Accountancy Age Awards 2001 – Finance teams feather corporate nest.

Finance teams, at one time regarded as little more than backroom number crunchers, are being thrust into the limelight as FDs take on a more public role and rely more on the work of their staff.

So what are the characteristics of a good finance team and what roles do they play? Today’s teams are increasingly working on developing strategy and play a key role in driving corporate change. Instead of just doing the numbers, a good finance team will have a strategic mindset so that their work will give added value to their business.

Judges for the Finance Team of the Year Award will be looking for evidence of financial achievement and innovation that has generated clear business benefits. The category is open to entrants from any field of industry, commerce or public services.

Teams can enter themselves, or be nominated by someone else – a client, auditor or non-finance colleague in the same company. Finance directors are also encouraged to enter their own teams.

The winning team will be announced at the awards ceremony at London’s Natural History Museum on 7 November. As well as the trophy, they win a prize of #500.

Studies have shown that developing a good finance team is important to company directors. Companies are increasingly becoming aware of the value of a good finance team, and giving credit when good results are achieved.

A good example is the recent purchase by Nomura of the Le Meridien hotel group. This was negotiated by Nomura’s finance team – the principal finance group. Despite being in a different line of business, the team was able to secure the hotel group, beating Marriott and Accor, which had similar businesses.

Retaining talented staff has emerged as a key issue amongst employers, as staff seek incentives that are not necessarily monetary. A recent CIMA survey showed 65% of employers believe the best way to retain talented teams is to motivate them by giving them challenging opportunities.

Duncan March, managing director of cricket legend Ian Botham’s London-based company Mission Logistics, recently highlighted the value of having a good finance team. Speaking to The Mirror, he said: ‘Say a finance team has just made millions, it makes sense for the firm to hang on to that team.’

Last year’s winner was the finance team at Reed Business Information.

Its teamwork added significant value to the company’s business, showing the importance of working as part of the whole organisation.

According to the judges, Reed’s finance team helped focus the business and find cost reductions, as well as achieving overall growth targets at the same time.

If you feel your team has excelled this year, visit our website for an entry form.

For details on how to enter, awards sponsorship or to book a table, please visit our website at, call 020 7316 9762 or email

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