Finance Function Effectiveness

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It’s becoming increasingly important for finance functions to demonstrate the value they can add to a business and to identify bottom line growth opportunities. At the same time, finance functions are expected to be flag bearers for good governance, financial discipline and best practices in the organisation. Many finance functions are unsure how to demonstrate whether they are delivering real value to the business and to what extent they meet best practice standards.

Common issues

  • You are seeking to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of the finance function.
  • You are trying to align finance with the business to provide an effective cost and performance management and challenge mechanism.
  • You are spending far too much time and resources on planning, budgeting and forecasting processes without adding much value.
  • You are concerned about having the appropriate balance of controls and ensuring that they do not constrain the business.
  • You have fragmented finance activities covering the entire country/region/world.
  • You are encountering more challenges than expected in setting up shared service and outsourcing arrangements and are keen to ensure sustainable benefits.
  • You want to recognise change as the "normal" state and want to explore how to embed change capabilities into your finance organisation.
  • You want to explore a vision for finance aligned with management and operations.

How we can help

We provide a range of service to assist clients to balance the competing demands the finance function. Our services are structured around the three critical priorities that we see as important:

  1. Compliance and Control – ensuring that basic financial health, well-being and governance is maintained.
  2. Efficiency – ensuring streamlined, cost-effective finance processes.
  3. Insight – providing additional value-added services to the business to improve the bottom line.

For each area of focus we consider what changes are needed to the organisation, people and technology to improve finance function results.

  • Maintaining compliance and control: we help you to establish and monitor effective and efficient compliance and control systems. Controls need to be put in place with consideration of relative risk. During times of business change for instance, it is essential to focus on the control implications of the change and the new financial, operational and compliance risks that it brings. Being accountable to the business and to the financial community, CFOs have put compliance and control to the top of their agenda. For many, responses have been tactical rather than strategic. More deeply embedded and sustainable solutions are now required. Flexibility to respond to future regulatory change is also increasingly important.
  • Driving efficiency: we help you to review and streamline your finance processes to ensure tasks are performed in a timely and cost effective manner. We simplify and standardise processes and eliminate non-core activities through shared services/outsourcing. These steps have in some instances resulted in cost savings in excess of 50%.
  • Providing insight and challenge: we can help you to develop a finance function that truly adds value to the business. For instance this could be through an effective business intelligence, reporting and performance management framework. Effective finance reporting needs to reflect the key business drivers and challenges, providing timely information to support business decisions. We can help to review current perceptions of the finance function through for example, voice of the customer feedback.

The role of the Finance Function is evolving from being transaction oriented and ‘score keeping’ in nature to being more analytic and strategic, thereby adding value to the business and providing better support to the Board. Improving the effectiveness of the Finance Function becomes a common goal of the entire organisation, enabling people from all levels to build their understanding and tools to achieve the speed, reliability and transparency required for the organisation to meet internal and external demands.

Your benefits

  • Clearly articulated vision for the overall finance function
  • Reduced time to produce management and financial reports
  • Greater transparency and quality of information
  • Faster close processes
  • More accurate and qualified data for decision-making
  • Strengthened professional environment for attracting, retaining and developing critical talent and future finance leaders
  • More efficient business processes, for example: purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, record-to-report and general accounting closing
  • Streamlined activities across different departments and locations; reduced IT, financial and organisational costs; standardised processes
  • Reduced costs and maximised profit by managing cost and profitability of each product and/or service
  • Better quality by centralising transactional activities into shared service centres or through outsourcing