AICPA Council Meeting…CEO Panel

Kenneth Kelly, senior vice president and controller, McCormick —

“What are the things making you successful? Is it the innovation pipeline? You should be measuring that, but it may not be a number on a balance sheet.”

McCormick is a fairly old company, from 1889, and in 1932, C.P. McCormick took over company. He had a totally different concept. He gathered employees together in factory and said, ‘Listen you are one of my most important assets. We need to work as a team and get better here.’ He raised salaries 10 percent. Took the work week from 56 hours to 48 hours and the next year they were in the red, productivity increased hugely. People started to work as teams to increase that productivity. They were more empowered.

“We’re teaching leadership, we’re teaching collaboration and we’re teaching a broader knowledge of processes in our business.”

“Are you a problem solver? Or are you an accountant?”

‘Don’t tell me accounting stuff. Tell me a business solution.’ “I think you need to listen broadly to your customers…what are their issues? What problems do they have and how do you solve those problems? That can lead you to innovation.”

“How do we as financial professionals move up the value chain — not just counting the beans but how to grow the beans.”

Brad Dickerson, CFO, Under Armour Inc.

“Employees make customers happy, which ultimately makes the shareholders happy.”

“You have to have a good work force with an aligned vision.”

“How do you attract talent in this virtual world? I think it will be interesting to see how companies are going to react to that.”

“Collaboration is key. The days of financial people sitting at their computer sitting at their desks all day are long, long gone.”

On financial professionals’ skills:

“Connecting people to solve problems is a very, very important trait to their success.”

“I always thought I had to be the expert on whatever issue was out there.” After MBA program he learned, “Be an expert in your swim lane.”

“Be comfortable where you’re an expert and be comfortable where you’re not.”

On leadership:

“I think maybe 15% of your work is black and white and 85% is gray.”

“Make sure the information is clear and concise and it’s not information overload. I think it’s our job to be storytellers.”