Article

Finance mastery – an opportunity or a must-win battle?

Digital disruption and radical speed of change dictate new corporate capabilities for companies as well as new paradigms for planning and decision-making.

Authors

Digital disruption and radical speed of change dictate new corporate capabilities for companies as well as new paradigms for planning and decision-making. Finance mastery is a prerequisite for companies in order to meet these new challenges, and the mere questions to senior finance professionals are “How far are we?” and “How does the time horizon for finance transformation suit the strategic roadmap?”

How does finance cope with increasing complexity?

The requirements for business leaders to predict and adjust the operation with greater agility is more challenging than ever before. Tough targets on improving efficiency, strengthened innovation and high revenue growth are the everyday challenges of any senior executive. Hence, the time spent on operational activities and reporting activities has to be minimal – and finance has to impose trust in numbers and transparency as well as being an active partner in providing qualitative decision support.

Digitalisation is changing the role of the finance function away from the production- and transaction-based function with a significant focus on controls and compliance towards a more business-oriented and strategic player with core activities centred around strategic activities such as analytics, deployment programmes and business partnering throughout the value chain.

Finance functions risk being “caught in the middle”. If the fundamental financial capabilities lack quality, efficiency and even effectiveness, it often proves very difficult to aim and transform for finance mastery. Fixing the “fundamentals” is often critical to bridge for more strategic ambitions for the finance function.

If the basis, however, is strong, the challenge is to motivate and onboard both the finance community and other key business stakeholders on the journey ahead.

How to become finance masters?

At Implement we believe that finance mastery is achieved through a balanced approach on how to excel finance operations and business finance. The finance strategy dictates the roadmap, and that takes an outset in the overall vision and strategy of the company.

Strengthening the foundation in finance operation often requires:

  • Defining the strategy and vision for finance
  • Mapping and upgrading relevant competences and capabilities in the respective roles
  • Implementing intelligent automation
  • Implementing a revised finance operating model
  • Creating strong process ownership with regard to both finance operations and business finance
  • Critically assessing and developing for future planning and decision paradigms
  • Using advanced data analytics and robotics in the finance operating model
  • Creating success stories to enable trust-building