Inspect What You Expect: Finance Organization

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford

In previous newsletters from Prescriptive Profits, we discussed how to “inspect what you expect” out of your Sales OrganizationMarketing Organization and the Customer Success Organization.

This week, although we’ve been preaching it for almost a year now, our journey toward operational excellence focuses squarely on the finance organization and how to ensure that its efficiency is at an all-time high.

Much like the meticulous practices of a top-notch restaurant or a championship sports team, inspection in the realm of finance is key to maintaining fiscal strength, having the flexibility to strike at the right time and aligning with business objectives. A plane that takes off and is only off by a single degree for a small amount of time is barely off track. But over a long period of time, just a single degree has the potential to have devastating results. The same is true in your finance department.


The Finance Department of a business forms its backbone and is highly indicative of its overall well-being. Just as an executive chef inspects ingredients for quality or a coach reviews game strategies, consistent inspection ensures that our financial decisions are well-informed, aligned, and optimized.

So, where are some of the key areas to inspect?

#1: Budgeting and Forecasting

The budgeting process can create huge inefficiencies in an organization. Ensuring that the process is streamlined, and that resources are allocated throughout the business and align with strategic goals is a key component of the inspection process.

Regular reviews of forecasts allow for you to adapt to changing market conditions.

#2: Cash Flow Management

Managing the cash flow of a business is like a basketball coach understanding the flow of the game and players’ energy levels. You need to have your best players ready for big opportunities in the game while balancing their playing time on the court.

Consistency ensures the business has liquidity to meet obligations at all times while being able to capitalize on growth opportunities and market conditions.

#3: Financial Reporting and Analysis

Like all other reporting we discuss, these need to be tied to overall business objectives.

If you want to ensure consistent inspection of these metrics, tie employees’ compensation and bonus structure to the performance of these metrics.

#4: Expense Management

Expenses are like ingredients for a chef. You set the stipulations with your vendors, and you expect for the process to run smoothly.

But this area still requires inspection. This will help optimize resource allocation and reduce waste.

Prioritizing “must haves,” “nice to haves” and “wants” within your current expenses helps expedite the process of cutting out expenses when things get tight.

#5: Compliance and Risk Management

Not the sexiest of topics but no matter how elite a restaurant is, if health and safety regulations are not met, the governing bodies can shut you down.

Ensuring that your compliance and risk management practices in finance safeguard against legal and financial pitfalls is a must.

While the above is all-important to running a successful finance department, the overarching goal of any business is to make an impact. Whether that be to make money, impact the world or create happy customers, the financials need to map to the core of the company for it to be successful.

Strategic Alignment to Business Impact

Does this financial initiative map to the proposed business impact?

Inspecting financial initiatives in the context of broader business goals ensures financial decisions contribute directly to organizational success. When aligned, our finances drive growth.

The need for inspection comes when change happens. By committing to consistent inspection of what you expect for your business, you’ll be ahead of any slight deviation from the end result and be able to notice it much sooner.

Proactive, not Reactive

In the realm of financial inspection, it’s crucial to go beyond mere cost-cutting and embrace a more strategic approach known as cost optimization. Unlike reactive cost cuts often triggered by economic pressures, cost optimization is a proactive, disciplined strategy that balances the need to reduce expenses with the goal of fostering growth.

It’s not just a one-off event during budget season but a continual process—and mindset—that requires organizations to redefine “value” to include not just profit, but also intangibles like brand reputation and customer experience. This approach aligns perfectly with our emphasis on inspection and strategic alignment in finance, advocating for a long-term, holistic view of financial health. By incorporating cost optimization, finance departments can ensure they’re not just saving money, but also investing in future growth and value creation.

In the pursuit of business excellence, the finance organization plays a pivotal role. Just as a renowned restaurant inspects every detail of a dish and a winning team analyzes every play, our commitment to inspecting financial strategies ensures that we’re on the path to fiscal strength and success.

Remember, excellence is achieved through continuous inspection, refinement, and strategic alignment.

Let’s get to work.