Exhibit A: our Finance team.
Finance teams. Every business has one. But just what is it that these Excel literate, often very beautiful people actually do? And why do they look so good in short shorts? Donning my deer stalker, with pipe in mouth, I ventured to the desk of dollar to get to the bottom of this monetary mystery.
Joe: So, Alison, just what is finance exactly? And what does a finance team do?
Alison (deep breath, long pause): Well, we make sure that someone is looking at the monetary implications of what all the important people in the business are doing.
Joe: Is this why I've never had any involvement with the finance team before?
Undeterred, I moved round the table to pick the rest of the team's brains.
Joe: So, guys, what does finance mean to you?
Ben (with a huge grin): POs*
Joe: I said what does finance mean to you?
Denym (clutching his hair and leaning back in his chair): Jeez, I don't know.
At this point, perhaps concerned that I wasn't getting a clear answer, the team began shouting out random ideas:
Team: It's about controls, and insights, and reporting, and measuring, and implications. And controls.
And then Ryan, in a moment of inspiration, clapped his hands together, and pointed at me:
I've got it. If innocent is the car, finance is the engine, and you can't go anywhere without us.
Joe: So you're a taxi service?
Team: You've got it.
Exhibit B: Finance Director, James 'the man' Davenport, playing (as always) with his abacus
Joe: James, you're a knowledgable chap, and head of finance here in fruit towers. Just what does the finance team do?
James: (gazing wistfully into the distance and muttering to himself under his breath) Hmmm. What does the finance team do?
Joe: Well, as far as I can tell it's about controls, and insights, and reporting, and implications. Huge implications. And numbers. And taxis - loads of taxis.
James: And ice lollies.
Joe: And ice lollies. Right. Gotcha'.
Exhibit C: Ben in short shorts looking a lot like Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson
Joe: Why do you wear such short shorts, Ben?
Ben (grinning, again): They're not short.
Joe: Right. Gotcha'.
So there we have it. Team Finance: insightful, controlled, and utterly delusional.
Next week, Team IT.
(* PO is short for Purchase Order forms, which must be raised every time the business spends money. Whether 'raised' is finance speak for 'written', or whether it means that a piece of paper must be held aloft for a period of time is unclear, but Ben certainly enjoys them).