My lead developer Greg is quite a deep guy. He’s a thinker. He likes purity. Obviously, he’s highly suspicious of Microsoft and interfaces and has just about come to terms with a mouse. If he had a choice Zahara would be command line and a green screen. One of his more profound thought processes is when he challenges me on my requirements. When we are working out how something is going to work or what chunks of data we need to merge or compare, he often asks me about the Truth – “ahh” he will say. “but is that the truth”. He’s usually referring to data and the integrity of something, but the Truth is an interesting concept, especially for the finance team.
In our board meeting, when reviewing the monthly figures, we have our recognised revenue against annual subscriptions and of course that is the Truth. But for me as a CEO and with a lifetime in sales then the truth to me is how much we invoiced in the previous month. My truth is different to my co-director’s truth who both happen to be trained accountants. Theirs happens to be the right one though!
I often point out to potential customers that their finance system is where the truth lies. That’s the tool that will produce the profit and loss. It's the tool for creating journals and for calculating depreciation. It will have all staff costs. It is without doubt the financial truth. However, for those who have been victims of invoice fraud or staff embezzlement, perhaps the bank balance will hold your finance system to account and that’s the truth. It’s interesting isn’t it?
So where does Zahara fit into the mix then with all of this? I would like to think that Zahara helps provide the framework to the truth. Our budgets can create a framework to control spend in a department, team or on a project. They can give you a real-time headline of whether the project or department are spending too much. Our approvals processes can control the buying process so that you are spending with the right suppliers at the right price and rejecting any invoices where you are being overcharged or charged for things you haven’t had. We police your purchase ledger… so you have the truth.
And this is why the finance team are such a valuable part of the organisation. With so many applications and systems linked together, someone needs to get to the truth and then present the truth to the board. But unfortunately, some people can’t handle the Truth. But that’s something for the HR team to deal with!