The Road to a Winning Finance Organisation
A white paper by Ali El-Droubi
As a seasoned Senior Executive CFO and MD, I have witnessed firsthand the shift in the role of CFOs in today’s marketplace. While improving the financial health of organisations and enabling sustainable and profitable business growth remains a key focus, as CFOs, we are now also being asked to add value to the business in new and different ways.
So, how do we adapt to these changes and succeed? A lot comes down to the people around you. It’s true that a modern CFO is only as good as their team - and your team are only as good as their leader. Building a truly successful business finance team goes beyond simply finding the right people. As CFO, you need to lead from the front with your business finance strategy and vision.
In this paper, you’ll find out how my team and I reinvented ourselves to bring ongoing value that contributed to the sustainability and growth of our business. We’ll share key insights and our unique 6-step process to help you achieve the same results for your organisation.
Identifying the need for change
But first here’s a little background. Around the time the CFO shift began, our company was experiencing significant growth of over 50 percent. This was driven by a solid and aggressive expansion strategy at corporate level, and as CFO, I was responsible for the execution and delivery of the strategic objectives. This required my corporate finance team to step out of their comfort zone and provide business growth solutions that expanded beyond the traditional finance support for the business.
The team took on the role of creating and implementing channel management and partnership models that spanned over 50 countries. This meant designing the supply chain, logistics network and price and margin structure for the entire channel – including manufacturing, distributors, wholesalers, franchises, independent retailers and the end consumer. And these were just some of the areas the business relied on the team to provide finance solutions for.
The accelerated growth created business challenges with systems, people, processes, governance and risk management, plus, the added pressure to provide strategic insights to enable the business to make better and more informed decisions. As CFO, I realised we needed to shift our focus, and I had to be the catalyst for change.
Changing our focus
The time had come for finance to broaden their view. No longer was transaction processing and historical reporting the main objective. We were now also a strategic business partner responsible for the overall performance of the organisation, ensuring governance, risk mitigation and general controllership. This new outlook required us to think differently around how to bring the business together, and we realised early on that finance needed a closer relationship with operations in order to succeed.
But first, I needed to fix my own backyard. For this, I used a top down/bottom up approach, along with the following 6-step process to design the finance team of the future for our business.