There’s no accounting for innovation

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Sep 15, 2016

This week’s guest says: “management accounting 
is the engineering of a business”. This is particularly relevant to innovation in this era, because our understanding of innovation is increasing and this is causing many businesses to change their business models.  We welcome to our discussion Andrew Miskin (@CIMA_President), who is President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The following is his framing post on this topic:

The world is changing faster than ever before. With the fourth industrial revolution set to disrupt global industry, finance professionals have an ever more important part to play in supporting innovation and sustainable business success.

The traditional ‘scorekeeper and policeman’ roles of the finance function are transforming, with growing focus on frameworks such as the triple bottom line (people, planet and profits) and integrated reporting, which considers how an organisation creates and defines value.

Yet we face significant challenges in making sense of today’s amorphous, often incomplete datasets. Traditional methods of forecasting are no longer good enough, or fast enough.

Management accounting is about understanding how an enterprise works and where it’s heading, and the communication of decision-relevant information. As a former industrial engineer, I’ve often described management accounting as the engineering of a business.

But with decision-making getting faster and businesses facing an uncertain future, how can the engine room best support innovation?


Join us for #innochat on Twitter from 12 to 1pm on September 15, 2016, to discuss the relationship between finance and innovation, and how businesses can prepare for an uncertain future, based on the following questions:

  1. What information can the finance function provide to support innovation?
  2. What role does finance play regarding innovation decisions?
  3. How should finance professionals be involved in decision making?
  4. What skills do finance professionals need to develop to better support innovation?
  5. How can we manage business risk without stifling innovation? 


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