The analogy that Yvonne Thomas, Financial Director of Barcan+Kirby LLP, uses to describe Financial Directors is an intriguing one; she believes that FDs are essentially carrying out the work in a business in the same way that a central processing unit (CPU) works for a computer.

The CPU is an important part of every computer, sending signals to control other parts of the machine. Thomas links the fact that the CPU sorts and utilises all of the information it receives, to the way that FDs work by using data collected from across the organisation.

“FDs take all of the data from the internal systems and the current and future requirements of different areas of the business and combine this with information relating to developments in the legal market and the economy. They process and analyse all of these factors and consequently come up with the best strategy for the future financial health of the firm,” she says.

Without taking into account all of these different data sources, Thomas believes FDs are not able to make informed decisions.

“You need to know everything that’s happening in the firm –for example from the HR perspective, you need to know how difficult it is to recruit for different roles, to be aware of any developments in employment law and if any of these have the potential to affect the business and the impact they would have,” she says.

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