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The Mourinho Approach to Managing Finance

By Andy Burrows

[First published 19 January 2017]

How do you motivate a Financial Reporting team to go through the stress and pressure of “month end” and be happy about it? How do you stop it becoming a monthly grind that makes them curse the day they decided to train as an accountant?

I once took up an interim position heading up Group Reporting in a large business. The business had been through a lot of change, and I was stepping into the shoes of someone who was clearly one of the few people in Finance that had detailed knowledge of every area. It was a tough act to follow.

The team, and even the junior managers and team leaders, were new to their roles. At the same time, some team members appeared less motivated, and the team leaders were finding it difficult to get through the changes to a steady state. Every month end seemed to involve days of staying late into the evenings to get things done (a 9pm finish would be good going during month end). It was never due to...

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