Nobody has ever written an opera about organisational budget cycles – but given the amount of human drama they generate, perhaps someone should. The typical budget process is a grim and drawn-out cycle of power games, nagging, resistance, resentment, dread, despair and wasted effort. And all of it, in keeping with the best traditions of high drama, is entirely avoidable. It begins innocently enough, with our heroes in the finance department preparing spreadsheet templates and
The financial health of South Africa’s cities and towns is worse than ever before, with only 18 out of 257 municipalities getting clean audit reports for the 2017/18 financial year. Surely it’s long past time to introduce more transparency into our government spending. There are plenty of unenviable jobs in South Africa these days (university vice-chancellor, anyone?), but Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu and his team have been having a particularly hard time lately. Municipaliti
“Am I an asset to my company? Or am I ….” The audience of accountants collectively inhaled, wondering if the attendee asking the question was going to go there. “Or am I just OpEx?” he asked, neatly sidestepping saying the word “liability” . Only an accountant could have summed up the existential crisis that we are all probably experiencing around our role in the workplace, in this way. The question came up during our recent annual user conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
This century has only just become an adult, but has managed to fit in an unprecedented amount of upheaval and disruption. From the September 11 attacks in 2001, through various wars, natural disasters, disease outbreaks and the global financial meltdown and subsequent debt crises. We’ve seen the launch of Facebook, YouTube and the iPhone – and that is just the tip of the technological iceberg that arrived on the scene. Then this year we’ve seen GDPR land, and the Brexit pendu
I’ve previously written about how succession planning is going to change in the Information Age. That, instead of grooming mini-me managers and leaders, we’re going to have to focus on reskilling people as their roles get encroached on by artificial intelligence. Plus, we’re going to have to start hiring people who, firstly, can work with machines, and, secondly, are flexible enough to adjust their roles and careers as the machines get more proficient – in the near future, in
I recently had a conversation with someone where they told me that they had to politely explain to an employee that yes, they could delete their banking details from their HR system. This would be in line with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements that say that people can check all the personal identification details a company holds on them, and then request that all, or some, are deleted within 30 days. The person then went on to explain to the emplo
Peter Drucker, the management consultant that coined the phrase “knowledge worker” back in 1959, nailed it when he said: “Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.” This is the catch-22 companies face today. There is no doubt that companies need to innovate to ensure their future success, but to do this their people need to find the time to think, research, experiment and develop new ideas. Because we’re in the business of saving peop
Ironically, growth and success can be a double-edged sword for small and medium-sized businesses. On the one hand, you’re growing and hitting the milestones, which is a massive achievement, especially in today’s tough economy. On the other, quite quickly things that used to be simple and straightforward acquire added levels of complexity. All of a sudden, as the business owner or FD, you simply can’t be as hands-on and omniscient as you used to be. It’s pretty daunting giving
In my May article I suggested that one of the biggest challenges to innovation and business progress is simply finding the time to think, research, experiment and develop new ideas. The notion of carving out 20% time, à la Google, is a pipe dream for most. So I thought it would be interesting to figure out what is keeping finance people so busy. To do this we held a snap survey of finance managers and administrators across a range of industries to find out what takes up their
Small and medium businesses can now take their budgeting and reporting to the next level thanks to idu-Concept’s launch on Amazon Web Service (AWS) Marketplace.
This means that SMEs can now access, via the cloud, idu-Concept, the business software solution that solves all the headaches of managing budgets using spreadsheets. With idu-Concept, financial managers of SMEs can improve turnaround times, increase business unit ownership of budgets, enable integrated and inclusive
Last week’s budget speech has been bugging us, there was a consistent vagueness to it all. There is a lack of certainty, a lack of tangible, measurable deliverables; in a word – a lack transparency. We have built our entire business on the importance of transparency. Not just sharing the facts with everybody, but ensuring they are able to understand how to work with and use the information provided to them. While this is not the worst budget we could have had by some way, it
Budgeting is one of the most crucial aspects of business planning, and yet too often it is not given the attention and input it deserves. If done right, budgeting can help you to prepare for most any eventuality, saving you time and money in the long run. Some of the most common mistakes we have come across in budgets are: Financial or department heads creating a number they feel “should cover it” and hoping for approval, as opposed to budget numbers being driven by the exper
Say goodbye to countless budget iterations and complicated spreadsheets and hello to fast, streamlined financial budgeting and reporting! Your budget is the roadmap that allows your company to keep moving forward with a singular focus, unfortunately they are too often rendered useless by the time intensive process, frustration and lack of ownership behind them. In a typical budget cycle, spreadsheets are prepared by the finance department and distributed to cost centres; line
Too many businesses in South Africa see their employees as a problem to be managed as opposed to an asset to be optimised. Your business is nothing without strong employees, your business plans and ideas need reliable invested employees to become a reality. The strength of your business is wholly reliant on the strength of your workforce. I believe that organisations thrive when non-financial managers can easily find, read and understand financial information that is relevant