There was book written several years ago called, “Now, Discover Your Strengths”. The point of the book was for a person to not concentrate on their weaknesses but to put themselves in a position to capitalize on their strengths. The book also advocated that companies or managers of division should put their people in a situation that accentuates their strengths and not their weaknesses.
That would be great if accounting and finance professionals could do the same thing. As an example you are really good at closing year-end but no good at collections. This idea of concentrating on strengths doesn’t work especially if no one in the company is collecting money.
Especially when it comes to cash flow and seasonality. Most company have a time in their business when they are more desperate for cash than other times. A lot of the cycles can mirror critical times in the business or payment pattern. An example is if you company bill annually at your fiscal end of the year, the two months leading up to that time may be very lean.
In order to assess your weaknesses make sure your low cash flow and billing and collection patterns match. The point is if you bill, like the earlier example annually but your cash flow problems are monthly you have a spending problem. Same situation with collection pattern. If you are having trouble with collection that are different than you’re billing times you have a collection problems.
Once you have found your weaknesses you can then can work on fixing them, but it is only until they are truly identified that it would only be guess at the problem.
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