“When you improve finance and accounting acumen across the company, good things happen,” says Jonathan Schiff, an accounting professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and a longtime advisor to corporations. He was quoted in CFO Magazine, the leading professional journal of the financial profession (April issue, page 29).
I firmly believe in that idea, and have taught accounting workshops to several of our clients during the course of turnaround engagements. The point of these workshops, typically in a 6 to 10 session series, was to bring to life in a very real way Professor Schiff’s words . Companies with employees who understand their company’s financial statements and what it takes to make a company financially successful will be more likely to contribute to that company’s financial success, rather than hinder it. Our results have borne that out.
Not surprisingly my text book of choice is my own best selling McGraw-Hill publication, Finance for Nonfinancial Managers, because of its readability for nonfinancial people, but the choice of textbook is not as important as the idea. Finance and accounting are not something that can be left to the accounting department, because every employee’s actions can have an effect on the company’s finances, whether they realize it or not. The idea is to enable them to recognize it up front so that influence can be a positive one.
If any readers are interested in a syllabus for such a workshop series, I’d be happy to provide mine upon request.
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.