A new year. One that follows 2020. A year none of us could have anticipated 12 months ago.
Of course there’s plenty of challenges ahead.
All of the welcome support provided by government comes at a cost.
Economically challenging times ahead. And of course plenty of uncertainty.
I work predominantly with accountants working in organisations rather than those who provide services.
Thinking about this group, what will the best accountants do in 2021?
Keep The Organisation Focused
Financial information may not be seen as the most exciting of documents.
On the other hand it gives an insight into what is or isn’t happening in an organisation in a common currency called money.
As a lag (after the event) measure it tells the business month after month what’s on track, what’s off track and where action might be needed.
The benefit is that it keeps the organisation focused.
Show The Potential Impacts
Every business decision has an impact. Economic conditions have an impact. Behaviours have an impact.
Understanding the impacts is vital.
Looking forward, looking at potential upsides and downsides is going to be important.
Working through different scenarios, asking ‘what if type questions’ won’t necessarily stop the events from happening.
On the other hand it helps the organisation be on the front foot rather than jumping from crisis to crisis.
Yes accountants in organisations might want to be doing the added value work.
At the same time we also have a duty to speak up and say what needs to be said.
It’s not about being difficult.
It’s not about being negative.
It’s not about being right.
The message can be delivered confidently and assertively.
Sometimes it will be taken on board. Other times it won’t.
At the same time what you will be doing is helping the organisation make a choice.
Facilitate and Support Change
COVID-19 and the fall out from it means that change will be needed.
The scale of that change will vary from organisation to organisation. From sector to sector.
As an accountant and business partner you can play your part in facilitate change, no matter what level you are operating at.
Focus On What Matters
Everything you do has different significance.
Everything others do has different significance.
Chances are there’s lots you are doing out of habit.
When times are challenging and demands are greater, it’s even more important that you and the rest of the organisation focuses on what matters.
Key to that is having clarity about the key levers to successfully navigating your way through the current times.
At the end of the day success in the organisation is a team effort.
Collaborating effectively, recognising the perspectives and experiences of others will increase the chances of a successful outcome.
What else would you add based on your own experiences?