Cheat sheet roundup: This year’s best

Highlights from 2024’s cheat sheet roundups (so far).
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Emily Parsons

4 min read

”We’re as stumped (as you probably are) about how we’ve already gotten halfway through 2024. While we’re not particularly excited about the gray hairs we’ve sprouted since the calendar flipped, we have collected six months’ worth of LinkedIn cheat sheets on finance and accounting, and that is something to get worked up about.

To help ease our way into the second half of the year, we’ve compiled some of the best, most popular tips we’ve found since January.

Our usual disclaimer to the wise: You should always look for additional resources and expertise when doing complicated finance work because it can be very difficult to accurately sum up sophisticated concepts.

  • Howard Katzenberg’s “7 things every CFO wants in a controller.” Katzenberg is a former CFO turned startup founder of an accounts payable platform. Here he looks at the hard—and soft—skills that make controllers valuable to CFOs. These skills are particularly important as CFOs move away from the technical accounting tasks of the past and controllers assume those duties.

    Katzenberg lists strategic thinking, leadership, technology fluency, and a focus on controls among the top skills that controllers need to be effective. He also defines each skill and offers examples. For instance, for strategic thinking, he says that “a strategic controller might analyze revenue trends and highlight which products/services are most profitable.”
  • Beverly Davis’s “25 corporate finance controls smaller businesses should have in place.” In this cheat sheet detailing the finance and accounting controls that small businesses should be considering, Davis, a finance and accounting consultant, writes that “financial controls are not something that only corporation[s] implement. They are a safety net for all business[es].” To help smaller businesses avoid financial errors and fraud, she breaks down five categories of controls: cash, A/P, financial, data, and HR.

    Davis provides further context within each of the categories. For instance, in the cash category, she recommends small businesses “separate expense and revenue accounts to avoid commingling transactions,” and “limit the number of people who access online and offline bank information,” among other things.
  • Wassia Kamon’s “Power pairs: Essential technical and soft skills in finance and accounting.” Kamon, VP of finance and controller for the Low Income Investment Fund, regularly posts useful skill development tips for finance and accounting professionals. In this cheat sheet, she demonstrates how important technical and soft skills come together to “elevate some of the work we do now.”

    ”For example, she shows how the technical skill of financial reporting pairs with communication skills to “[ensure] data is communicated clearly to stakeholders.” Kamon breaks down the different skill pairs necessary for both corporate accounting and corporate finance/FP&A.
  • Ehab Sobhy’s “Disclosing the top 10 budgeting process mistakes.” Budgeting is a key part of a business’s strategy, especially as the macroeconomic environment becomes more volatile. Ehab Sobhy, a finance executive based in Cairo, Egypt, identifies 10 of the most common budgeting process errors, the negative impact of those mistakes, and potential remedies.For example, he cites a lack of cross-functional collaboration, which leads to “disconnected financial plans” that disrupt strategic decision-making. As a solution, he recommends “[establishing] cross-functional budgeting teams” to improve communication and increase input.

    Sobhy also explores mistakes like inadequate contingency planning, unrealistic revenue projections, overlooking non-financial metrics, and others. This cheat sheet is available for viewing on LinkedIn, and you can pay to download a PDF of it on an external website.
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