Convincing the Board of the Need for Finance Transformation

23 October 2018 - #finance transformation #finance #reporting #financial reporting #efficiency

By Daniel Phillips, Digital Content Manager, BOARD International

FSN’s Annual Global Survey 2018 (“Innovation in Financial Reporting”) is out – you can download a copy here – and as usual makes for some interesting reading. Based on research conducted with the Modern Finance Forum (the LinkedIn community of finance professionals), the report gives real insight into the state of finance departments around the world. 

One of the key highlights of this year’s survey is that finance teams are still pushing themselves to meet reporting deadlines through manual processes, lack of centralized data, and a multitude of spreadsheets which are prone to error and lack control. This means that for many, a combination of hard work and overtime is what gets them through each month, delivering results but in an inefficient, time-consuming manner.

As the FSN survey highlights, with this continuous cycle of unproductive processes and reporting demands from the board, how can organizations ever hope to even create a finance transformation roadmap, let alone achieve finance function transformation?

What is the process of finance transformation?

There are many processes in the finance function which could be made more efficient through a combination of centralization and automation. Creating a unified view of information, removing reliance on disparate spreadsheets, and removing manual processes are just some of them. If these time-consuming activities were removed, finance teams could spend more time focused on value-added activities such as in-depth analysis, rather then spending their evenings pulling together an accurate report. This would create real insight for the business and help it to make better, strategic decisions. 

The real challenge is how finance teams can convince the board that there is a need to change. If board members are receiving their requested reports on-time (albeit through an unseen effort on behalf of the finance team), they are unlikely to be championing the need to invest in processes or technology. 

Read the full Innovation in Financial Reporting survey to see the full statistics and gain insight into how to begin the process of finance transformation.

 


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