British management is financially switched-on – but even an aptitude for numbers isn’t going to offset the sluggish economy. That’s a headline finding from the first 300 responses to the FDs’ Satisfaction Survey, a litmus test of the views of UK finance directors and other senior decision-makers.We asked about the financial intelligence of senior management in their organisation, and less than nine per cent are actively dissatisfied. But when we asked about growth prospects, more than 17 per cent say things are going to get worse in their market this year. Could greater financial intelligence across organisations boost growth prospects? “Senior and middle management in smaller businesses often lack financial management skills as they have not had exposure before,” one FD tells us. “Part of the FD’s role is to provide useful management information to improve all-round decision-making.” Finance directors must do more than educate non-financial managers; they need to get in front of clients, too. “Go deep with clients to learn all there is to know about their business and financial pressures,” advised another respondent. “This builds a partnership approach.” How do you rate your key service-providers? What are your business’s growth prospects? How well do your colleagues understand the financials? Tell us, in complete confidence.
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