Business Acumen: The Anatomy of an Invoice

As part of a customized business simulation project I am working on, I had the opportunity to interview a group of senior leaders about what they think emerging leaders should know about business acumen. I started the process by getting the usual answers such as, “Understand a P&L,” “Manage Cash Flow,” and “Know how to get a good return on invested capital.”

One answer made me smile and think, “I’d like them to know about the anatomy of an invoice.” I’ve been developing business acumen programs for several decades and I’ve never heard this so of course I needed to dive in and ask the SME to further expand.

“I want these emerging leaders to be able to think backward from the sending of an invoice to understand the value map of our company so they know how we work and how we make money. I want them to understand that an invoice isn’t something the Accounting team sends, it’s the representation of the business acumen of our company.”

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