The Definitive Guide to Business Finance – By Richard Stutely
The Definitive Guide to Business Finance – By Richard Stutely
The Definitive Guide to Business Finance – By Richard Stutely
Published by Financial Times Prentice Hall

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Chapter 3 – How The Finance Director Thinks

‘Our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. And whereas in most professions these would be considered drawbacks, in ... accountancy they are a positive boon.’
John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Eric Idle
(Now for Something Completely Different, 1971)


This chapter takes a rather cynical look at the accounting profession. Do not take it too seriously. It describes the rigorous training which imbues beanies with a meticulous, conservative approach to business. It looks at their qualifications and job titles and touches on the underlying principles which shape their view of the corporation. It discusses briefly the role of auditors – and how their work affects you directly. And it provides a gentle warning about following financial procedures.

Mastering the beanie mind set

After reading chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What are the on-the-job training requirements for would-be accountants?
  • Why does their training emphasize logic, attention to detail and risk aversion?
  • What is the role of the chief financial officer?
  • What is the distinction between the treasurer, financial controller and various other accountancy roles?
  • What is the difference between financial, cost, management and environmental accounting?
  • What is the distinction between accountants and auditors? Should the internal auditor report to the finance director?
  • What are the roles of the internal and external auditors?
  • Why is shareholder protection important?
  • What is significance for you of the finance manual and internal audits?
  • Can you describe the bean counter’s belief system?
The Definitive Guide to Business Finance: What Smart Managers Do With the Numbers – Financial Times – by Richard Stutely