There is no question that digital technologies are helping finance to reach its true potential. As digital matures, finance will evolve to a point where they move from recording and reporting to identifying new sources of growth with greater insights being drawn from the data being collected. Here we review 5 steps to help you reinvent your finance function.
Embrace and Develop New Roles
Part of reimagining the finance function is expanding the role of finance. Some enterprise leaders are developing new finance roles that range from working capital analytics to data governance and cyber-related risks. That is not to say that traditional services such as accounting, commercial finance, operations finance, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, tax, treasury, and audit can be ignored-they can’t. They are still relevant and critical to business operations, but they are only a subset of the potential value that finance can deliver to the enterprise. Many of those functions can be automated to free up human capital to take on these more significant challenges.
Use Technology to Empower You, Finance Professionals
Providing the right technologies to your finance professionals will help them make faster, more confident, and accurate decisions that span across the business. There are a wealth of tools available that include everything from data ingestion tools to robotic process automation, automated analytics, AI and visualization tools. The right technology can empower your finance people to have a more significant positive impact on the enterprise by delivering more and better insights.
Change how you look at Finance Cost Allocation and Staffing
There are two measures that are commonly used by organizations to look at the finance function. Namely, finance cost as a percentage of revenue and finance staff per billion. These measures are not reliable in an era of extreme digital disruptive innovation and new business models. A better approach might be to focus on the outcome and cost in order to avoid staffing cuts that may work against your business priorities and goals. The key is to move your finance function closer to the business where you can apply the finance insights to identify the actions necessary to move forward a specific strategy.
Dismiss the calendar-driven forecasting process. Embrace the power of data and analytics so your organization can benefit from a dynamic, data-driven approach to forecasting. Such a planning approach is rooted in the realities of current and predicted future performance.
Implement A Continuous Accounting Close
The accounting close can be a challenge for many enterprises. Finance should review every manual journal entry and every matching or reconciliation process. It should be viewed as quality control and as a cost of quality in the close cycle. Move towards implementing a continuous close. This enables senior decision-makers to confirm adjustments and positions as part of the process and reduces the amount of rework. When your finance team is providing real-time information and analytics to the business, there’s no time to wait for month end to make corrections.
Sage Intacct helps your enterprise automate and take the next steps towards expanding and transforming your financial function to get closer to the business and provide the insights necessary to make the decisions required to beat out the competition.