PracticeAuditOn the money with Gavin Hinks

On the money with Gavin Hinks

Wouldn’t we all love to be able to hire a top accountancy firm to measure our effectiveness at work?

Gavin Hinks, AccountancyAge

Of course, we would, we’d all appreciate an honest insight into our abilities
to cope with our jobs, a detailed sense of whether we’re worth the pay cheque at
the end of month.

You wouldn’t? You surprise me. But if Prince Andrew can do it why shouldn’t
we all? Yes, that’s right, Prince Andrew has hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to
seek the views of 30 stakeholders on his effectiveness as the UK’s business
ambassador.

Some of you must be thinking he must be a glutton for punishment. I can’t
imagine PwC being anything but brutally honest, just as they would be if they
were, say, evaluating yours truly.

As a colleague pointed out to me, in taking this bold step he can’t win. If
PwC were to report that all is well on the Prince’s turf everyone will insist
that the report couldn’t be independent. If they come back with something
critical, the Prince will be pilloried and asked why he’s bothering.

The best he can hope for really is that the report has a bit of both ­
something complimentary that can be served up in public as validation, plus
something a bit critical to demonstrate that he’s taking the post seriously and
not simply in it for the jollies.

Perhaps the Prince can consider himself relatively lucky because at least
he’s only subject to the opinions of stakeholders, and not measured against some
fairly rigorous KPIs. Those are what business leaders really live or die by.
Perhaps PwC could delicately suggest that by using KPIs of his own the Prince
might feel like he’s operating in a real business role.

That’s all from me. Off to convince someone important that journalism, as is
obvious to everyone, can’t really be subjected to KPIs.

Gavin Hinks is the editor of Accountancy Age

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