Jim Morrison is the chief financial officer of Teknor Apex Company, a diversified material science company headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Prior to joining Teknor in 2000, he was the CFO of ANGUS Chemical Co. (1990-2000). Before that, he worked at Monsanto for 16 years (1973-1989), where he started his career as a management accountant. He advanced to division controller/plastics at Monsanto and, subsequently, to Singapore-based director of planning, Asia Pacific Region. Morrison is chair of the AICPA’s Business and Industry Executive Committee and a member of the board of the Rhode Island Society of CPAs. He is also on the board of the new AICPA-CIMA joint venture to promote the discipline of management accounting worldwide.
What is your approach to communicating?
It begins with trust. I’ve shown trust in people, regardless of their level or function in an organisation. And they have trusted me not to blindside them. Because of this mutual trust, I’ve been able to serve not only as a CFO but also as an adviser to people on company and professional development matters.
Another aspect of my approach is that I don’t overcomplicate things. You have to explain things to businesspeople in their language. If you get bogged down in accounting details, you won’t get through to them. I’ve learned this from experience.
How did you learn?
At Monsanto, if you were in the accounting department, you physically stayed ...