A New Role and Some Advice?

Raging Pineapples
Raging Pineapples Registered Posts: 110 Dedicated contributor πŸ¦‰
Hi all,

I've been given a new role in my firm producing management accounts for a group of construction companies which have a collective turnover of about 4.5m.

For now I've been asked to just produce an extended trial balance and work in progress figures and format them into a nice profit and loss statement, but I'd like to know if you could give me any tips on how to do this new role well, basically any advice you think I'd do well to heed.

Thanks in advance,

Chris

Comments

  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415 Beyond epic contributor πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
    Hi Chris,

    I think you're already au fait with Excel aren't you but are you just producing purely financial management accounts - i.e. just the standard statements - or other ad hoc reports too? Learn your accounting software through and through and investigate how it can work for you. Can it communicate with Excel and produce awesome looking graphs and reports?

    Are you the only accountant or are you working for someone above you? I produce management accounts for my own company though notsomuch the P&L or BS as I don't have much interest in those and someone else concentrates on them. My bosses have little interest in those and much rather love seeing how much cash we'll have in six months time based on achieving certain sales and how long we'd last for if we didn't take any further orders (the previously mentioned "burn" figure). I also produce 'bullet' accounts/reports for our weaker consultants (if they're not performing, they'll get the bullet). Bosses absolutely fricking love picture diagrams that quickly capture where the company is without going into too much detail and taking up too much of their time. Net profit on a P&L is fine but translate this into something they can visibly see on a six month cashflow graph, and they'll be happy as pigs in the proverbial.

    Tips? What you do, just make sure you do it properly and check your figures by various methods - PIT or ProofIng Total checks - rather than just one way. Nothing worse than one of your bosses finding an error you'd missed. Just become extremely good at what you've currently been hired for while carefully attempting to introduce other reports that you might feel would be even more helpful and make the role your own. As you're in construction become a CIS Tsar and learn about the IR35 rules.

    Good luck!
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954 Beyond epic contributor πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
    Good advice Blobby.

    The error checking is very important, nothing worse than being sat in a meeting and someone pointing out mistakes in your work, or for the first big american bank to go bust, fanny mae, which was down to formulas in a spreadsheet calculating values of debt!

    Other general advice would be to take a step back and think what information would they need to help shape strategies. And when you decide what it is, keep it as relivant and brief as possible. Oh, and with pretty graphs :)
  • Paul C
    Paul C Registered Posts: 193 Dedicated contributor πŸ¦‰
    Agree with PGM on error checking - users can loose confidence in what you are trying to put across if there are silly errors. Column totals etc

    Sometimes "less is more" with management accounts, where I work I would rather that budget holders read 3 pages of clear facts properly than put a 50 page report to one side never to be read again because they cant face it......

    My starting point would be to look at what was done previously and see what can be improved. Depending on how things are set up, it could be worth (tactfully) asking the customer or your bosses about any changes they would like to see, what they find useful, what is not so useful?
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415 Beyond epic contributor πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
    Paul C wrote: Β»
    My starting point would be to look at what was done previously and see what can be improved. Depending on how things are set up, it could be worth (tactfully) asking the customer or your bosses about any changes they would like to see, what they find useful, what is not so useful?

    Yup, I agree with that. As Paul mentioned, I frequently ask my own bosses for improvements to sales reports, epscially when a new sales year is looming. What new info do they want and what old info they don't, what would they like to see more or less of?

    It's also a good opportunity - especially if you're the sole accountant - to make an early impression, stamp your mark and as much as possible, draw a line underneath the previous accountant. Many company bosses are generally strong by nature and will often test you for weaknesses that they could end up exploiting for their own personal gains. They're also often not particularly complimentary about the function of an accounts department so I'd suggest showing a little strength back and within reason, a little resistance.
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