“Happy New financial year” with lots of smiling emojis to every person in finance. I know its a little too overdue and we are edging towards the end of the first month of the new financial year but hear me out when i say it took me awhile to actually decide on whether i should write about this and how i would actually spill it out without offending anyone (Because honestly, have you ever written a report in simple English and people just like to find fault in it? No? Okay moving on!) Out with the old and in with the new with so much expectations and regrets, i can only hope that this year will bring about more mutual understanding and accurate planning.
When my dad retired from Ports there was only one thing he looked forward to the most, which was to get a good night sleep, instead of tossing and turning every night to meet the organisation’s financial expectations. I never really understood what he meant until walking a few a steps in the shoes of people who have to live with this day in and day out.
To this day, i still feel very insecure in this field because of the little value that people associate it with. In a developing country such as Tonga, the top careers children should strive for almost always includes a career in Medicine and Law. Which although are very important, i would like to highlight the fact that at the end of the day noone works for free in this world and if youre looking forward to receiving your paycheck every fortnight, people in finance should take full credit for this! Instead, it is an illusion and will stay that way until considered!
My dream list for the financial year includes too many things that will most likely stay in the rubble but here are the Top 5 things that i think everyone should consider:
1. Forecasting and Planning
I cannot emphasise how important this is and it is not to be taken lightly. Forecasting is based on estimates, but To turn these estimates into a reality will depend on teamwork. We can only forecast what we think will happen but your input with this will be a game changer. Two of the most eyerolling comments ive had to laugh of include “forecasting is not necessary because we have a slightly lower budget” or that “forecasting is a lie that can never be true”…. No further comments from me your Grace!
2. Anything below $500 will not make it to my Asset register
I admire my previous collegue for registering every little item under a specific employee and asset code. We all have different ways of managing things and i stay on the fact that anything below $500 is registered separately in a stock manual and will not be mentioned in the register. If i could get a dollar everytime someone told their staplers are missing and that its my job to find it, i would be Elon Musk 2.
3. Consult with us when reading through financial reports
I am saddened by the loopholes in the communication chain. The best example to demonstrate this is that whispering game where you have to pass on a specific word from one person to another but towards the end a totally new word surfaces. Financial information is written in simple English for simple comprehension, but to stay on the safe side and to come to a consensus consult with us!
4. Your entitlements and tax deductions are worth the discussion
What you are entitled to and how to calculate your entitlements is worth our time. On a daily, there is a specific colleague of mine that always loves to ask as many questions about her entitlements, whether it is overtime or encashment, it shows true employee responsibility and it adds credibility to our work. In addition to this, your total tax deductions are important, enquire as much information as you can because if youre like me refunds make every penny count (eventhough i dont even get refunds myself lol)
5. At the end of the day, we have to follow the process!
Whether these processes are based on verbal communications, in Tonga, there are limits to our responsibilities. Heres one perfect example: taking part in the budget consultations and formulating the budget is our job, Setting the bar above our estimated approved budget depending on the activities planned out for the financial year will require extra hard teamwork.