I was recently invited to speak to a roomful of small business owners about the various options open to them to finance their ambitions for growth. One of my fellow panelists John Daly stressed the importance of good robust financial management reporting. He argued that all enterprises needed sound financial reporting to support their success that should fulfill 3 specific criteria.
As I was listening, I realised that I knew these criteria already - not from any text book, or discussions with finance directors, but from one of my kids’ favourite TV shows: Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas always introduced himself as being 3 things that made him the best and most successful engine on the island of Sodor: “I’m really useful, really reliable, and always right on time”: the same criteria that John argued that financial management needs to be: relevant, reliable, and regular.
So next time you think you see the Fat Controller at a business seminar, look again - it might be John Daly marshaling the trains; as for me - I’m off to watch TV with my boys to brush up on my management skills!