Friday, 2 April 2021

The Black Hit Of Space

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy

One single from my 1970’s, way before Phil Oakey made the Human League 80’s cool with Susan and Joanne, has always stuck with me as lyric brilliance, The Black Hit Of Space. 

Now I love the Human League pre & post the split, but this track must be one of the most brilliant. It’s the tale of stuff getting out of hand. A hit that reaches number one in the charts, then carries on into minus figures.

“I reached for the tone arm which was less than one micron long, but weighed more than Saturn and time stood still”

For some finance teams, their chart of accounts can feel like that turntable tone arm, weighing more than Saturn. That’s the second largest planet in our solar system and I would say that if anyone out there has more than 5,000 cost centres in their chart of accounts, they probably have a Saturn Shaped problem. The big question is ‘Why’?

The answer is usually that staff, managers etc cannot extract reports from feeder systems, so they ask for more and more detail to be recorded within the finance nominal or general leger. The point that is missed unfortunately, is that the detail clearly already exists in the feeder (Housing, Repairs or Contractor etc) solutions. So why push the feeder system problems, further down the line?

I have heard many tales and witnessed a few organisations suffering this issue. Many people tell me they don’t get it. My explanation is the difference between my shopping trips and my credit card bill. The former could include lots of craft beer, fancy cheese and macaroons. Perhaps 50-100 items and lots of detail. I pay using a credit card. When I look at my Visa bill, I can see what I spent at Morrison’s, but not how much of it was cheese. That was detailed on my shopping bill, if I was interested in analysing it.

The detail stays where it belongs.

Organisations need to stay firm to use finance solutions at the level that is sensible. They should not be providing a Band Aid plaster to get around poor reporting facilities, elsewhere in the organisation feeder systems. Finance team manager’s need to be strong in how they tackle this. The answer is not to expand finance, its to sort out detail reporting.

As anyone who knows me from procurements, they know my distain about the general quality of standard system reporting provision. Tragically, some have laid this deficiency at the door of finance teams. If you are a finance manager or director, suffering a chart of accounts looking like Saturn, then revaluate your feeder solution and work to slim Cost Centres down.

Look again and invest in feeder systems, no need to get James Burke on the case….

Related Post:Sick of software providers? Why not DIY ?


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Human League – Black Hit Of SpaceHuman League – Black Hit Of Space.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


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