Reducing Risks for Board Members, Finance and Treasurers

Reducing Risks for Board Members

The main challenges for board members include reducing risks, the effectiveness / competitiveness of a business model and structure in place, adherence to assigned roles and responsibilities, clarity of key projects impacting the organisation as a whole, decision making, regulatory policies & procedures, and risk mitigation – mostly passed up via through the ranks and presented as options for management. For Government Agencies, it is also public interest and public perception often driven from ministerial positions, and best use of tax dollars with measureable outcomes.

Treasurers may or may not be part of management boards, however their roles are to ensure that a general financial oversight is maintained, that financial planning and budgeting is adhered to, and that financial accounting both traditional and Activity Based Accounting is proactively managed.

With these responsibilities, treasurers are responsible for the financial implication of decision makings across a wide range of organisational direction, project, potential restructure, and responsive human resource management.

In order to proactively manage, mitigate, reduce risks and ensure that decisions are based on ‘true and accurate data’ both from a treasurer and management perspectives, key + up-to-date information elements need to be easily captured, reported, accurately interpreted and presented in a format that will allow board members and treasurers to make informed decisions in an interconnected cause & effect way (e.g. functional departments contributing value to each other via people, processes, and enabling technology).

Board members and treasurers are equally responsible to request information in a structured way from management and staff members. To facilitate this, the adoption of Enterprise Reference Architecture Models will solve a lot of issues for organisations, mitigate and reduce risks, and ensure that an organisation is connected at every level (again People, Process and Enabling Technology).

With such a framework in place, board members and treasurers will have full visibility of the organisation they are managing, reduce decision making time, reduce wrong decisions, and manage an organisation via Performance Management Frameworks that are connected top-down and bottom-up via a structured aggregation of valid data and true information.

Without such Performance Management Frameworks in place, risks elements insert themselves from the activities performed by staff members across an organisation value chain, information passed on and up is sometimes incomplete or inaccurate, low level recommendations and decisions are based on information that is ‘massaged’ along the way – this information is then passed up to management and lose its trueness at each management step. Once it reaches the top level of an organisation, decisions have to be made – often on information that has lost its validity and is re-opened to interpretation.

This is a major risk for organisations and board members whose decisions are liable.

About Christophe Barriere-Varju

Christophe Barriere-Varju has been consulting to Government Agencies and Large Corporate via his  Business and Management Consulting through his consulting firm, BvW Global. Prior to founding BvW Global in 2001, Christophe worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in New York and then Arthur Andersen in Australia. Christophe holds a triple major MBA from the University of San Diego in Supply Management, New Venture Management, and Finance.

A sample of his clients include Government Agencies such as NSW Health, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Procurement | Service NSW, Department of Family and Community Affairs; whilst his Corporate Clients include the likes of News Limited, Commonwealth Bank, Optus, and Thales.

His area of specialties include the development and implementation of Performance Management Framework for large and complex tender projects to ensure within-budget expenditures, adherence to organisational policies, transparency, risk mitigation, innovation, and best value outcomes that are proactively managed throughout the contract period all the way to renewals and/or decommissioning.

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