Don't let the accountants run your business!

Posted on: | Category:

I've worked with some great Finance Directors. People who assisted in turning a business around and helped keep it running properly. But they weren't running the business. They were partners. There to support and help fund growth (and keep a handle on the money).

(I've also worked with FD's who thought they were creative geniuses. Outside of the money, they weren't).

Accountants are accountants for a reason. They like numbers and get really excited about developing financial models (for some reason they always call these excel workbooks "business models" or even, such is their hubris, a "business strategy").

As soon as you let your accountant run your business, you're in trouble.

It's interesting how, once you let the accountants take charge of your business their department grows like athletes foot in a boy's boarding school. Before you know it you have gone from 1 or 2 properly motivated people to ten, and then you look around and there are now thirty glum unhappy people in the office.

And worse, to keep costs down, the finance department has put a hold on the hiring of business development people, operations executives, and R&D.

Now your business basically slows down, your clients hate you, your suppliers − because of a very clever (i.e. dumb shit) delayed payment strategy − now insist on upfront payments, and your business has shrunk.

And your start performers have left for greener pastures.

Sure you need a Finance Director. They are essential to help you manage your business and, the best ones, are fantastic in helping you execute your strategy.

Unless your business is financial services or accountacy or auditing (where they also do a shit job), don’t put them in charge.