PracticeAccounting FirmsOn the money with Gavin Hinks

On the money with Gavin Hinks

So you’re a finance director and perhaps thinking of expanding your interests with an evening class, maybe a little something to widen your skills base

Gavin Hinks, editor of Accountancy Age

A quick read through the financial news pages reveals any number of skills
that could come in handy as the rainy evenings cast a shadow over our summer and
the economy makes things look even more bleak.

First, how about brushing up your negotiating skills for renegotiating debt
facilities. Mark Pain at Barratt Homes has demonstrated this could be a pretty
crucial skill, having been locked in talks over a hefty £400m. Could be handy.

If that doesn’t grab your interest though, how about brushing up on market
regulation so that you know exactly how a rights issue works? This could come in
useful if you have to shore up the balance sheet. Chris Wilford, FD at Bradford
& Bingley, should be able to write a book about it once they get theirs
sorted.

Or, how about some soft skills, such as how to deliver bad news, especially
to irate shareholders somewhat peeved at the way their investments seem to have
taken a nosedive. There are plenty of methodologies around but a quick brush up
on neuro linguistic programming (the basis for hypnosis) could help fend off the
most enthusiastic critics.

Practising interviewing techniques might come in handy, because this summer
everyone’s going to be looking for a scapegoat so you could be job hunting
before you’ve had your summer holiday.

Perhaps, now might be the time to take that course in running a
small-holding, because downsizing to that little cottage in Dorset might be the
best thing for your blood pressure. The rest of the year looks like only the
fittest might survive it.

Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy Age

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