Traditionally, finance teams have been focused on helping steer their organisations through turbulent business environments. Often there is little time to focus on their own performance and development. However, with the business landscape changing at a radical pace, businesses are continually challenged to remain in the growth zone.
Modern CFOs are increasingly being challenged to be the corporate architects, and to reinvent finance from a caretaker to a pivotal value adding function (e.g. reduce costs to serve and enhance business performance). This requires finding the right balance between compliance, efficiency and providing insights and innovation to the business. This will elevate finance to be at the forefront of the business, influencing strategy formulation and execution across the organisation.
Today’s finance leaders are required to develop, lead and own comprehensive transformation initiatives from beginning to end in order to remain relevant and be seen as trusted business partners and advisors. These Initiatives need to address real shop floor solutions to business challenges that extend beyond cost-cutting programs beginning with:
- Define clear vision and strategy of the finance function.
- Understand current functional performance.
- Develop future state that aligns with the vision and strategy of the finance function and the business.
- Develop/Design an operating model which is aligned to outcomes and finance strategy with an optimal blend of compliance, efficiency and business insight to secure finances place at the forefront of the business.
- Achieving a lean model requires changes to all three enablers across people, process and technology. Leaders need to ask themselves the three most important questions when thinking about transformation initiatives;
- How well do we leverage technology?
- Do we have optimal and proper competencies?
- Do we have the right governance model to partner with business?
The new leaders of intelligent finance need to address these key questions if they are to transform the function of finance from gate keepers to a function that is cost effective and efficient, balancing the needs across governance and insight to facilitate better decision making and business performance.
What is driving the pressure to change?