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Move of the Month

Susan Stephens

has joined Internet integrator Amaze as FD. She joins from Think New Ideas where she was also FD.

Age 31

Qualification and date Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. Qualified 1991.

What things other than finance do you do in your job?

Strategic planning, human resources and IT.

Would you rather spend more time doing non-finance things?

No. Finance reaches into every aspect of the organisation.

What is on your desk (e.g. PC, too much paper etc)?

Only a phone. I use a laptop instead of a PC, since I spend a lot of time at present moving between offices. I’d never be without it.

What percentage of your week is spent in meetings?

About 70%, including internal, external and sessions with my department.

What do you like/dislike about the role of finance director?

Like: the ability to influence the direction of the company. Dislike: the inevitable reactionary work.

What is the strangest/silliest question that a non-finance manager has asked you?

‘What’s the difference between revenue and billings?’ – not exactly silly, but absolutely vital to understand in this business.

Do you think an accountancy qualification is essential to the FD role?

At present, I think it is. However, I can see that financial reporting is going to incorporate more qualitative than quantitative analysis, and, ultimately, it will not be so key.

Can you name the president of your accountancy institute without looking it up?

No – but then he is on the other side of the world!

What one question should we have asked you, but didn’t?

What’s the most exciting thing about working in the Internet environment?

How would you rank our list of key FD attributes (most important first)?

(a) accuracy 4th

(b) stewardship 5th

(c) entrepreneurial skills 2nd

(d) people management 3rd

(e) strategic thinking 1st

Return the Financial Director website

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