Monday, July 17, 2017

Effective Execution through Strategic Alignment


It is an all-too-familiar scenario. Corporation X misses badly on its commitments several quarters in a row and the stock plummets. As a result, the Board loses confidence, the CEO “resigns,” and a new CEO is appointed who immediately announces a sweeping restructure of the corporation.

In the past few years, papers have been inundated with such reports. Even at corporations where top-level executives show signs of “vision” and have articulated what seems to be a sound business strategy on paper, results fall short of expectations.

We have all been there at one point or another in our careers. The leadership team spends long hours agreeing on a 3- or 5-year strategy to improve the performance of the business. Management teams work equally hard to come up with supportive annual budgets. Both teams populate long PowerPoint presentations and well-built, exhaustive spreadsheet files. Yet not much happens in terms of actual deliverables! Ambitious year-end targets are missed. Improvement curves keep being shifted to the right, until the scenario at the beginning of this article is realized. Now the process for restructure of the corporation begins.

Questions immediately arise as to why these events occur so often and include:
• What has gone wrong and why?
• Are the goals too aggressive?
• Are the visions and/or strategies inadequate?
• Are middle managers unable to execute?
• If the answer is yes to all these questions, then why is it so?

All are good questions, and many have been extensively addressed with proposals on how to find corresponding solutions. Based on my experience, however, a key element that needs to be addressed is the importance of strategic alignment.

What is strategic alignment? 

Strategic alignment can be described as the linkage between the goals of the business, which quantify the progress of the implementation of the strategy towards the vision, and the goals of each of the key contributors. Key contributors include groups, divisions, business units, departments, or individual employees who have an interest in the continuation of a successful corporation.

Strategic alignment, put simply, is “everyone rowing in the same direction.” The tighter the linkage and the better the alignment, the likelihood of flawless corporate execution becomes stronger.

Strategic alignment has several advantages once implemented properly and practiced. Benefits include:
1. Allowing an efficient use of usually scarce resources,
2. Resulting in increased speed of execution, as a corollary,
3. Promoting team efforts towards common goals, and
4. Escalating employees’ motivation, giving them a keener sense of contribution to the results of their individual groups and of the corporation as a whole.

These are good results that many corporations would benefit from, but very few corporations are able to realize them. Since many corporations and their leadership teams attempt to gain strategic alignment, the question becomes what barriers must be overcome.

How can strategic alignment be implemented effectively and what are the key success factors? 

The first component of a successful strategic alignment is the extensive communication necessary within the organization to understand the elements of the vision and of the key strategic directions needed. Relentless repetition by the leadership and management teams at every opportunity, including sales meetings, company meetings, and operational business reviews allow each employee to understand vividly how he/she can contribute to the overall progress. More often than not, however, these vital communication opportunities are restricted to boring presentations of high-level tables filled with data that are difficult for employees to associate with their day-to-day jobs.

The second component of a successful strategic alignment is absolutely essential to link the results of each employee’s job to the progress of the entire corporation strategy and to do it clearly and simply. This is best accomplished by using simple measures of key performances (KBMs= key business metrics, or KPMs= key performance metrics), which can be connected to the employee’s annual performance review.

One excellent example of effective strategic alignment is practiced at Thermo Electron Corporation, a leader in the field of analytical instrumentation, headquartered in Waltham, MA. Thermo Electron uses a cascading set of goals that quantitatively measure the progress of the strategic implementation. This “waterfall effect” or “goal tree” starts at the very top of the corporation and cascades down to all levels of the organization – from Corporation to Divisions; from Divisions to Business Units; from Business Units to Departments, and from Departments to Employees.

When it reaches the employee, the objectives are incorporated into her/his annual performance targets and these objectives directly support the key goals from the highest levels of the organization. This ensures both focus and alignment as the employee daily delivers on their objectives. Objectives are rolled back up the “waterfall” or “goal tree” in periodic reviews of goals at all levels in the organization.

Implementing strategic alignment is not rocket science. It requires, however, strong commitment from the top leadership and focus on relentless communication at every opportunity using simple management principles of focus, clarity and reinforcement.

In the end, effective execution of strategic alignment is a leader’s top priority and ensures that goals are met and success achieved.





Crowe Horwath Jamaica (www.crowehorwath.com.jm) is one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and advisory firms in Jamaica . Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. Crowe Horwath Jamaica serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

7 Breakout Formula to Start Your Own Business | Dawkins Brown FCCA,CA,ACFE | Pulse | LinkedIn

7 Breakout Formula to Start Your Own Business | Dawkins Brown FCCA,CA,ACFE | Pulse | LinkedIn:


"Are you the rebel—mouthy and opinionated? Do you like the thrill of change, always eager for the next new venture? Is your idea of security to never be the victim of a corporation’s downsizing or reengineering? Are you a fiercely independent risk-taker who can comfortably handle the uncertainty of being responsible for your own paycheck?"
Answering “yes” to all these questions put me squarely in the entrepreneurial ring more than two decades ago, and I can honestly say I’ve never been happier. Or more in control of my life and career.
Did I have a secret formula? No, I was going on passion, commitment and intuitive vision, but I do have a formula now.
If you also answered “yes” to the questions above, and if you have a passion for the thrill and independence of being an entrepreneur plus commitment to follow through on that passion, this breakout formula will take you wherever you want to go.

Formula One :Research
First you have to know where you’re going, so research your chosen industry. Identify types of businesses that match your passionate vision and aptitude. Explore areas that show growth potential and, using your experience and insight, look for a need not presently being filled.
Find a successful company similar to the one you envision owning, and study how it started and how it grew. Learn as much as possible about the entrepreneur behind it. Devour books and publications related to your business concept. Talk to other entrepreneurs to discover their best practices.



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Crowe Horwath Jamaica (www.crowehorwath.com.jm) is one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and advisory firms in Jamaica . Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. Crowe Horwath Jamaica serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

Do You Make These Ten Management Mistakes?

Do You Make These Ten Management Mistakes? | Dawkins Brown FCCA,CA,ACFE | Pulse | LinkedIn:





"As a busy executive, you face some extremely difficult challenges like creating and dominating new markets or finding and keeping the best people. But then, like many executives, do you find yourself spending too much time solving everyday problems (that only you can solve, right?), which prevent you from growing your ideal business?

Most managers find themselves spending 80% or more of their time “reacting” to business events and very little time in preventing those same events from occurring again. If this sounds familiar then you may be making some of these management mistakes:"


  1. Do you have a compelling vision for your company, that projects a remarkable future, but few of your employees have heard of it or could explain it if asked?
  2. Do you have a company mission that addresses your customer needs yet your operations fail to measure your progress towards your mission?
  3. Do your objectives focus on increasing revenue and profitability while your assets are performing poorly, generating negative cash flows, or encumbered by debt to create the profit?
  4. Do you talk a lot about your employees (positive or negative) without noting what your employee turnover or performance metrics are for your industry?
  5. Do you spend a lot of time working IN your business on tactics yet fail to spend a greater amount of time working ON your business to define your strategy, performance metrics, and real resource needs?
  6. Do you have regular interactions with employees yet fail to communicate the status of objectives, financials, or metrics?
  7. Do you make money available for training yet fail to measure how that training helps your company achieve its goals?
  8. Do you constantly strive to improve your company’s performance yet fail to compare your performance against external benchmarks for success?
  9. Do you believe that your customers, employees, and vendors all love your company yet you have no process for measuring their satisfaction on an on-going basis?
  10. Do you produce forecasts and budgets yet fail to achieve the agreed upon goals or learn from the experience to improve in the future.
Daily operational issues eat up much of a manager’s time. Too much for most managers. But by reversing this trend, you will have the opportunity to correct those mistakes and build a superior organization that keeps your best people, increases revenue and increases margins.







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Crowe Horwath Jamaica (www.crowehorwath.com.jm) is one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and advisory firms in Jamaica . Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. Crowe Horwath Jamaica serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

Leadership Skills: Delegating Responsibility

Leadership Skills: Delegating Responsibility | Dawkins Brown FCCA,CA,ACFE | Pulse | LinkedIn:



Leaders must delegate, but must delegate effectively. The most successful leaders treat delegation as an essential strand of their leadership approach. Senior management structures, processes, and objectives are reviewed to ensure suitability for delegation to take place. Areas of work, activities, routine and event-specific decisions, are analysed, evaluated, and where appropriate the decision is made to delegate responsibility and authority. Delegated powers are explained, discussed, and agreed, and measurable objectives set. The leader then builds on this by adopting a consultative, supporting, coaching, role, as appropriate for each of the individuals delegated to. Individual performance on applying delegated powers is monitored and adjusted as necessary.
The performance of the delegation process itself is monitored and reviewed by the leader(s) and the senior management team, to ensure that it remains compatible with the strategic direction being taken by the organisation.











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Crowe Horwath Jamaica (www.crowehorwath.com.jm) is one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and advisory firms in Jamaica . Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. Crowe Horwath Jamaica serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Trinidad and Tobago: The Financial Nexus of the Latin American and wider region

Trinidad and Tobago has leveraged the economic success of its oil and gas economy to sustain its emergence as the hub of the Latin American and wider region for financial services. The country is a preferred destination for the issuance of debt instruments (over USD 12 billion as at June 2014); several international capital markets players to have a footprint; and a pool of well-trained, Capital Market-savvy professionals.
With credit ratings from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s placing Trinidad and Tobago as the fifth and eighth best in the Western Hemisphere respectively, after countries such as the U.S., Canada and Chile – the international market responded overwhelmingly to the issue of a bond of USD 550 million. This demonstrated that there is heightened confidence in the nation’s economy.
In the last year, a new Securities Act and expanded insurance regulations have been put in place to support the continued development of the financial sector, while a Financial Intelligence Unit exists to deal with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing.

Best practices will drive future growth
Already recognised as the financial centre of the Caribbean with USD 12 billion worth of debt being issued in the market for governments of the region, Trinidad and Tobago holds great potential for international expansion. In this regard, the focus for the Trinidad and Tobago IFC has been on the development of transformative IFC-specific legislation, based on the best, most relevant, international standards and practices. The Company has also sought out and built strategic international partnerships to enable this country to achieve listings on leading IFC indices such as the Global Financial Centres Index, which would result in greater awareness of this country’s investment opportunities. The best-in-class, investor-protection legislation developed by the Trinidad and Tobago IFC will create a fully transparent, robust yet flexible and responsive framework that will further drive the growth of the financial sector. This legislation, based on standards used by emerging IFCs such as the Dubai International Financial Centre, will create a unique authority with a business development arm, a financial services branch, and a court to expeditiously address any disputes. Those institutions operating within the authority would function under specific rules and laws, and the court would adjudicate according to those laws. The Trinidad and Tobago IFC Authority would be managed by members of a board with oversight from a Trinidad and Tobago IFC Council that consists of relevant government ministers. Through market research and consultation, it was established that this framework is what is required to create the ideal business environment to attract international financial institutions, making T&T a game changer in the global marketplace.


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 Crowe Horwath Jamaica and Crowe Horwath TT  is one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and advisory firms in Caribbean . Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. Crowe Horwath Jamaica serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Trinidad & Tobago:Vacancy for Audit Seniors

We are currently recruiting  Senior Auditors to work in our Trinidad and Tobago Offices. The Auditors will have the opportunity to provide audit, accounting and related advisory services to our clients in various industry sectors. The successful candidate will act as a Team lead of an engagement team and be responsible for performing all aspects of the engagement, including planning, fieldwork, research on audit and accounting issues, reviewing financial statements and disclosures, coordinating and clearing all levels of review. Responsibilities for the senior will vary depending upon the scope and nature of the engagement.
Responsibilities:

  • Ensure quality in delivering client service by directing daily progress of fieldwork and testing, reporting directly to Managers and Partners on engagement status and managing performance of  support staff
  • Conduct risk and business cycle analysis of clients’ business to develop appropriate audit plans to address identified risks and to ensure accurate reporting
  • Effectively manage client relationships on a timely basis
  • Supervise multiple concurrent engagements and direct the preparation and completion of reports, accounts and financial statements
  • Assume responsibility for advanced components of engagements and be accountable for their own deliverables as well as supervising and reviewing the work of Associates
  • Supervise financial reporting, filing and compliance assurance engagements for clients as required
  • Mentor Team members by coaching and assisting them in the management of all aspects of their work
Expected Experience
  • Internationally recognized professional accounting qualification complete or near completion: ACCA, CPA, CA, ACA or other designation as accepted by the local accounting institute.
  • 3 to 4 years audit experience with a Public practice firm
  • Strong in-charge or senior experience required
  • Experience in the relevant industry is considered an asset
  • Strong knowledge of US GAAP/GAAS, IFRS and/or International Accounting Standards as required
  • ICATT membership or ICATT student membership is required

Next Step: Email Application to:CHTT@dawgen.com 



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Accrual Practices and Reform Expectations in the Caribbean

Accrual Practices and Reform Expectations in the Caribbean:


The IFAC Public Sector Financial Accountability Survey is aimed at getting a picture of the state of public financial management (PFM) reforms in the Caribbean and a better understanding of the design of these reforms, implementation challenges, and associated benefits. The results were organized, summarized, and analyzed by an external researcher more




Crowe Horwath Jamaica (www.crowehorwath.com.jm) is one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and advisory firms in Jamaica . Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. Crowe Horwath Jamaica serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

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