Running a finance team in a business requires you to be an expert in many different areas such as accounting, finance, systems, technology, process design and operations. This is what we call Financial Operations (FinOps), which is what you will be learning throughout the programme.
It is not enough just to be an expert in those areas. An effective FinOps expert has to be a team player, working closely with other departments in the business. Soft skills are just as important as the technical skills you will be learning. You will be able to practice your presentation, communication and persuasion skills - all paramount skills for any expert in business.
2) Building an accounting system
Accounting is the language of business. At its simplest, it’s a way of transmitting business information to a standardised format.
Most businesses now rely on accounting systems to maintain records to generate financial reports like profit and loss and balance sheets due to the volume and complexity of modern businesses.
Given raw inputs, you will learn how to build an accounting system on a spreadsheet to produce financial reports. Along the way, you will have a better appreciation of how double accounting entries work and how to analyse any financial reports that come your way with scepticism.
3) Process design
Running a finance team means you will be interacting with other teams in the company. Communication is vital when designing and implementing processes to avoid bottlenecks when there is crossover with other departments and individuals.
You will be introduced to best in class finance processes such as expenses reimbursement, payments, month end reporting and many more. You will also learn how to review and tear down current processes in your day to day job to ultimately design a much more efficient process which is more inline with the needs of the business, especially as it grows.
4) Problem solving like a programmer
It’s not enough to only learn how to use VLOOKUPS, SUMIFS and pivot tables anymore. The problems you are going to have to solve are bigger than the tools a spreadsheet can provide.
You will also learn basic query language to build a simple financial model on Google Sheets.
You will also learn about no code tools by upgrading the accounting system you built on a spreadsheet to an Airtable database and building workflows to take in information such as sales invoices and purchase bills.
5) Implementing new systems
Change is the only constant in a finance team especially as the company scales. Systems and processes that used to work will no longer work as efficiently.
You will learn to ask the right questions to identify pain points for expense management, payment collection and reporting and propose a solution that will convince the management team of the value in terms of time savings and error mitigation. You will then put together a project plan to roll out the new solution.
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