Friday, July 28, 2006

The Beginning: A Faux Pas

I have been posted as a Finance Manager in a large family owned enterprise. I would mainly be involved in analysis which will be based on information generated from accounting data. Not only I have to streamline the system but also provide ways of generating new information that is useful (with useful being the key word).

The accounting department prepares a number of statements weekly, monthly etc. Having worked earlier in retail banking, I am used to preparing similar statements. However, in banking such statements were considered distractions from normal everyday work i.e., to be completed as soon as possible in extra time (late evening) so that we can continue with the normal work during working hours.

There are two sorts of monthly statements i.e, one for internal reporting and one for external reporting. The accountant explained to me that from the 1st till 7th of the month, he is busy in internal statements. Onwards till 15th he is busy in external statements.

Then I asked “What statements do you prepare from 15th till 30th ?”. He was taken aback. From my side it was an innocent query. However, his expressions conveyed that he did not consider them innocent questions. It was a perfect example of starting relations on the wrong foot in a country where relationships guarantee the effectiveness and completion.

Hope I did not ruin my relations with accountant on the first day.

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