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Accountants have customers too - managing internal stakeholders

Train.jpg

Somebody once likened Marketing and Accountancy to a train journey.

The Marketer would choose the seat facing the direction of travel to look forward into the future and make plans; the Accountant would sit facing backwards to review what has happened.

What is it that they have in common? They both have customers.

Accountants with customers? Well yes, while Marketing deals with external customers, the Accounting function (as do all functions) has internal stakeholders.

Much of our work revolves around helping our client's gather information about their customers. This information is used to drive organisational change.

Once in a while, an enlightened individual will use the techniques in a different way......

The Financial Director of one of our clients attended a presentation of the Bsquared customer engagement results for his organisation and recognised that the feedback it provided about customers - especially their current issues and future plans - would be transferable to his internal stakeholders.

He set up a interview programme with heads of departments around the company. This looked at:

  • How well the relationship is managed
  • Does the service meet expectations
  • How effective are the people
  • What is the business benefit

This worked like any of our programmes and measured relationships at risk, confidence over time and what could be improved.

And the outcome? More emphasis would be placed on helping departments plan. The stakeholders required support beyond accounting and welcomed help with compliance and change / improvement projects.

And the financial benefit? Well the proof is in pudding, if a CFO from a major international company thinks it worthwhile to run this programme every two years, that's proof enough for us.