Add a touch of Hemingway to your next finance report

Add a touch of Hemingway to your next finance report

When it comes to writing financial reports I encourage you to adopt a plain, direct style. If you do not then, at best, your reports will be over-written and, at worst, you will obfuscate the message you are trying to communicate. (I suppose I should, on that basis, permit over-writing if your intention is to obfuscate!)

Read More

3 quick tips for formatting spreadsheets

Good design helps people to use products and this applies to spreadsheets and financial models as much as it does to smartphones and websites. When you create a spreadsheet you should consider how it is formatted as part of its overall design. I have made a short video with three tips for formatting your spreadsheets to ensure they are useable.

Read More

Financial modelling course for public sector accountants

One of my goals for 2019 is to get my online school up and running and today I have published my first proper course. It’s a short course, taught mostly using videos, about the standards and principles that underpin good financial models. By adopting these principles you will make fewer errors in your spreadsheets and it will be easier for you, and others, to modify or revise the model after it is built. And because you have skills that are seldom taught to accountants you will stand out from the crowd.

The course fee is £49 but you can get 25% off From today until until 28 February 2019 by using the coupon code LAUNCH25. Get the course here.

This course is the first of five that I have planned under the umbrella of Skills for (Public Sector) Accountants. All five of the courses are about areas of work that are important to accountants but which are not taught in a professional accounting qualification. Following on from the financial modelling course will be courses about report writing, making presentations, managing suppliers and measuring value for money.

The remaining four courses in the bundle will be published over the first few months of 2019. If you want to get each course as it is published and save yourself more than half the price you can buy the whole bundle of five courses now and, until the end of February 2019, using the coupon code LAUNCH25 will get you 25% off the early bird price of £99.

Free online course: 5 questions to ask about your budget

If you're in a government department, a local council, a police force, NHS trust or one of many other public sector organisations (but not all) in the UK then you'll know this is budget time. The new financial year starts in April and before then budgets need to be constructed, debated and approved.

Budgets are critically important in public bodies because they demonstrate the priorities and authorise managers to spend public money.

Last year I created a free mini-course based on a presentation I gave to some councillors about the nature of public budgets and the questions they should ask about their budget before they approve it. It's a short course (under half an hour) and it's free. If you're a politician or budget manager in a public body you can access the course here. Did I say it's free? It also comes with a handy one-page summary of the questions. Sign up for it today.

New Year, New Direction, New Course

New Year, New Direction, New Course

January 1st is an arbitrary day to be the first day of the year. As a former public servant in the UK I would also see 1 April as the first day of the financial year. Several years ago I wrote a post explaining why the UK tax year starts on 6 April (which itself refers to the first day of the year traditionally being 25th March, “Conception Day”). Anyway, 1 January is the conventional start of the year in terms of the change from 2018 to 2019 (CE, not AD) and the extended break I had over the Christmas and new year period has given me a chance to think about this blog.

Read More