Strengthening the global finance function

Strengthening the global finance function is key to improving financial reporting at multinational companies. Companies that can communicate transparency and reliability in their financial reporting -- no matter where revenues are recorded -- are ahead of the game when it comes to meeting expectations of stakeholders and the capital markets.

Companies wishing to improve their global financial reporting infrastructure can do so in a variety of ways: building world-class development programs for finance directors; employing service centers around the world to improve the consistency and rigor of financial reporitng in various countries; streamlining the flow of financial information; and bencharking against industry peers' financial reporting standards.

Take development programs for finance directors, for example. Training in this area has become much more sophisticated as CFOs and finance directors have seen their portfolio of duties expand in recent years. Many companies have established "finance universities" that trains up-and-coming finance directors in practical, in-the-trenches finance solutions based in the latest technology. The best of these programs are interactive and challenge trainees in several different angles: technical, technological, the strength of their strategic thinking, their leadership skills, and the depth of their personal internal network.