Susan Marcussen - Geelen

Helping collegues

Susan MarcussenDuring my years as an international controller I have met time and again managers with outstanding knowledge in their field of expertise, but with too little fundamental financial know how. I enjoy working with these colleagues to help them understand the basic principles of finance and show them how finance structures reality, in its own way. By developing the finance skills of these professionals they themselves make the next step in their career.


I myself am dyslexic and had to learn therefore in a different way. To read the theory again in a book before an exam was no option for me. That is why I always was in search of structures and logic. After all something you understand you do not need to learn by hart. Exactly this skill makes it for me possible to transfer my financial knowledge onto a group of people in a structured way and a relative short period of time.


Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough.” Simplicity is my motto. It is not difficult to make financial overviews in such a way that no layman will understand them. And of course there are thousands of marginal issues that could be important in some way. But does this help the average non financial professional to make solid decisions? NO! Understand the concept, figure out how one affects the other and make sure it works for you! That is my goal

My classes do not start with a Balance Sheet to study the assets. I start with explaining that it is possible to make an overview of all the possessions and debts a company has. Just as you could do for your own personal situation. And that by assessing the values you have to take some principles into account. Subsequently I ask the group to make a short list, in small groups, of those principles that they would like to apply.

The benefits speak for themselves. Something that you have come up with yourself you do not forget easily and immediately there is a good group discussion between the participants.

Proof of approach

In all our activities we strive for simplicity in approach and explanations. The financial overviews are a reflection of the real situation. How do financials make the translation from reality to numbers and back? Many overviews are very complex, the concept seldom is.

I can best explain this by a simple example:

Do you understand the relation between the Return on Assets (ROA), Return on Net Assets (RONA), Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)? Or is your first thought, but I do not need any of that? Forget the names…….

You arrive, just a bit too late, at a party because you have been working all day. In the rush to be in time, you have forgotten to eat. So what is the first thing that pops up in your mind as you enter the room? How big is the cake? OK, but how many people are at the party? Maybe you are lucky and some are on a diet? But then it hits you that the big brother probably has eaten quite a large portion. And Mother always makes the cakes, would she not want a piece left over?

All ingredients explained

The cake represents the profit of the company. The people present on the party represent all those that have invested money in some way. Keep in mind that most suppliers get paid after 30 days or more, but do not get any interest payment in return, hence they are on a diet. Big brother represents the taxes and mother who makes (and invents) the cake needs some money to keep on doing so in the future.

So going back to the original question:

  • Profit = size of the cake
  • ROA = size of the cake / people at the party
  • RONA = size of the cake / cake eating people
  • ROCE = size of the cake – part for big brother / cake eating people
  • ROIC = size of the cake – part for big brother / cake eating people + share mother

What should you remember when using these measures?

If you want to assess the profitability of a company, or a part thereof, do so with the same metrics. Keep in mind that some companies have many on a diet and others almost none. If you work within a company, please consider what you could influence? Is this the size of the cake or the number of people on a diet?

Review our proposition


Review also my LinkedIn Profile


Curriculum Vitae

Finance for Non-Financials / Velden

Owner 01-01-2011 / current

In 2011 I started my own company, Finance for Non-Financials. With this company I focus on giving financial courses to professionals. Many courses from reputable agencies focus on explaining financial statements. Although I find this very interesting, for most non-financials this is not very useful. After all the report is focused 100% on the past, created by and for financial-professionals. My courses focus on the future. How can you as a professional better use finance to your advantage? By anticipating the financial consequences of your ever changing environment and by taking specific actions to respond. If you want to be able to do this you have to be able to translate reality into finance. Knowing the financial structures yourself and by having thorough discussions with colleagues makes this possible.


Ploegmakers Group / De Rips

Concern Controller 12-07-2018 / current
Responcible for both the financial reporting as the planning and control cycle of the Ploegmakers Group. Back to basics creating all the financial reports and working with the owners of the firm on improvments and possible actions to take. 

Netherlands Business Academy / Breda

Lecturer Treasury management 01-07-2016 / current

Treasury management is generally defined as the control and monitoring of the incoming and outgoing cash flows from a company and the associated costs and risks.
Day 1: Introduction and Financial Arithmatic (Drs. G.A. Hiltermann)
Day 2: Rating Liabilities and Equity, investments (Drs. G.A. Hiltermann)
Day 3: Risk, Return and the cost of capital (Drs. S.W.H. Marcussen EMFC)
Day 4: Topics in finance, mergers and acquisitions, option theory (Drs. S.W.H. Marcussen EMFC)
Hillier, David, Lain Clacher, Stephan Ross, Randolph Westerfield & Bradford Jordan (2014), Fundamentals of corporate finance, 2nd European edition, McGraw-Hill Education, ISBN 9870077149772.

Canon Océ / Venlo

Global Inventory Controller 01-06-2012 / 31-3-2016

I am responsible for the planning and control cycle of the world wide Océ stock. Arising thereof, I recommend the CFO in all stock related matters, both from the sales companies as the production sites. Together with the goods flow Vice Presidents, I develop action plans and monitor the progress.

As a part of the integration of Océ with Canon the logistic goods flows are altered. The Océ sales companies are transferred to Canon. In this rapidly changing environment I focus on clear visibility. I have fully adapted the reporting to Canon methodology, structures and KPI's.

Canon Océ / Venlo

Project controller Reaching Our Potential 01-03-2010 / 31-05-2012

In 2010 I joined the largest strategic project within Océ as the project controller. I have developed and implemented a KPI structure, which improved the projects effectiveness and efficiency greatly. The improved visibility of the projects progress, or lack thereof, has led to many focused actions. The cooperation with McKinsey consultants in the project has improved my process approach. As a result, many of my initiatives are endorsed by the Corporate Board and the project is currently also implemented within Canon. The annual benefit of the project is a multiple of the costs.

Océ-Deutschland Business Services GmbH / Mülheim an der Ruhr, DL

Company controller 01-12-2006 / 28-02-2010

Financially responsible for Océ-Deutschland Business Services GmbH and its subsidiary Studenten Kopier Dienst GmbH. I was responsible for the complete finance and control cycle and had 7 employees helping me to do so. OBS has 50 production sites in Germany and has grown during my assignment with 60%. We have realized the biggest OBS deal in the history of Océ.

Océ / Venlo

Business Group Controller Océ Business Services 01-04-2005 / 30-11-2006

Head Quarter monitoring of individual Business services Sales Companies. Evaluating and support at major deals and possible Merger and acquisition candidates. Reporting progress to the Corporate Board of Océ.

Océ / Venlo

IT Controller 01-09-2002 / 31-03-2005

Member of Océ IT management team. Financial evaluation of the IT program. Development of the IT spend survey. Implementation of IT-Charging structure.

Fonty’s ILEC / Venlo

Financial advisor / Teacher 01-04-2001 / 31-08-2002

Responsible for the financial aspects of the logistic projects from the International Logistic Expertise Center. Project reporting on Rijnstate Hospitals logistic redefinition.

University Maastricht / Maastricht

Teacher 01-02-2000 / 31-03-2001

Teacher at the faculty of Accounting and Controlling in the courses Management Accounting & Control, Financial Information systems, Financing, Information Technology, Accounting I & II, Controlling I & II, Philosophy of Science.

Philips / Eindhoven

Assistant Controller 01-12-1998 / 31-01-2000

Month end closing, customs support, stock matching and currency hedging.



University Maastricht

Executive Master in Finance and Control 01-09-2004 / 01-12-2006

During the EMFC I was able to align my working experience with the theory offered in the course. In dept discussions with the group and the teachers have led to further insights.

Fontys Teachers Training Tilburg

Qualified teacher 01-09-2001 / 15-05-2002

Every professional is daily transferring information to and gathering information from others. During my teaching degree I have learned several methods and techniques to improve the transfer process. I believe this ability is an asset to all professionals.

University Maastricht

Master in Finance and Control 01-09-1994 / 30-11-1998

At the University of Maastricht I have studied Business Economics with the specialty of Controlling.