I’ve yet to encounter a business blog that isn’t monetized is some way. Most are written by a vendor or services provider, one of their employees, or retained contributors — or by a professional body or interested group looking to increase their membership. Some are overtly commercial, run by publishers looking to sell advertising, others by services providers looking to reinforce their expertise, and there are even a few written by individuals who I presume are seeking to enhance their attractiveness to future employees. This is understandable as writing any blog worth reading takes time so there has to be some financial incentive to do it. But I always find myself asking, “Who wrote this?” and “Why?”
Once you get past such reservations, there are some excellent sites out there, with insightful writing, discussing all manner of topics from the impact of changing regulations and what constitutes best practice, right through to talent management and career development. I have a whole series of them listed in my bookmarks, but here’s the pick of the ones I visit most frequently:
- Financial Executives International Daily offers news and views about finance, business, and management from a team of expert contributors, all with the goal of helping accounting and finance folk to work more efficiently and intelligently. Having been around for 80 years now, they know their stuff and commission robust research about best practices.
- Business Finance Blogs OK, it’s a magazine that most folk working in finance in North America will know, but in addition to pieces by its own staff writers, it also commission blogs on a whole range of topics from some of the most respected outside experts such as Mary Driscoll of benchmarking and best practice specialists AQPC and technology writers like Alan Radding.
- CFO Innovation is a must for anyone working in finance in APAC — or indeed anyone just wanting to keep tabs on what’s happening in finance in that part of the world. Run by US based Questex media, which has a diversified portfolio of media interests, this is perhaps the best-curated finance related site for news and opinion bar none. It has comprehensive coverage of the whole range of finance specializations, which is elegantly easy to navigate. Can we have something of this quality in the west, please?
- CGMA Magazine is the news and discussion site curated by the US’s AICPA and the UK’s CIMA – two of the largest and most respected accounting organisations in the world – to promote their Chartered Global Management Accountant qualification. It’s not the place to look for commentary on technology, but covers everything that is likely to interest accountants in the workplace such as time and talent management, best practice and reporting standards – just the type of content you need to keep your CPD credits up.
- Guess I need to include a technology site in the mix and there is a bewildering range to choose from including Financial Systems News, Diginomica (who are refreshingly honest in declaring any commercial relationship with vendors), and TechTarget’s Search Financial Applications. I’ll go with the enterprise software pages of ZDNet though. It has consistently good content which it tailors for each major global market.
Of course the finance teams of the major consulting organizations all have blogs; although sometimes they read as though they were written just to tick off a personal objective set by a partner. And then there is a plethora of bloggers from niche consulting organizations who write about their areas of specialization with real passion. But I’ll pick through them another time.