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My key KPI

My key KPI: Time spent across the business


Becky Glover, the finance director at insurance brokerage Yutree Insurance, explains why tracking her time across the business is the metric she obsesses about and how it informs her decision making.

12th Jun 2024
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The key performance indicator (KPI) Becky Glover (pictured below) obsesses over isn’t strictly a financial one, but as finance directors are forced to wear different hats as part of their day-to-day life, it’s essential in running the finance function. 

Her key KPI is time spent across the business. The winner of the Finance Director of the Year Award at the 2023 Accounting Excellence Awards not only looks after finance but she also oversees some of the marketing, HR and partnerships. 

“I need to know where my time is going, because I don't have enough hours in the day, and I have to prioritise pretty harshly,” said Glover.  

Becky Glover alongside host Tom Allen at the 2023 Accounting Excellence Awards
Accounting Excellence

A discipline from practice

Training and spending part of her career in practice before moving to industry, Glover was brought up with timesheets. She hated them at first but as the insurance brokerage and underwriting firm she works at is going through a growth phase, she has no choice but to be really brutal with where she spends her time.

“Coming from a practice background, you start to understand charge out rates and hourly rates, and you think that is not a good use of my time. Therefore, maybe I need to move myself on to something else, train someone else up in that area, delegate it.”

The company has its own key KPI of growth written premium (GWP). This is how much insurance the company is actually writing and ultimately knocks on to other KPIs around monetary growth - but also Glover’s time-tracking KPI.

Due to the fast nature of the role, Glover tracks her time on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis. Over time she sees trends develop that indicate areas of concern that may not have been immediately obvious had she not spent time crunching the numbers. 

A lot of her time aside from the usual month-end deadlines is spent implementing technology, and the efficiencies this could save the business, not just the financial savings.

The success of the KPI

Tracking this KPI has led to improvements within the finance department. When Glover joined the business 10 months ago, it was very process-heavy. So she tracked how long it actually took to do simple tasks like process invoices or close the month-end.

“Because of what I saw and how long that was taking, and also the risks around those processes, in the past 10 months I've implemented four pieces of software that now speed everything up and lock everything down to ensure there is no risk of human error. It also makes sure that what we are giving externally to the finance team, ie, the board and other departments, is of much better quality.

“That’s something that I was able to track and change quite quickly, because I could see [through tracking time across the business] how much it could improve the processes.” 

Implementing the KPI

For Glover, the key to implementing this KPI is transparency and - more importantly - transparency with yourself. “You can’t do anything if you don’t know what you’re spending your time on,” she said.

“To be able to do something about it, you have to measure the data. By putting into my diary how much time I spent on marketing for example, I can then track how much time I’m spending in those areas and do something about it. To achieve anything, it always comes down to starting with the basics and figuring out where you’re actually putting your time.”

Glover uses her Outlook calendar to keep track of the time she spends across the business. She’s then able to easily see the amount of time blocked out doing non-financial work. It’s only through tracking this that she’s able to reflect over the week and see three hours worth of her day was spent on marketing.

The many hats of the FD

Keeping track of this KPI has illustrated how much time Glover spends away from the core finance job and is instead concentrating on the ‘business’ and initiatives to help it grow. Like Glover, finance directors are being pulled into different directions and are having to wear different hats. Glover’s time tracking KPI underlines how much of an FD’s job is not finance. 

“Like a lot of finance directors and CFOs, I don't just do finance. That's quite a common misconception. We're not just there for the numbers. We're there for the tech. HR often falls under finance as well,” said Glover. 

“In addition, some FDs are taking on things like ESG reporting and gender pay gap reporting, which is so important to businesses. That's all on finance.”

Glover was the Finance Director of the Year at the 2023 Accounting Excellence Awards - could you be the winner this year? Enter the 2024 Accounting Excellence Awards and you could be lifting the trophy.

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