By Dan Ormond, Ideas Shop
Being the commerce graduate working in an industry of arts and communications graduates, I often find myself being the ‘go to’ person for finance and accounting issues. This is not only for internal finances here at Ideas Shop, but also for the interpretation of client annual results and other finance PR. Many in our industry have a mental block when presented with tables of figures and just see the numbers rather than what they mean.
We all need an understanding of the structure and language of accounting, whether it is to provide advice to listed clients on their investor relations, or government clients on consumer trends. We need to be able to understand and interpret the information.
But it’s not “rocket science”, especially not at the level we are required to operate at 90% of the time. The fundamentals of reading a balance sheet, cash flow and profit and loss statement are not difficult to understand – but it does take understanding to interpret the meaning and consequence on the business or organisation.
Knowing enough to ask the right questions is vital at the early stages of our careers. Building on this knowledge through experience so we can contribute to the active management of the business is also crucial.
Being a director of a company, as I hope we all aspire to become, you have a statutory obligation to understand the financial information you are presented with. This is obviously something that directors of a few failed finance companies should have been more aware of at the time.
This ½ day of learning will give you, as a communicator or PR leader, the fundamentals of business financials, enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of your business and that of your client (internal or external).