Finance team development
The COVID-19 pandemic leaves individuals, families or businesses unaffected. For businesses, all economic uncertainties, they must adapt to remote work due to the provision of shelter when placing orders, has put business planning processes in place without tremendous stress, with the necessary calibrations made faster and more frequently. Last year, a poll conducted by finance leaders showed that only 1 in 4 people were confident that their planning processes had equipped them to respond to economic and geopolitical shifts. The current COVID crisis shines a brighter light on the important role finance teams play in business strategy, ensuring that decisions are based on solid data and accurate forecasts.
Finance has always been a natural melting pot of business strategy – a central nerve center by penalizing key business inputs and all final outputs measured and recorded. This is true when business as usual operating activities, investments in new skills or capabilities, research and development (R&D) for new innovations, or simply preparing payroll and keeping the lights on. Finance touches any part of an organization, and in the best of worlds, it can serve as a rich source of cross-functional insights that can fuel an overall business strategy. Now more than ever, this is proving invaluable, and will fund all of them to take a closer look at the role they can – and should – play in their organizations.
One source іѕ a key
The way businesses operate has changed drastically over the past decades, with globalization, rapid and inclusive connectivity, digital transformation, and an explosion in data recall of many short-term adjustments to planning and executing. The new way of operating any organization requires an IT infrastructure that can process and analyze data in an intelligent and easily scalable manner without depriving it of context or accuracy. Businesses that do not have a highly automated and integrated planning process in place run the risk of being late and put the organization two steps ahead of competitors.
With rapid access to data as a key to the success of modern businesses, financial institutions are increasingly turning to the cloud to access all financial and operational data. The shift from on-premises planning systems, with siled data, and difficulties throughout version control, to a system based on a single source for real-time data, has helped companies become more resilient. Web-based systems providing mobile access have proven invaluable and have allowed many businesses to quickly switch to remote work in recent months, as people self-isolate due to COVID-19.
New technology, new skills
In addition to changes in infrastructure technology, finance also benefits from automating many mundane financial tasks, such as manually collecting data and standardizing financial and operational data. Simplifying these tasks frees up financial resources to take on a more strategic role for the business. This, in part, leads to a new set of skill requirements for funding teams as well. In the 2019 study referenced above, 50 percent of financial leaders plan to increase their skills by 50 percent of their workforce in the next five years. High on the list of desirable skills is the ability to identify and manage risk, which provides today’s business environment, reflecting an expanded role in supporting business strategy. Financial leaders also noted that experience with new tools and technologies was key, underscoring the impact technology has – and will continue to have – on the financial function.
Change Agents for Finance
As this development continues, there is a strong case for us to be able to take on finance teams to take over as change supervisors by working through the “number gatekeepers” of transformation leaders for complex and appropriate scenario-based planning and planning processes. Ultimately, finance will play a key role in assisting the business model and automating complex, multi-phase operational practices and governance processes from start to finish.
Aѕ companies are adopting the most agile rapid planning methods, and the stage is set for finance to serve as the focus of business planning. While executives will undoubtedly continue to lead the development of business strategy, financial professionals armed with the right tools can transform meaning, generate insights from stimuli, and make coherent responses between different departments. In other words, funding will be the key integrating factor – the lens through which it is anticipated, understood and designed in order to develop a more agile and coherent response. With this transparency, business functions will have data-driven insights to make better, faster decisions.
There are many lessons to be learned from the current crisis. For a business, it is one of the main takeaways needed for systems and processes that can accommodate a radical business plan of business strategy that must be ready to face uncertainty. What