5 Ways Finance Can Deliver More Value
Posted by Lauren O'Neil
Adding value beyond closing the books and reporting financial information can be a struggle and I just got off the phone from one of our customers who struggled with just that. The Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis found that his organization didn’t take finance seriously. After restructuring the processes and using the latest technology to combine data from different departments to help with sales, the finance team now has a seat at the executive table.
To hear how they’ve empowered their entire organization to seize profitable opportunities makes me smile from ear to ear. Our customer plans to share his success at our annual customer conference, Unit4 Connect.
The conversation came at such an opportune time as I was in the middle of drafting this post - how finance people can become THE internal business advisor. Here are five tips from our customer and from our very own expert advice in “5 Ways CFOs Can Make the Best Advisor.”
- Channel your quantifiable intellect for making decisions: Your unique perspective bodes you well when making strategic decisions for the business. The ability to quantify an opportunity and align that opportunity with the company’s financial structure allow you to support the ultimate business goal: making money.
- Always keep your number one business goal numero uno: With a holistic financial view you have the power to create a vision and unify that vision for the company. In other words, make sure each department has measurable goals that are bringing value to the organization, not just “fluffy” metrics that may be very well important to that department but not necessarily support the “making money” objective.
- Analyze, analyze, analyze: It goes beyond just looking at numbers and drawing conclusions. Ability to analyze and assess value based on cost and how much it will likely bring in for your company is key to keeping the business profit objectives at hand.
- Did I mention analyze? This will also come into play for determining company reinvestments: Change ahead? Did you outgrow your office? Does your IT system need to be upgraded? Examining when the company can best afford to make investments, analyze how long it will take for those reinvestments to pay off, and look at whether making those reinvestments will increase capacity or output.
- Be sure you are the one to determine where to reduce costs: With a sound and unified financial structure and your cost-driven formulas in your back pocket, you are truly the only one to know where to appropriately reduce costs. Managers of other departments might want to reduce costs in certain areas but don’t have the right visibility or formulas to determine whether or not it will actually help the organization. Remember, your unique perspective allows you to make those tough decisions.
To learn more, download your helpful guide in “5 Ways CFOs Can Make the Best Advisor” and if you have a great success story, please share in the comments section.