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Seven deadly sins of finance

Nigel Youell, senior director from Oracle’s Office of Finance, considers the common ailments that may be constructing beneficial change.

Organisations are wrestling with disruptive competitors and adapting around technology change, new opportunities and a barrage of data. Yet the finance office can feel somewhat insulated from change. There is regulatory change around reporting or compliance – but the basic rules of managing numbers don’t alter. However, as financial leaders have become more trusted to influence the strategic direction and decision-making of organisations, this affects the contribution finance offices must make. Unfortunately, finance offices may not always welcome change in trusted processes and practices – here are seven deadly sins of planning, budgeting and forecasting which may stand in their way:

Spreadsheets

The first sin may strike fear into the heart of financial controllers, managers and directors because moving away from using spreadsheets is unthinkable. We have learned how to use advanced functionality, and are rightly proud of the linked sheets and complex formulae. Cheap to buy and easy to operate, Excel is often bundled with office software and is pre-loaded, so no purchasing decisions need to be made.

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 237, November 2015.

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