Accounting is central to business innovation

When you think of innovation, you probably picture cutting-edge gadgets and machines that think for themselves, not financial forecasts and number crunching. Yet accountancy is essential for business health in every circumstance, including when a company is trying to break ground and explore a new frontier.

Whether your business is looking to innovate or just preparing for future business growth, recruiting a skilled finance team should always be your first move.

The role of an accountant in progress

Businesses often underestimate the function of financial guidance in innovation, focusing largely on the exciting new solution rather than the logistics behind it. However, a company can hardly be forward-thinking without a solid understanding of it's long term financial position to go with it.

Organisations and their accountants need to work together to create a financially stable innovation strategy, as real estate listing company TREND's CEO Dennis Durkin points out.

"Ideally, it would be most effective to have a partnership, an understanding between finance and accounting and the rest of the company," he told the Journal of Accountancy. "I think that's what works best. But I think there are enough occasions where finance and accounting becomes the stumbling block [for innovation]. And it shouldn't be. Its purpose is to serve the other departments."

Likewise, research from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales reveals that accountants play an invaluable role in innovation, with financial evaluation forming the foundation for progress in the wider organisation.

How can accounting be leveraged for innovation?

In order to innovate successfully, businesses need to partner with accountants in all their processes. According to Eastwest Marketing Group CEO Chris Bragas, this can be done by using past financial patterns to inform future innovation strategies. 

"[Businesses are] seeing the end result [in finance and accounting], and then they can go backward with it," he said to the Journal of Accountancy. "But it's also having the guts to say, 'From an operational perspective, this is what I see, folks. Let's chat and make it work.'"

Benjamin Harris CEO of technology consulting firm BLH Technologies agreed, adding that accountants need to be given the support and resources to advise the rest of the business.

"Being innovative requires time set aside strategically to understand what the problems are and then applying different, innovative ways of doing it," Harris said. "I think they just need to set aside time and get the buy-in from top management that will allow them to spend the time on the proactive work versus just getting the work done."

If your business is preparing to innovate, hiring an accountant will provide you with the financial insight and guidance you need to do it well. Durno Recruitment can find the finance professional that will help your company succeed.

Alex Harrison