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Accounting and Finance Daily Work Plans

daily work plansI need to prepare for a meeting with several non-finance colleagues of mine where each of us will present our daily work requirements / work plans. In my experience, these meetings are held to shed light on what we do and how we do it.  My original idea was to present a monthly and quarterly task list.  However, I am concerned that simply displaying a task list (as long as it may be) does not convey the processes involved to accomplish a task or the value of the tasks to the organization.  If you have had to create such plans, I would like to hear from you. How did you explain each task and their individual components? Are there pitfalls/advantages to doing this? My message has to be clear that finance and accounting are "value integrators", not "resource siphons". We play a valuable role that should be sufficiently supported in order to achieve fiscal objectives. Your thoughts and ideas are most appreciated. 

Answers

Jane Levin
Title: Corporate Controller
Company: Private
(Corporate Controller, Private) |

Hard to know what to expect going into a meeting like that unless the goals have been explicitly laid out for your prior. My suggestion at a high level would be to focus on outcomes and then relate the activities that go into them. For instance:

1)Collecting receivables: collect the funds that are earmarked to us by our funding sources. This requires a, b, and c...
2)Accounting and month-end reporting: tally all debits and credits to enable reporting to the team and the board, ensure all vendors get paid, enable the annual report, and so on, which requires d, e, and f...

In other words, a list of activities will fall flat unless you connect the dots of "what" to the "why" of each. Wouldn't want you to end up looking like a "bean counter" :).

Cynthia (Helfert) de Hoog
Title: Assistant Financial Controller
Company: Microlease
(Assistant Financial Controller, Microlease) |

I would go about the task of explaining what it is that we do in accounting from a goals/results perspective. If you can quantify the tasks or goals to demonstrate value to the other departments who may not be finance oriented, then you have a chance at gaining interest. In my experience, unless you can show how finance impacts the other areas, your audience will mentally take a vacation while you're presenting and all your work is for naught.

For example: AR collects cash. Cash is always king, but if you state in terms of DSO and quantify how much cash each day is worth...then bottom line progress expected for the year to help funding. That trail might garner interest. You could also state AR helps support customers, working with the customer and the sales team to resolve issues that may arise in collection process. They also can become another positive interaction with your company, (if that is the case), Then AR might be seen as customer support arm to the sales team.

Just one example. I think I may be saying the same thing Jane stated above.
Good luck!

Topic Expert
Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Start with your organization's mission and strategy, then identify/relate the role of finance in executing certain elements of the strategy.
E.g.
-measure financial performance
-provide insightful analysis that business managers can use
Explain how you do this, e.g.
-ensure business transactions are processed accurately and efficiently
-examine the data and interpret what it means
etc etc

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