In a 2019 benchmark research report by Ventana Research, 35% of participants encountered errors in data and 19% found errors in formulas located in job-critical spreadsheets. As a finance leader, you can’t afford inaccuracies. Senior leadership looks to you for analysis and guidance. In addition to being a trustworthy source of financial information, the team, technology, and processes should align to play a strategic role in the direction of the company.
Here are five strategies you can use to refocus the finance team to become a strategic partner and add business value.
1. Invest in people
Once leadership identifies the mission of the finance department, it’s their responsibility to communicate the direction to staff members. In addition, they should invest in upskilling the current team to ensure their skills, knowledge, and experience align with the department’s future.
2. Keep your technology current
As your business grows and changes, use technology to work smarter and eliminate tedious jobs. Think about current pain points and limitations, your ideal processes, and how technology might enhance your productivity. As innovations are released, like artificial intelligence, explore them while making sure the tools align with your processes. Consider increasing the frequency of your technology reviews as software can deteriorate.
3. Improve processes
Finance teams collaborate heavily. Look at your department’s processes to see how you can add efficiency, remove barriers, and improve coordination between individuals. Encourage a continuous improvement mindset and stop relying on, “This is how we’ve always done it.”
4. Focus on data quality
Missing and inaccurate data can lead to delays, require time to fix, and lead to financial distrust. But, the right technology can speed up the collection of data and reduce errors via automatic data capture, formulas, and flows. If data quality is a top priority, you can confidently share financial data and reports with key stakeholders, and they can make informed decisions.
5. Show the value of finance
As the finance team transforms and fulfills its new mission, share the benefits, successes, and achievements with your organization. This may foster collaboration between other departments and garner support for future initiatives.
Technology plays a valuable role in finance and is a worthwhile investment. However, if finance executives and leadership teams want to see real ROI, they must address their people, processes, and data – three common factors that prevent businesses from achieving their transformation goals and securing long-lasting change.
Have questions about transforming your finance team and increasing their business value? Let’s talk!
5 INGREDIENTS FOR FINANCE TRANSFORMATION
If you’re interested in transforming the role of finance and turning it into a strategic influence, read this research perspective by Ventana Research. It covers:
- Technology’s impact on finance
- Statistics on finance team operations, collaboration, etc.
- Factors you must address to successfully evolve