Return of the accountant

There was a time when people thought being an accountant was a particularly dull and boring profession. However the face of finance has changed, finance professionals are no longer required to simply crunch numbers or come up with reasons why projects won’t work. They are a key ingredient in the success of the company, required to develop ideas and look for new opportunities.  For this reason it is vital that both students and members look at the events around them in a more positive way, that is positive in the sense of what direction does this now take us and what opportunities do we know have rather than “I am sure this will work out fine”

Take an article written in the Sunday Times 7 June 2009 The video – Game Empire strikes back. In it Dominic Rushe reports on E3, the video games industry annual shin dig, where numbers have been falling and an industry that once thought to be immune from recession seems like an example of an industry living in its own virtual world and not the real one. 

In the article there are many lessons if only you look closely, for example, there is an implication that even though times are hard and yes the industry has had to make redundancies to cope with falling sales, if you continue to innovate and remain focused on your customers there is still much money to make. For students it is a great example of how the product life cycle operates – the gaming industry does seem to be moving into a mature market. It raises the issue that despite the confidence and great creativity in the industry, one of the main limitations is the industry’s ability to raise finance; games development can cost $30m. How many students whilst offering advice in their final level examinations put forward brilliant arguments as to why the company should do something yet forget to answer the very practical question of where will the money come from, we can’t have qualified accountants doing that.

And so to the point, we are living in changing times, with many challenges, companies need there finance team to be at their very best.  To be good, you still have to pay attention to the fundamentals, do we have the finance, will this add value, do our financial statements reflect our true position. But take inspiration from what you read and hear and think about it in the context of your objectives, be that to pass an exam or solve a particularly difficult business issue. Read with focus and direction and maybe one day you will be as good as Luke in return of the Jedi.

No more training do you require. Already know you, that which you need.


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