Breathing Life into the Finance Function – Business Partner

Written by Roelof Groesbeek


We are often challenged in our consulting endeavours by clients who have a sound and well-developed enterprise strategy but struggle to realise value from their strategic intent and efforts.

In discussions with these clients, we typically discover that they plunge straight into operational architectural changes, generally in technology, to execute and achieve their strategy by implementing new and far-reaching enterprise systems.

To add to the complexity, the CFO is faced with a multitude of challenges and opportunities ranging from demands to fund the strategic intent of the enterprise to the complexity of developing a solution or solutions that simultaneously address daily operations.

In developing an approach, several key drivers must be considered, of which minimising the required time and effort is vital, resulting in a clearly understood and executable approach.

 Figure 1: Integrated approach to address issues

The Opportunity

Enterprises face a multitude of challenges, especially around trends covering game-changers to micro-trends. All these factors will have a substantial impact on the sustainability of the organisation.

  • Game Changers: Alters the way we live, work, interact, socialise and behave – examples are the motorcar, television, internet, Uber, Amazon, etc.
  • Megatrends: Global & sustained forces that impact business, economy, society, cultures and personal lives, thereby defining our future world and its increasing pace of change
  • Macro-trends: Changes to the business and operating model which are either proactive (changing the game) or reactive (regulatory or responding to a megatrend or gamechanger)
  • Micro-trends: Departmental and functional challenges that affect weekly & daily operations – often a consequence of poor upstream business & operating model decisions

The majority of current initiatives are around the micro-trends as they are immediately visible and on a short-term horizon from our day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

Finance has the opportunity now to reposition themselves to fulfil their potential and role within the organisation. First, however, Finance needs to address three dimensions to address the options over the longer-term game-changer horizon, which are:

  • Appropriate organisation – The applicable operating model delivers the appropriate organisation
  • Appropriate Operations – Operational processes, skills, technology, and KPIs
  • Delivering Value – Resulting in optimised the balance sheet and income statement …

Read more – Breathing Life into the Finance Function


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