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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 April 2011
Alasdair Drysdale has produced what should become a standard text for financial controllers and management accountants. As an engineer, I have worked in a variety of companies from multi-nationals to smaller companies and I cannot think of any of these companies that would not benefit from reading and applying the many techniques and methods that he describes. This is not a textbook for theoreticans and students, this is a book that is solidly based in the real world with all the problems and pitfalls that lurk in the business jungle.
The book can be read from cover to cover but the sheer number of good practical ideas means that that most readers would be unlikely to do this. They are more likely to read Part 1, get excited (or worried) about the things that they haven't done and rush out to take action. Alasdair literally showers the reader with ideas, all of which can save money, reduce confusion and increase business control in both financial and operational areas. It would be very difficult to complete the book without saving money, increasing control and removing potential risks.
Financial control is not an exciting subject but this book makes it readable, practical and accessible.
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on 28 January 2012
There is a lot of theory in management, but you won't find it in this book, which is clearly written, deals entirely with practicalities drawing on the author's long and wide experience. The writing style in this book is conversational, and typically takes the form of a few discussion paragraphs followed by a list of bullet-points of dos and don'ts, or things to beware of. This, coupled with the many real-life examples of clever (and not-so-clever) business practices makes the whole book enjoyable, instructive and thought-provoking.

The book is also no respecter of convention, debunking a lot of popular myths and practices along the way. But in doing so, the author always gives hard-hitting practical reasons.

Apart from the systems section, which is a reference work containing a wealth of structural detail, the book is an easy read whether you read cover-to-cover or just dip into individual topics, each topic being self-contained.

At several hundred pages this is a very comprehensive work; not only is it invaluable for financial managers, but it is also absorbing and instructive reading for all managers and directors who are seeking to run a profitable business. I can thoroughly recommend it to any business manager or director, and to any professional advisor.
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on 30 June 2010
Don't be put off by the somewhat dry title of this book. Yes, it's not ashamed to get technical and delve deeply into the ins and outs of the sort of number-crunching any entrepreneur or business owner needs to get their head around if they want to make a success of their venture. But it's also a very accessible and logical read, with a clear structure, tons of practical advice and, if not totally jargon-free, then certainly jargon friendly, in that if there's a complicated subject or issue coming up, it's explained carefully without either talking down to the reader or, conversely, assuming the sort of prior knowledge that only comes from having sat through years of accountancy exams. As a business writer who has previously interviewed Alasdair about his career as an interim manager, I already knew about the many years of experience and expertise he brings to his field, and this deep knowledge and authority come through clearly in this book. If you already have an interest or background in finance and financial control, this book will be an invaluable addition to your knowledge and the sort of hands-on resource you can go back to time and again. Equally importantly, if what you have is passion and a great idea but feel you lack the financial know-how to make it a reality in difficult times, this book could be a great place to start.
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on 2 November 2015
I borrowed this book from my accounting institute's library first, and then bought my own copy as I knew I'd find myself referring to it for years to come. This book offers sound and practical advice with the human touch. I would recommend it to both aspiring and established financial controllers.
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on 23 February 2012
This is such a great book, with a wide range of topics and full of practical advice and information. I wish this book had been available when I first became a Financial Controller. It bridges the gap between formal qualification studies and the reality of the day to day FC role. It also includes some useful report formats and checklists. Not just for finance personnel - a good read for non finance personnel as well!
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on 14 October 2014
Alasdair Drysdale has produced a book which has achieved what I would have considered the near impossible – he has made the world of business finance accessible, intelligible, and even interesting, to ordinary mortals like me. His book should be recommended reading for all students of business and financial studies at colleges and universities throughout the UK and beyond!
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on 16 September 2014
This book is a gem, it covers so many aspects of the role of finance manager / controller. I have been able to massively increase my understanding of finance operations and role of a financial controller by reading this book. 5 stars without hesitation.
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on 22 June 2010
A well written, easy to follow book which is just as good a read for entrepreneurs and business owners as it is for finance professionals. The book is written from a practical perspective and is designed to be an instruction manual on how to be a effective financial controller. As a business director rather than a finance professional, I found the first section detailing why's and what's regarding the relationship a financial controller has with other members of the company very interesting and it was useful to understand the different priorities at play.

The example reports and excellent bullet point summaries are two great feeatures throughout the book. Whilst reading a book about accounting and finance will never be classed as a "thriller", this book manages to keep the reader engaged on the topic, which I think is largerly due to the lessons presented here being constructed through the author's hindsight rather than dry theory.
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on 2 February 2013
This book is superb. I am in my first financial conroller position at a small food manufacturing firm and it feels as if Alasdair has been secretly watching over my shoulder for the last year and has answered all the questions that I had! The book covers the main areas of operations, NPD and sales perfectly and I have already implemented a number of his recommendations and have been commended for the changes that I have made. I recommend this book to all financial controllers in the early stages of their career - I am convinced that it has saved me years of on the job learning.
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on 27 May 2015
As a Chartered Accountant who has worked in Practice, Industry and Financial Services. This is good book to give a practical understanding of ebbs and flow of Financial Control especially the internal controls required for a best practice Finance function.
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