How to successfully (re-)build your finance function?
of CFOs say it takes longer to successfully complete transformations compared to 3 years ago
of CFOs highlight change resistance and people’s digital fitness as top concerns
Nowadays, there's a perfect storm of opportunity, enabled by technology, for the modern finance organisation to be a key strategic partner to the business. However, to get there, finance does not only need smart tools, but most importantly smart people.
Organisations are currently struggling to adapt their finance functions and activities with the continuous and increasing requirements for change such as new ways of organising, performing and leading finance activities.
As technology continues to drive our businesses and challenges our traditional work practices it is essential that companies identify new operational measures and develop new ways of working and managing in order to drive productivity from available tools and capabilities and realise the finance function’s full potential in these challenging times.
We have identified four finance challenges related to workforce capacity that are often reported by CFOs while leading finance transformation:
Most finance specialists must develop the capabilities they’ll need in the future. How do you re-skill and upskill your workforce?
What does leadership for entrepreneurial behaviour embedded in an agile culture look like? How do leaders manage this mindset transition?
You might not find the skills required in the traditional hiring pool. How and where can you attract and recruit the talent you need?
Finance is investing heavily in new technology and automation. Does your workforce know how to use the new tools?
Re-thinking your finance strategy and operating model is key to sustainably developing and implementing the new finance way of working.
As industries and business models are moving towards state-of-the-art technology and digital ways of working, it is essential that finance organisations position themselves as a key strategic partner to their business. Leading recommendations for leading today’s digital finance transformation include:
Rethinking the workforce’s structure and collaboration in the finance organisation. This should include the digital workforce (as a result of robotics and automation for efficiency in financial planning and analysis), and the scope of finance leaders’ role, responsibilities and position in order to be able to to drive productive decision-making.
Rethinking the way of working (online) by benefiting from cloud and agility services with faster delivery of new IT solutions, cheaper processing costs for large volumes of data and enhanced ability to edit and review data in real time. Other benefits include the capacity to implement new teams, with an appropriate mix of capabilities, skills and profiles (such as analytical, digital and collaborative).
Rethinking sourcing, targeting and recruitment of the future finance workforce according to the new finance capabilities required.
Preparing the current workforce to enable them to master the technology tools: data and analytics, intelligent automation, standardised methods of collecting and analysing the data, improved graphics and visualisation, and enhanced predictive analytics.
For a truly digital culture; foster the essential resource of skilled digital employees and nurture the development of digital skills from within the organisation.
To conclude, the new finance ways of working will lead to a new combination of technology and human workers. Digitalisation should not be feared: greater automation takes over repetitive tasks and allows employees to focus on more creative human added-value activities and skills.
This turbulent time - and the impact on workplaces and workforces - highlights the need for the business, and certainly, the finance organisation to take action and design their future finance organisation.
We, at PwC, help our clients navigate these challenges. Change is hard, but we have experience in helping our clients through it.
Does this sound familiar to you or your business's current situation? Are you only getting started or have you already taken the first steps towards your organisation’s transformation? Our management consulting finance team can help you to set your organisation on the right path and to co-design with you, YOUR future finance organisation.