Date posted: 02/10/2019 5 min read

What does success look like?

In Oct/Nov 2019 Acuity we talk to Brambles’ leadership team (all FCAs) and include a guide to data visualisation tools.

In Brief

  • The Oct/Nov 2019 issue of Acuity magazine is in mailboxes from 1 October 2019.
  • On the cover is the Brambles leadership team, all FCAs, who are shifting the logistics giant to being a ‘technology enabled’ company. Does their common background as CAs help?
  • This issue also has a guide to choosing the right business insight and data visualisation tools for you and your clients; insights into how companies are approaching modern slavery reporting; and a look at why the rising cost of rubbish should be on the radar of finance teams.

What does success look like? The answer is different for everyone.

For the leadership team at logistics giant Brambles, success is having the right strategy in place for continued, sustainable growth. And that means using data and the Internet of Things (think smart pallets) to drive efficiencies.

The multinational is led by a trio of forward-looking FCAs, who feature on the cover of the Oct/Nov 2019 issue of Acuity.

Brambles chief executive Graham Chipchase FCA and chief financial officer Nessa O’Sullivan FCA live in London, home of the A$18 billion company’s headquarters, but spend much of their time visiting the business’s locations in Europe and the Americas. Recently, their travels took them to the Brambles offices in Sydney, where they met with chair Stephen Johns FCA, a resident Sydneysider.

The leadership team speak to Acuity about how they are embracing technology to drive growth, how finance teams shine in tough markets, what can go wrong with sell-offs, and the pros and cons of having a CEO, CFO and chair who are all FCAs.

Choosing the right business insight tools

While CAs are skilled at reading the numbers to track the ups and downs of a business, their clients are often less adept at reading spreadsheets. Business intelligence and data visualisation tools make translating that complex financial information for stakeholders a much easier task.

In the Oct/Nov 2019 issue, our tech guide looks at some of the most popular data visualisation and insight tools for accountants and their clients. We also give insights into how CAs use this data visualisation technology to offer more valuable services to their clients, whether those clients are micro-businesses, franchisees or medium-size firms.

As Heather Smith CA of ANISE Consulting explains: “Dashboards and visualisations are the same as your car dashboard. You set your journey and your eyes flick down at it to know that you’re on track.”

And don’t forget Rebecca Mihalic CA’s important advice: “Everything I use for my clients I use for myself. You can’t understand it any other way.”

How many slaves work for you?

Also in our latest issue, Acuity explores how different organisations are approaching modern slavery reporting.

As of 1 January 2019, organisations based or operating in Australia with a consolidated revenue of more than A$100 million must report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. As a result, smaller enterprises in Australia and New Zealand that do business with those big companies will need to answer questions about their own practices and those of their suppliers.

Dr David Cooke, Konica Minolta Australia’s chair and managing director, says all companies need to realise they may be exposed to modern slavery in some way.

“There is a complex web of processes that end up in the goods that we all buy, such as office furniture or even uniforms,” says Cooke.

“Where was the cotton grown and how were those workers treated? What about your office cleaning contractors? Can you be sure there is no labour rights abuse going on there?”

Acuity speaks to experts in the field, lists some of the tools CAs can use to make reporting simpler, and looks at what to do if you find slavery in your supply chain.

It’s an issue that will take persistence and years to resolve.

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