5 ways financial controllers are like Olympic athletes…

She hardens her stance. Her eyes are focused on the finish line. She is poised. Ready. Any moment now the starter’s gun will set off twitching muscle fibers, honed over a lifetime of sacrifice and hard work. They will propel her down the track to glory, to be immortalized in historic annals of human endeavor.

 

The road to the 2016 Olympics has been long. Years of sacrifice honing body and mind into an efficient machine, geared towards the pursuit of just one goal: to be the best. The financial controller for the team is on top of her game. In performing her role she manages huge potential with limited resources of time and money, balancing fatigue with recovery, month end with midweek. Her skill and endurance keep her team liquid, on the road to another year end.  

 

As part of the build up to the Olympics in August, we are doing our part for team USA and releasing our latest product to let companies send money to Brazil without having to worry about wire fees, wire templates or foreign exchange rates (saving you time and your company money).

 

Back to the controllers athletes.

 

Drive.

An athlete cannot be satisfied with their last performance. They have to be driven to improve every day, just as you have to be driven to manage your business processes without an ERP system.

 

Discipline.

Think a strict exercise and eating schedule is tough to stick to? Try keeping on top of accounts payables and receivables when companies are paying you with checks, credit cards or wire payments – all because it’s your job to minimize your company’s costs- and you do your job even if it makes your life tougher!

 

Time management.

Athletes are great time managers. They have to practice for hours each day on top of school, work and spending time with friends and family. Do we need to expand on this one?

 

High tolerance for pain.

An athlete has to be able to put up with a lot of pain when pushing their body to its limits every day. A controller has to manually fill out wire templates for their bank, they have to go back and forth with suppliers when they realize they don’t have all the information, they miss the bank cut-off time…then they pay the wire fees, wait for days and finally the guy at the other end confirms money has arrived…(less receiving fees of course). #thanksbanks!

 

Raw talent.

To be the best you have to be naturally talented at your sport. This is something you are just born with. Talent + the above are what it takes to make it, whether at the Olympics or when keeping your company a going concern.

 

A financial controller has an Olympic role to play in the profitable operation of any successful small business. All great management teams will recognize their value and reward an athlete that helps the team bring back the gold with the tools and recognition they deserve!

 

If you’re a controller be sure to share this post with your CEO and suggest some of these tools which can help your company save time and money:

 

aligncommerce.com – No more wire transfers! Align Commerce is a new B2B payments software that lends you send money overseas from one bank account, to another. Use if you need to pay overseas suppliers or get paid by customers overseas and don’t want to pay bank wire fees, set up wire templates, deal with credit card fees, or deal with Paypal shutting down your account and freezing your funds.

 

www.getharvest.com – Harvest makes time tracking easy (and almost fun). Your team will get up to speed fast and can track their time however (and wherever) they want—on their laptop, iPhone, Android, or even on the Apple Watch. Simple and quick time entry means there’s no excuse not to track, and you’ll have the data you need to bill accurately and budget wisely.

 

slack.com – A messaging app for teams. Helps you to communicate in real time with other members of your team. Aside from chat, it lets you drag and drop files, search your message archive and is multi channel – available on desktop and mobile.

 

xero.com – Online accounting software for small businesses, with a real time view of cash flow and the ability to reconcile with your banks.