Finance Function Effectiveness

Delivering enhanced value to your business and identifying bottom-line growth opportunities

Your Challenges

While finance functions are still expected to maintain their role as flag bearers that champion good governance, financial discipline and best practices within the organisation, today’s leading finance functions embed themselves within the organisation rather than purely being a support operation. In addition to fulfilling traditional support activities effectively, they also provide relevant information that enables strategic decision-making, adding value to the business and providing focused support to the Board.

Furthermore, in today’s dynamic business environment, it is becoming increasingly incumbent on the finance function to demonstrate the value it adds to the business and to identify bottom-line growth opportunities.

Given this backdrop, many finance functions are in a quandary. There is no single best answer to address these issues and they are unsure of how to demonstrate whether they are delivering real value to the business and to what extent they meet best practice standards for finance functions.


PwC’s Finance Function Diagnostic is designed to obtain a high-level 360 degree assessment of the finance function. It addresses 15 major Finance areas, and can provide alternatives such as:
  • Comfort to the Board
  • Health check on value and governance
  • A comparison with world-class benchmarks and
  • A blueprint for Finance’s future direction

Meeting Your Needs

PwC assists organisations to develop their finance functions to meet the changing governance, operating and support requirements of their businesses. We address the organisation of the entire finance function and also provided solutions in areas of concern.

The Finance Effectiveness Diagnostic
PwC’s Finance Effectiveness Diagnostic (see chart below) is designed to provide a high-level 360 degree view of your finance function. In addition, we also provide comprehensive Finance Function Effectiveness advisory services, including:
  • Visioning of the overall finance function
  • Developing Finance policies and control frameworks, factoring in relevant business, regulatory, governance and internal control requirements
  • Reviewing roles and responsibilities
  • Benchmarking against PwC’s Global Best Practices

Managing the Cost Base
We help finance functions to optimise their business
cost base by:
  • Assessing and analysing client’s cost base for various operations across the supply chain to determine cost competitiveness
  • Diagnosing and reviewing existing business costs to identify cost drivers and determine divisional/departmental/functional interfaces that could be streamlined to gain operational savings and associated cost reductions
  • Co-developing organisational framework and execution plans to achieve identified quick wins, cost reduction opportunities and longer-term cost optimisation solutions
  • Implementing longer-term cost reduction solutions, such as the creation of centres of excellence, while improving operational efficiency and achieving cost reductions
SmartClose is a PwC methodology that offers a fresh approach to making the financial closing and reporting process more effective and efficient.

Our Experience

Global Leader in Pulp & Paper Manufacturing
- Finance Redesign

The client, a global leader in the pulp and paper business, faced the challenge of identifying the future state of its finance function, given the rapid expansion and growth in its business.

PwC conducted a finance function diagnostic exercise that involved an assessment of stakeholder needs, as well as a diagnostic assessment of the current state of the finance function, to identify the current gaps against best practice. We also provided a vision for the future finance function, which was consistent with the business direction and a step-by-step prioritised action plan to transition the finance function from its current state to its “to-be” state. The action plan was accepted by management and implemented by the client with much success.

Global Shipping Line
- Financial Close Process Improvement

The client, a global shipping line, was experiencing extraordinary delays in closing its books each month. This impacted management’s ability to have a clear picture of the financial position of its business and precluded it from making timely and informed business decisions.

PwC was engaged to study the closing process and identify root causes for delay. Using our proprietary SmartClose methodology, we undertook a region-wide exercise that spanned four months to identify closing issues in the company. The end result was the identification of the issues, their root causes and an action plan that enabled the company to cut its closing and reporting time by 20 days on a regional basis.