What Really Caused the Epidemic

19 March 2019

Ever since the dawn of the Enlightenment in the 17th Century, Cause and Effect has been a key method used by scholars and scientists to solve complex problems and make informed decisions.  One of the most difficult aspects of understanding Cause and Effect is to be able to master which information you need to include and what you can ignore.  As essayist, and former risk analyst Nassim Taleb stated ‘It’s easy to think intelligence is about noticing when things are relevant (detecting patterns). In a complex world, intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant (avoiding false patterns)’.

Root Cause Analysis and the HiPPO

12 March 2019

Perhaps you’re already asking yourself what kind of odd fairy tale might this be?  Or at the very least, what on earth has structured problem solving and Root Cause Analysis got to do with a 1,500kg herbivorous, semiaquatic African mammal?
The obvious answer might be nothing.  But Root Cause Analysis does have plenty to do with managing the influence of the Highest Paid Person in the Office (or Highest Paid Person’s Opinion), better known as The HiPPO Effect. 

The Paradox of Choice

5 March 2019

Increased choice and data allows us the potential to achieve objectively better results BUT it also has an equal likelihood to result in confusion, greater anxiety, indecision, paralysis, and dissatisfaction.

ISQM1 and Root Cause Analysis – What does it mean for you?

21 February 2019

By now all major Accountancy and Audit firms will have seen or will be aware of the Exposure Draft (ED) from the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board entitled ISQM1.  The paper is laying down wide-ranging proposals that will insist on substantial changes in Quality Management related to audits, reviews of financial statements and other assurance or related engagements. 

The Right Kind of Optimism?

8 February 2019

All organisations want to create a positive and optimistic workplace culture.  Every responsible manager and CEO knows that a can-do mindset is fundamental to performance, engagement and workplace wellbeing.  But are enough of us considering whether we are encouraging the right kind of optimism, or the implications if we’re not?

Don’t underrate the Human in Accountancy Part 2

5 February 2019

In Part 1 we looked at the ways in which new technology will support and drive the accountancy profession, as well as sharing some warnings of overdependence. 
In fact, there may already be something of a paradox at play. Namely that (in the short to medium term, at least) sophisticated human capabilities such as problem solving, insight, objectivity, professional scepticism, and integrity will become increasingly valuable as we adopt more ever sophisticated technology.