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Making Big Overhead Cuts with Surgical Precision

By Andy Burrows

[First published 21 October 2016]

What do you do, as a Finance Director or Senior Finance Manager, when the Board suddenly decides that one of their key strategies is an urgent round of cuts to make cost savings in overheads? And I don’t mean the 5% “budget task” or absorbing inflation. I mean what if there’s a downturn in the market and the level of overhead is no longer sustainable, and they feel the axe needs to fall to the extent of reductions of, say, 25%, 30% or even 40%?

The challenge of achieving those savings is going to be a collective responsibility, involving all directorates, but Finance is going to get the job of co-ordinating the review and making sure management take it seriously.

I guess if you work in Finance long enough you will see this kind of thing. It happened to me once.

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