How do Innovation and Accounting come together? In more ways than you think. I am not only the Treasurer for IAOIP but also a CFO of an international company. In both of these roles, I am required to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as set forth by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the US and be aware of Accounting Principles set forth by the International Financial Reporting Standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board. What a mouthful!
But what does that mean? It means that I provide insight and guidance to these organizations on how stay profitable and grow in a competitive environment all while following accounting rules. Being innovative is key to doing my job and helps me add value to the organizations I support. Today’s finance people need to be innovative; we have the opportunity to creatively solve problems, influence processes and meet the financial needs of our organizations. As Steve Jobs said “Innovation distinguishes between leaders and followers”. Given the opportunity, finance people can be innovative leaders.
I have learned over the years that innovation in accounting starts with communication. We should engage and interact with business leaders not just sit in cubicles or offices. Listening and bouncing ideas off co-workers allows you to learn about the organization you support. If we understand the struggles of the organization, we are able to provide guidance on how to reduce cost structures, increase margins and/or become more price competitive rather than just being a group of individuals that produce monthly financials. As a finance professional, we can and should add value.
When attending the Board meetings of IAOIP, I am definitely an outsider. I am not an educator or consultant but I am an innovator who can add value to IAOIP from a finance perspective. IAOIP is a great organization for everyone who wants to grow and add value; your industry background does not matter. The IAOIP Innova Con meeting in Washington, DC had numerous panels and roundtables with professionals and educators from all industries. It was a great event to learn and network. I hope those that attended enjoyed the sessions and for those that were unable to attend … there is always next year.
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