The Finance function determines the effectiveness and the speed of the transformation programmes carried out within a business. This catalytic role entails making a profound reassessment of the Finance function approach. It is not only a stabilising force, but it must allow the company to find balance in the transformation. For example, the finance department sees its role reaffirmed in contrast to other departments and can help the company derive the full benefits of adopted innovations.
Transforming Finance Function
The digital revolution is forcing the Finance function to anticipate and accelerate major transformations aimed at simplifying its organisation, demanding a higher level of service from its ERP, rationalising its costs and adapting its skills in order to better carry out its sovereign (accounting, tax, etc.) and strategic (investment, performance management, etc.) missions.
Transformation plans must be able to combine a clear vision of the target and an agile approach.
Today, CFOs are constantly looking for ways to improve their efficiency with a rapid return on investment. The implementation of RPA and process mining solutions is developing on all administrative processes (O2C, P2P, P2A, R2R, …).
However, the automation of processes must be part of a double logic of operational excellence and internal control while respecting criteria of eligibility of activities and scalability of the solutions.
Companies generally achieve only 60% of the financial performance targeted by their strategy because they are not able to properly steer their transformation plan(s) .
CFOs must therefore be able to challenge and secure the expected gains (turnover, EBITDA, cash) from strategic decisions (investments, acquisitions, savings plans, digital transformation, etc.) by adapting governance and performance management systems.
SMART BUSINESS MODEL
Businesses facing a complex environment in which they must create or seize opportunities.
Until very recently, the financial department essentially executed an oversight function aimed at guaranteeing the compliance with standards, and ensuring the quality of the accounting information and managing profitability (and the cash flow) of the company.
The race towards innovation intensified, which put businesses under pressure. The financing of investments became even more critical, due in particular to the multiplication of transformation projects and external growth operations. The internationalisation of large groups had a profound impact on their governance and their managerial culture.
A vital Finance function for meeting strategic challenges
Given his central positioning, consolidated vision of the company’s business and its necessary management of financial information, the CFO possesses the greatest assets for guiding the branch heads in their strategic thinking.
For this purpose financial departments must work more closely with the operational departments to develop the strategy, reorient financial resources based on changes in trajectory and create EBIT guidance systems, which organise CAPEX and OPEX indicators in a more integrated way.
The new orchestrating role of the CFO must make it possible to continuously assess the performance and relevance of business decisions, agilely integrate new business activities, and secure transformation programmes.
This complex situation heightens the needs of executive managements related to understanding performance, receiving help with decision making and guidance for the trajectory of their companies.
The digital levers to transform and energise the Finance function
For Axys Consultants, the credibility and aptitude of the Finance function in accelerating transformations is based on the exemplary quality of its organisation, its agility and the operational excellence of its processes.
The deployment of digital solutions (cloud/Saas, dematerialisation, robotisation, Big Data, mobility) allows CFOs to regain control of their information systems and offer relevant responses to the operational departments.
Lean management approaches combined with new opportunities in robotisation (financial automation) not only make it possible to optimise the efficiency of administrative processes, but they also involve the oversight of skills development, and the coherence and management of the financial branch.
These new levers, which are expressed through know-how, tools and information, require the IT Finance Managers to create management/guidance models that make business model developments and transformations more understandable and controllable for the executive management.
Finance as a “strategic service” provided to the Executive Management and Business Units
Outstanding and thorough in their own transformation, IT Finance Managers must be able to provide the executive management and business units with innovative and effective responses.
They must be committed even more to the success of the transformations and the delivered added value for the development of the business.
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