Gone are the days when it was (just about) permissible for in-house lawyers to show incomprehension or disdain about ‘the numbers’. The in-house lawyers I have spoken to about their preparation for a move to a business role are united in the importance of having a good understanding of financial analysis and reporting. Whether or not one has aspirations to move to a business role, comfort with the numbers is a key part of developing the credibility which in-house lawyers need.
I am delighted to see that the Commerce and Industry group have engaged Robert Mowbray of Taylor Mowbray to run sessions on financial awareness. Robert delivers an excellent day on this subject at the Falconbury Mini-MBA for In-house Lawyers.
If you cannot get to a session run by Robert, explore with your Finance function what they can do to help you understand:
- the accounting regime which applies to your organisation,
- how cash flow and profitability are assessed,
- the impact of gearing on earnings,
- the analyses used for decision making, such as breakeven analysis, payback period and internal rate of return / net present value
- budgets and
- management information.