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Strategic Management Accounting Forum 2017

Primus Hotel Sydney
18 January 2017 - 19 January 2017

Hide Section - About the Event
The finance world has changed significantly over the past decade and in turn the role and scope of management accounting has evolved with it. However, in order to continue this progression, it is imperative for finance professionals to expand their knowledge of critical management accounting tools, keep up to date with current trends and step up as a strategic business partner and leader.

Although the budget still remains the principal financial instrument in most organisations, with real time reporting and predictive approaches becoming more and more important, progressive leaders and finance experts are seeing the benefit of looking beyond the numbers. This strategic mind-set is allowing the finance function to work more closely with the business and achieve more with less. However, in order to move your finance function into a strategic position and reap the benefits, each individual must have an acute understanding of how to effectively communicate with other business units and articulate information to internal and external stakeholders.

The Strategic Management Accounting Forum 2017 will bring together many of the most progressive finance leaders across Australia to reflect on their experience and share their insight. Through a series of case studies, expert commentaries and discussions, participants will leave with a sharper understanding of the fundamentals of management accounting and strategies to navigate the pathway between accountant and strategic business partner.
Hide Section - Explore Points
Rethinking the traditional approaches and investigating innovative new trends

Debating the pros and cons of contemporary budgeting and costing methods

Strategies to align the finance function with business objectives

Articulating and presenting digestible information for non-accounting professionals
Hide Section - Who will attend
- Management Accounting
- Finance Managers
- Chief Financial Officers
- Finance Directors
- Financial Controllers
- Budgeting and Cost Management Specialists
- Business Analysts
- Corporate Services
- Financial Reporting
- Planning and Analysis
- Forecasting
- Strategic Planning
- Performance Management / Reporting

16 January 2017

09:00 - 16:30


Day One: Developing skills to aid in the Transition from Technical Finance Specialist to Senior Finance Leader

Understanding the Transition from Technical Manager to Senior Executive
The leadership pipeline: Critical transitions that successful leaders make
- Understanding the differences between technical management and people leadership
- The attributes of transformational leaders

Assessing Executive Potential
- How to assess the potential for successful leadership under challenging conditions
- Practical exercise around assessing executive potential

The Transformational Leader’s Toolkit: Dealing with the Challenges of Senior Leadership
Understanding how you react to pressure
- A framework for developing self-regulation (CALM)
- How to manage competing priorities

Group discussion:
Individual feedback on your executive potential and group exercise understanding the challenges of senior leadership.

The Transformational Leader’s Toolkit: Leading People under Pressure
- Dealing with difficult people
- Giving and receiving constructive feedback
- Conflict handling strategies
- The manager as ‘on-the-job’ coach
- Communicating change to employees
- Achieving improved leadership performance - Your personal action plan
Michael Collins - Managing Partner, phD

17 January 2017

09:00 - 04:30


Day Two: Finance Leadership and Transitioning into a World Class Finance Function

Strategic Performance Management: The Broadening Scope of the Finance Function
- Transitioning finance from a compliance and control orientation to a performance and value focus
- Understanding the importance of linking strategy to budgeting and forecasting
- Recognising the relationship between finance and risk management: Increasing requirements
- Discuss performance management models and their key drivers for success in your organisation
- Effectively engaging with senior leadership to demonstrate the strategic value of the finance function

The Enabling Platforms for Transforming Finance into a Strategic Business Function
- Exploiting management accounting tools and techniques in a strategic context
- Applying new management accounting tools to enhance management reporting and drive business performance
- Understanding the emerging power of big data and analytics
- How business analytics can contribute to strategic business insights
- Big data and analytics as a platform for enhancing the finance function

Drivers of change: Leading a World Class Finance Function
- Dealing with the increasing demands businesses can place on their finance function
- Efficiency to effectiveness: Leveraging the finance value chain
- The necessity to provide decision support in order to deliver finance effectiveness
- Driving productivity in finance: Working smarter not harder
- Benchmarking your finance function against global best practice  

Transitioning from Scorekeeper to Strategic Business Partners

- Getting beyond the rhetoric surrounding business partnering and discovering what it really means
- Overcoming the challenges of partnering at all levels of the organisation
- Demonstrating the ongoing value of Finance to business operations
- Considering the emerging skill set required to achieve business partnership
- Managing accounting teams and staff effectively and building Finance talent
Kevin Riley - Managing Director
Riley & Riley - Strategy Advisors

18 January 2017

09:00 - 09:50

Case Study

The progressive CFO - Using cost accounting to help drive the business

Whether it is lean accounting or activity-based costing, there is often a continuing dispute over the best method of costing. The solution is perhaps having two or more co-existing management accounting methods; each for different costs for different purposes used by different groups and managers. Throughout her career, Linda has used various costing methodologies and has concluded that there is no one perfect solution, with different methodologies being more suited to different parts of the business, and different points in the life cycle of the organisation. She will explore:
- Using management accounting to improve business results
- Understanding the unique needs of various types of managers within an organisation
- Touching on the key differences between lean accounting and ABC and their potential applications
- Experimenting with varied costing methods
Linda Armstrong - General Manager Finance
Big W

09:50 - 10:40

Case Study

Equipping the finance function as a strategic business partner

An effective finance function is integral to the success of any organisation, especially as the role of finance becomes more involved in strategic business decisions. As the Chief Financial Officer for the Attorney-General’s Department, Stephen strives to link financial operations with business objectives to get the most out of an ever reducing budget. He will explore:
- Integrating the finance function with human resources and larger business functions
- Understanding varied pressures and priorities to meet budget
- Dynamic budgeting and business planning – flexible and dynamic allocation of budgets and resources with a declining budget
Stephen Lutze - First Assistant Secretary and Chief Finance Officer
Attorney-General's Department

10:55 - 11:45

Case Study

Beyond budgeting - Rethinking traditional budgeting

Beyond budgeting is a modern approach to budgeting that tries to resolve any weaknesses and limitations of traditional approaches to budgeting. There are many benefits of this new approach to budgeting including focusing on future results and encouraging innovation. This session will examine the potential of beyond budgeting. Explore:
- Implementation challenges  providing clear guidelines and team based rewards
- Empowering managers to minimise resource constraints
- Limitations of beyond budgeting for public and private sector
Paul Dowler - Chief Financial Officer
Charles Sturt University

11:45 - 12:35

Case Study

Putting the strategic into management accounting

Guiding a finance function to be more strategic goes beyond the CEO and CFO. Although it is important to work with the executive team, to be a strategic function, finance teams at all levels of an organisation must be involved. In her journey through IBM, Bronwyn has found that thought leadership is the most effective way to create strategic direction. She will explore:
- Changing culture through strategic management accounting
- Presenting information in a strategic way with thought and opinion
- Valuing the changing nature of the management accounting role
Bronwyn Grantham - Financial Controller
IBM Australia and New Zealand

13:35 - 14:25


Different approaches to budgeting - Top down or bottom up

There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to the varying methods of budgeting, but one may allow the finance function to work more strategically as a partner to the business. This panel of experienced finance leaders will explore the benefits and consequences of differing budgeting methodologies to answer this question and more. Discuss:
- Streamlining accounting processes to stay on firm financial track
- Creating a sense of cohesiveness and teamwork to maintain momentum
- Dealing with increased pressure on lower level employees
Nigel Everard - Chief Financial Officer
Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd
Andrew Townend - Chief Financial Officer
PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand
Paul Dowler - Chief Financial Officer
Charles Sturt University
Andrew Mclver - General Manager, Commercial Advice and Planning

14:25 - 15:15

Case Study

Prioritising expenditure and navigating change as a finance leader

In today’s constantly changing and evolving business world, the finance function must ensure a forward focus to deliver results. As Chief Financial Officer, Fiona has recently implemented a strategy to prioritise expenditure, focusing on breaking down silos for business unit budgets. She is looking at whether business units are using funding to run, improve or transform and prioritising accordingly. However, there are many challenges to enforcing these changes in an organisation with deep roots. Fiona will explore:
- Changing perception around the evolving finance function
- Initiating change and partnering with the business
- Prioritising expenditure - Realise and harvest
Fiona Cushing - Chief Financial Officer
Hunter Water Corporation

15:30 - 16:20

Expert Commentary

Business partnering in finance

The role of the finance leader is constantly changing as organisations evolve. The different skills required by the finance team and how management works to assist them can either drive a business to be successful or lead to its demise. Rebecca will reflect on her experience and investigate business partnering, the changing finance function and how important it is to assist the business with financial information rather than just presenting reports. Explore:
- Understanding the role of business partnering in finance
- Building and developing an effective business partnering function
- Focusing on delivering on the promise
Rebecca Lowde - ​Chief Financial Officer

19 January 2017

09:00 - 10:00

Case Study

From traditional to strategic – Integrated planning, budgeting and forecasting

When it comes to planning, budgeting and  forecasting, there is a lot of evidence to say that integrating these processes is more efficient than traditional methods. Kate is leading CitiPower and Powercor’s transition from traditional forecasting to an integrated approach aligned to the strategic objectives of the business. She will explore:
- Navigating the strategic switch to integrated forecasting approach
- Investment in technology – moving away from spreadsheets
- Managing team culture through a change from traditional methods
Kate Webster - Group Financial Controller
CitiPower and Powercor

10:00 - 11:00

Case Study

Creating a leaner finance function - ANZ’s offshore hubs

As finance professionals, we are always striving for greater cost efficiencies in meeting our core finance deliverables and servicing business stakeholders. Since stepping into the role of Financial Controller - International & Institutional Banking, Andrew has been involved in the implementation of an enhanced support model to deliver greater value-add from ANZs offshore finance hub.  This investment in enhanced offshore capability is a work-in-progress but is starting to yield benefits for both financial control and finance business partner activities. Andrew will reflect on his experience and explore:
- The benefit of offshore models - why continue to hub?
- Continuous improvement in the offshore model – what comes next?
- Pitfalls and learnings in developing enhanced capabilities offshore

Andrew Young - Financial Controller - International & Institutional Banking

11:15 - 00:15

Case Study

Modelling and systems - Automation to avoid error

Accurate budgeting and forecasting is a high priority in any successful organisation, but this is not always possible due to human error. System automation may be the the best way to eradicate this issue and help an organisation to avoid the need for time-consuming detail reconciliation. Kylie will draw from her own experience and discuss:
- Modelling to support budgeting and forecasting
- Highlighting the importance of alleviating human error and replicating information
- Navigating the benefits and disadvantages of automation
Kylie Gallasch - General Manager Financial Services
The Australian Rail Track Corporation

13:15 - 14:15

Case Study

Articulating technical information - Moving to modern techniques in reporting

One of the many challenges faced by accountants is the difficulty of presenting technical information to non-accounting professionals. When it comes to communicating complex reports, the audience needs to know why this information is important rather than just the numbers. Anushia was confronted with this challenge in her experience in previous roles and now brings this knowledge to her role as Head of Finance for Honda. She will be:
- Highlighting the benefits of visual aid reporting
- Identifying effective ways of presenting digestible information to non-accounting professionals
- Showing the 'why' rather than the 'what'
Anushia Vijay - Head of Finance
Honda Australia Motor Vehicles

14:15 - 15:15

Case Study

Striving toward a unified company vision - An international perspective

In order to be a successful organisation, all business functions must be working toward a unified goal or vision. Consequently, it is valuable for finance leaders to work closely with the CEO and invest in the strengths of all areas of the business. As a senior executive in Singapore, Dubai and Indonesia, Amit has seen Sony’s company vision from all angles and the benefits of investing in the unification of cross-functional organisational goals. Discuss:
- Ensuring business goals are aligned by working closely with the executive team
- Utilising sales and marketing functions to work strategically in finance
- Navigating the future of strategic management accounting
Amit Doshi - Director - Finance & DSCM
Sony Australia and New Zealand

15:30 - 16:30


Future directions for Strategic Management Accounting - 2017 and beyond

The changing nature of the finance function means that professionals must develop their ability to work closely and communicate effectively with other business areas. This interactive session will open the floor to free-flowing discussion and give participants practical insights to implement their key learnings back in the workplace. Explore:
- Navigating the changing nature of the management accountant role
- Strategies to align the finance function with business objectives
- Reflecting on the most recent disciplinary updates, latest best practice and what's to come for 2017
Kevin Riley - Managing Director
Riley & Riley - Strategy Advisors

20 January 2017

09:00 - 16:30


Budgeting, big data and system implications: Moving into the future of strategic management accounting

The global business environment of today is turbulent and constantly evolving. Agility is imperative and organisations are expected to be more innovative and forward focused than ever. Whilst traditional finance functions provide corporate information and operational support to static businesses, contemporary organisations must integrate finance thinking throughout their operations in order to compete in a connected, real time and globally competitive world. This workshop day will provide a facilitated environment for participants to explore, in detail, the imperatives and mechanisms to succeed as a finance professional.
Business decisions today must be made under greater uncertainty than ever, and finance must provide flexible frameworks and incisive advice for routine (budgeted) and investment (business case) decision making as well as overseeing it with effective financial and non-financial performance measurement, reporting and evaluation. The use of big data is on the cusp of being a market differentiator and organisations that don’t use the knowledge their data gives them will not be able to compete. This is at present the domain of ‘information management’ and finance must now step up to contribute to, and indeed drive, the big data agenda in organisations.
This interactive full day workshop will equip ambitious finance professionals with the skill-set to make practical, informed decisions that align with an organisations business strategy. A fast paced, low margin, connected world requires dispersion of these skills around the organisation and finance teams must transition to a more subtle, yet more influential role. This workshop will combine the facilitator’s experience with that of participants in a structured and sequenced analysis which will explore:

Finance and performance – the core role of strategic finance
•      Identifying the true value add for the finance function
•      Interconnecting corporate strategy and finance
•      Designing organisations and processes to enable financially informed decision making
•      Understanding the impact of changing roles of boards and directors on finance areas
Financial decision making
•      Budgeting in a volatile world
•      Performance management – frameworks, opportunities and traps for the unwary
•      Growing the finance role in business cases and investment decision making from validation to whole of life
•      Holding the organisation to account
A tsunami of data, all in real time
•      Demystifying big data and unravelling the relevance of big data to finance leaders
•      Unpacking business area needs for data analysis
•      Integrating financial data with other organisational data
•      Systems implications in a cloud and app based world
Enlightening the business
•      The emerging role of the finance professional as the business adviser
•      The critical role of finance as custodians of sound practice and rigour
•      Identifying and promoting finance skills across the organisation
•      Organising finance functions to support business strategy and operations    
Robert Eames - Owner
Fivenines Consulting
Paul Dowler
Chief Financial Officer
Charles Sturt University
Andrew Townend
Chief Financial Officer
PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand
Stephen Lutze
First Assistant Secretary and Chief Finance Officer
Attorney-General's Department
Andrew Mclver
General Manager, Commercial Advice and Planning
Kate Webster
Group Financial Controller
CitiPower and Powercor
Anushia Vijay
Head of Finance
Honda Australia Motor Vehicles
Amit Doshi
Director - Finance & DSCM
Sony Australia and New Zealand
Kylie Gallasch
General Manager Financial Services
The Australian Rail Track Corporation
Kevin Riley
Managing Director
Riley & Riley - Strategy Advisors
Nigel Everard
Chief Financial Officer
Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd
Rebecca Lowde
​Chief Financial Officer
Linda Armstrong
General Manager Finance
Big W
Andrew Young
Financial Controller - International & Institutional Banking
Fiona Cushing
Chief Financial Officer
Hunter Water Corporation
Bronwyn Grantham
Financial Controller
IBM Australia and New Zealand
Robert Eames
Fivenines Consulting
Michael Collins
Managing Partner, phD
Primus Hotel Sydney
Phone: +61 2 8027 8000
339 Pitt Street
Sydney, NSW
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