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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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Why the “Future CFO” Should Spend Less Time Business Partnering, Not More

By Andy Burrows

[First published 14 June 2018]

The title of this article may sound strange in an age where Finance business partnering is one of the megatrends in Finance. But bear with me. There’s a good reason why I’m going to argue that “the future CFO” should do less business partnering, and not more.

I’m going to start by arguing that, contrary to popular belief, the CFO’s role has already changed such that they are now seen as THE Finance Business Partner. There’s no need to berate them any more for being mere beancounters and scorekeepers. As a generalisation, especially in medium to large enterprises, most CFOs are seen as the CEO’s right hand, and it’s those two roles together that face the business owners.

But I’ll also argue that this has made CFOs so busy that they’ve become disconnected from the Finance function. They now almost look at Finance from the outside, as just an overhead to cut wherever...

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