“Got a spare hour?” “Come into the boardroom.”

I heard this intriguing invitation some years ago as I was leaving a client’s premises.  I was an on-site trainer at the time, helping a variety of organisations with end of month processes for a new accounting software program.

A little wary, I said, “Sure”.

The slightly nervous invitation came from the General Manager of the firm.  On entering the boardroom, I noticed we weren’t alone.

“This is my deputy GM”, said my host.  “I hope you don’t mind if he joins us.”

Intrigued I asked how I could help.

It transpired that the GM had been with the organisation for over 15 years, working his way from truck driver to senior management during that time.

He confessed that he could understand, and felt confident in, the day to day running of the business, except in the boardroom – during questions about the financial statements.

The words were all Greek to him.

His off-sider was in a similar position.

Unwilling to let others know of their lack of knowledge, did I have an hour to teach them about financial reports and explain some accounting terms?


Yeah, why not?

Got a whiteboard and markers?

Let’s do it.

Witnessing the light bulb moments during that hour is a special memory for me.  They were very willing and quick learners. I loved making a difference, it’s why teaching adults has brought me such joy.

Not sure if I sent an invoice for that hour. Damn.

After studying for years and developing the skills of your vocation, it is unlikely many of you pictured yourself managing people and money.  Once in management positions, it is assumed you know how to read financial reports, monitor internal controls, understand how your role fits in the big picture, and can manage a range of personalities. Often it takes time, subtle questions, learning by mistakes and just hanging in there till it all makes sense.

Crucial elements for any organisation to achieve its goals include ensuring managers (and managers-in-waiting) understand;

  • basic accounting and how to read financial reports
  • the benefits of using different styles of communication for improved outcomes
  • the purpose (and benefits) of implementing and monitoring internal controls, and
  • developing a strategy is not just for executives

Unfortunately, training in these areas is often not the focus of L&D. Does Training Capability offer a solution? Absolutely.  Contact me for more details on face to face training or micro-learning videos – [email protected]

Just in case you need to know a little more about accounting, here’s a video with just a bit of what I covered in that hour in the boardroom.

5 accounting basics you wish you didn’t need to know

(For best results you might need headphones so not to annoy your colleagues – and choose the HD quality by clicking on the settings cog).

The thoughts of this blog are of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the Nursing CPD Institute. To read our full disclaimer click here >>