value to the employers? How can we mitigate the stress and the high turnover associated with the jobs of our finance controllers?
Today we will start our controlling blog series with a(n apparently) small question – what is a finance controller?, which is a dominantly US site, defines a finance controller job as the budget gate-keepers – in other words as the persons who control the financial flow of funds through the organization. As such, a finance controller is both a gate keeper (in a sense that he/she elaborates and implements the accounting and safeguarding policies of the company) as well as a master financial analyst of the relevant data flows in the corporations. Read more

“Global Dexterity” by Andy Molinski – A Harvard Book Review

When you work in an international environment, it is very easy to forget how complicated is to deal with different cultures. “Global Dexterity – How To Adapt Your Behavior Without Loosing Yourself in the Process” comes to correct this forgetting – before you can do some irreversible damage to your cross-cultural relationships.

As usually, a Harvard Business Review Press book comes with two main strong points:

–          A highly knowledgeable expert author  –  in this case Andy Molinski, a professor specialized in cross-cultural communication and

–          Lots of practical study cases which should illustrate powerfully each demonstrated point.

“Global Dexterity”does not simply state some facts and then demonstrates them – it actually assumes that managing  cross-cultures is a skill which can be taught and developed into a concept of … global dexterity. As such, it offers a meta-framework – namely a conceptual framework which can be applied various cultures and help you adapt quicker and better to the new environment. This is what I actually liked about “Global Dexterity” – you can take it as a light case-study handbook or you can advance and practice the mastery of the new method to new levels. Read more

“Project Management for Profit” by Knight, Thomas and Angus – a Book Review

There are many books for project management on the market nowadays, as this turns into a profession. So why, would you ask, would somebody bother to write one more? The answer is simple – because none is perfect.

This is not to say that “Project Management for Profit” is the perfect book! However, it covers an important existing gap in the market, namely the “get to the practical basics in PM”. “Project Management for Profit” talks about the practical aspects of managing a project under tight deadlines, with multiple stakeholders and quite a few problems. In other words, the book goes for project management as it happens in reality, not in the theory. Read more