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Are you following a tractor

A couple of days ago, when I was at the roundabout, I saw a tractor entering on the right. Since it was on my right, it had the priority on the road. Then I entered the road and was behind it. The road was a A road - single carraige way. The tractor was driving at a speed of 20m per hour and I had no choice but to follow it. My vision was blocked by the tractor, I could not overtake since there was a oncoming traffic on the other road. All the traffic behind was driving at 20 miles per hour and the queue of cars was building up. We had to follow it for another 1 mile till the road become a dual carriage lane.

The question I would ask is, "Are we following trends in real life and accepting them ? " Or can we change them or look issues in a different perspective.
  1. Accounting Body: Being a member of a particular accounting body, your institute would be advising you on latest happenings through various medium like seminars, internet and journal. As a professional, you should be asking yourself, "Is my accounting body re they doing enough for the membership fees I pay?" If not, start communicating with your accounting body on what you need from your accounting body as tools for your knowledge and how your accounting body should interact with business. A positive public image of the accounting body and "Can do" approach helps the members in the profession. You are not there to drive your career at 20 miles per hour. Do you ?
  2. Business Models: Most of us read a lot of books to understand the business models. And acquire a ready made recipe directly from the brains of management gurus without any effort. Don't you feel we are restricting ourselves to think. Just find out any business that is different and analyse why it is successful E.g. I pondered when I picked up copy of Friday-Ad for free ads, how does it make money. And one of thing that caught my attention was the 070 telephone number on every ad. This looked to be a premium telephone number. So when the buyer calls the seller, he is being charged at a higher rate and Friday Ad must getting a cut. More the callers, more the revenue. !!! Did you notice on Amazon website, there are sponsored links of their competitors selling the same products amazon is selling ? How does it help Amazon ? ... Amazon does follow trend, it creates them.
  3. Corporate Governance: Recently the word "Corporate Governance" have taken a beating. Satyam scam (and banks going bust all over the world.) The company decorated with all the honours for good governance and numerous awards both locally and internationally. Today everyone is questioning, "Is audited financial statements reliable to judge a company ?" Our training in accountancy taught us to look at the financial statements along with non financial indicators like the directors report and then judge how the company is doing. I am wondering, whether Porter Diamond, be a good tool to analyse corporate governance ? E.g. MS Office is a expensive product but it is widely used. In developing countries, where the legal protection is not strong, piracy is a problem. So whether small business can afford it ? If we apply Porter's diamond, our analysis for corporate governance would be under heading "Social" to arrive at any conclusion. A change in perspective would help to analyse the business. Analyse Satyam Computers using Porter's Daimond for Corporate Governance for last seven years and see whether you get right answers.
  4. Tail Wagging the Dog: You buy a laptop and then you subscribe for a broadband. The competition is so intense in the market that the broadband companies are offering laptop for free, if you subscribe to their broadband for a 18 months contract. You must have noticed, a song is available £0.99 for download and the ring tone for a whopping £1.50.!!! So people who are selling ancilliary products are making more than money than people who sell the originals. They are ahead of the tractor.
  5. Knowledge from books: We generally tend to believe that all the knowledge is gained from books. It is true to some extent but sharing views in the forum would refine what you gained so far. When my views are challenged with proper arguments, I tend to view them from a different perspective. So participating in forums, social networking, comments on articles / blogs or start your own website are ways to break the trend. As a management accountant you have more to gain by doing new things rather than reading books.
Following a tractors may not be a good idea. Either make the tractor run faster or drive past before it comes.

Please share your views by commenting on this article ? Also let me know whether you are following any tractor ? May be we can discuss how you can drive ahead of it.

Regards,


Santosh Puthran

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  1. Ethics on ACCA website 11-Feb-2008
  2. Combined of Corporate Governance UK 20-April-08
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  4. Resistance to Change - Kotter and Schleinger
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