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#18 Financial Damage & Fairytales – make a difference!

No-one is an overhead. Each and every one of us can deliver commercial value by recognizing and removing financial damage. Calibrate your own ability to read and interpret the signals.

Once upon a time (based upon a true story)

Recently, in a company nearby…

Sophy Donaldson, a fresh-eyed intern at DuckCorp, spots a few strange things. Volume discounts and other rebates to a particularly big customer are paid to a completely different company…in a different location. DuckCorp´s cleaning company is charging for more hours than there are in the day. Inventory cannot be accounted for and therefore where is it going and who is taking it?  Certain cash payments look a bit odd too but she´s not had time to consider those as yet.  After all it’s only Sophy´s first week.

So Sophy meets with Michael Hammer the head of accounting and explains what she has found.  Mike, a sweet grandfatherly chap had interviewed Sophy for the internship and has been at DuckCorp for a very long time. He tells Sophy that the management likes good news, because DuckCorp is doing “just fine”.  This would open a can of worms…they would hate hearing it, and then, with a little smile, says, “but it would be good medicine if you tell them!”

So, what do YOU think is going on?  (remember more than one answer may be correct)

  • That customer is really putting the thumbscrews on DuckCorp… or someone is stealing those volume discounts
  • Worse still, the volume discounts could be “bribes” – cleverly disguised of course
  • The cleaning company has a rather too close relationship with DuckCorp. Not only can they charge what they want, but they are selling products on the black market
  • If Sophy saw all this in a week, what other unnecessary costs does DuckCorp have? Maybe there is a lot of clean money to be saved…or made here?
  • Michael probably knows a lot more but feels no one listens to him

Nothing out of the ordinary. And Sophy is going to do nothing.  She´s just an intern.

Why not check what YOU thought against what Sophy thought and what was really going on at DuckCorp?

To find out more go to

And remember: Financial damage happens all the time in every single company around the globe.  What is not a fairytale is that everyone can stop it.  The story above is lifted from, the smart and interactive tool from B4 which assists you and people like Mike and Sophy to recognize and remove financial damage in your own organisations…before it hurts.   Everyone can and should be a financial damage detective. Because it makes sense to be one!

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