Accounting and Marketing: A Winning Pair
Career Path : Accounting
If you consider the metaphor that the business is like an organism, then each department acts like an organ of the greater whole. The important lesson from this metaphor is that the departmental divisions should not be considered isolated areas of work, disconnected from each other and only coming into contact through summarizing reports and meetings. Rather, each department should always be considered as having a reciprocal relationship with the rest of the company’s departments, sharing information through feedback, helping make projections and analyses, and most importantly, acknowledging the joint responsibilities of short-comings and the mutual recognition for success.
Two such departments which have a special relationship are the accounting and marketing departments, though this might not seem completely obvious at first. One might sooner connect marketing with sales, as they both involve the attempt to garner new business for a company, whereas accounting normally concerns itself with present and past company performance. In other words, while marketing focuses on image and possibilities, accounting focuses on the numbers and the bottom line. So how exactly are accounting and marketing connected?
Marketing is about analyzing, projecting and strategizing. Based on a variety of research methods, for example focus groups or case studies, marketing departments will come up with advertising campaigns, promotional campaigns, sales techniques and pricing. But before a company can go ahead and implement marketing’s latest product, service or campaign, accounting needs to be consulted to estimate the cost, taking into account it’s potential for earnings or loss. While marketers might get overly excited with their campaign, accountants will be there to keep their plans in check with the company budget.
Perhaps one of the most valuable sources of information for marketing is the financial records of their own past performances. This is an informational feedback loop: marketing implements a strategy, and accounting tracks its results, which marketing then uses again to modify, tweak or abandon the next strategic marketing move.
Accounting courses should all include several classes in marketing. Understanding consumer behavior is a great way to exact more sense of the data farmed from pure numbers, and to give the accountant a broader perspective of why a business succeeds or fails, and not just how.
Some of the important marketing considerations that the accountant can benefit from knowing are how a product or service fares according to the main principles of marketing. How much does the product cost in relation to how much it costs to manufacture, and whether the price is reasonable for the target consumer? Is the product made available in the right place and the right time for the target consumer? Are the expenses given to promoting the product succeeding? While these questions are the main focus of marketing programs, they should be included in accounting training as well.
A winning business plan is built on great communication and team work, and this includes the accountants, marketers and every other employee sharing the common goal of success.
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