Recent event: Financial Directors Information Management Forum

Annual Financial Director Information Management Forum








Location: St Pancras, London

Date: 17 November 2011

We attended this event for the first time, expecting to be able to review emerging technologies and bring tips back to the office to share with our clients. The action packed agenda provided a great insight into how much larger global organisations from across the UK operate.

The day was split into 8 sessions, with a choice of afternoon focus groups. We thought it useful to blog and highlight the main areas of interest from the day and share some of the key messages with you.

We will focus on a few sessions and pull out the key messages.

1. What does Management Information mean in today’s business environment? Is it actually working?

A panel of top finance execs debated the topic, chaired by Joe Peppard (Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield School of Management). The main consideration was that MI historically has only considered Profit and Loss, Cashflow and Balance sheets and the real purpose of MI is indeed to inform management. The often cumbersome routine of month end procedures often gets in the way of FD’s looking forward and with FD’s hoping to spend 80% of their time doing just this, it is time that MI systems were better geared up to facilitate this.

Key messages

a. Spend time looking forward – 80%

b. Technology is the enabler, not the solution

c. Ensure training is provided to staff

d. Having good MI is not useful – actually use it!


2. Management Information at board level

Jennifer Harris, MD of Board Intelligence discussed how to ensure board reports are effective and informative for board members.

Directors cannot be expected to make robust decisions governing the future direction of their organisation without having first being given decent information.

Key messages

a. Consider the known unknowns in the business and report on them

b. Ensure the structure of board reports flows and tells the story in a logical order

c. Include content on competitors and the market in which you operate

d. Capture internal information from staff, considering opportunities & threats

In Summary

MI is incredibly important to businesses of all sizes. The standard of MI quality varies across organisations of all sizes, and it is not just the small entities which struggle with this area. Technology can assist in the production of MI, however this is only the enabler, and the end user must make sure that it is properly analysed, reflected upon and decisions taken based upon it. MI should be a constantly evolving process and evolve within the organisation.

Contact Us

For a more detailed discussion around MI in your business, please contact either Mark Donaldson or James Carter for further information on 0845 8057390 or 07940 306900.



Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply