Attention to detail

  • One thing that has given me an advantage, particularly in the first five years of my career, is getting the details right. On one of my first restructuring projects, I sent a model to a client at 1am without fully checking it – unbeknownst to me, there was a c.$1bn error! The next day, the senior manager on the project took me to one side and gave me the biggest dressing down of my career – he had spotted the error at 5am and spent the next two hours fixing it and explaining to the client how it was that PwC (not Ken Afrah!) had made such a colossal error. It turned out the issue was caused by a seemingly innocuous formula error deep in the model. The output of the model was subsequently used in a high profile court case – what if the senior manager hadn’t spotted the mistake?! Since that mortifying episode, I have been uncompromising in my attention to detail – everything from reviewing model error traps in Excel to making sure text boxes perfectly align in Powerpoint. This approach has been highlighted again and again by all stakeholders (clients / Partners / other advisers) as a differentiator. Is it easy? Nope. But I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to excel in finance.

The above is an excerpt from a post written by Ken Afrah on 27/09/2020. Ken has 9 years of experience in Finance, Audit and Consulting. To see the entire post, click here.