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26 questions for an effective finance function

26 QUESTIONS TO ASK RIGHT NOW TO ENSURE AN EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT FINANCE FUNCTION

 

If you are leading a finance function at this most challenging of times in the Covid-19 ‘new normal’, you will know the exacting pressures and existential risks posed to organizations. It is critical to be as efficient as possible while being effective in delivery in all aspects and especially within the finance function.

To do so, you must assess if your current finance department structure is optimised for the uncertainty you face, now and in the future. When was the last time you did so?

Consider your finance function structure

Natural growth and evolution of an organisation – such as more departments and diversification of services – means evaluating and assessing your processes at regular intervals and staying alert to the latest developments and technology is always important. At this point, it is vital for survival.

You should regularly review processes, speed up support functionality, ensure robust data is behind critical decisions, deliver detailed scenario models for critical success factors, and upskill your team to remain effective.

How effective and economical is your finance function?

Direction
1. Where do you stand now?
2. Where do you need to reach?
3. How do you plan to do so?
4. What is the timescale?

People
5. Does your team have the right skills?
6. Are new ways of learning being explored?
7. Do you have the ideal balance of management, employees, freelancers, and consultants?

Technology
8. Are your resources tailor-made to fit your business needs?
9. Are you under/overusing your IT resources?
10. Are your technological systems integrated enough?

Processes
11. Are your processes outdated?
12. Is there a scope for further automation?
13. Are you analysing the outcomes of your processes?
14. Are you using the correct success measurements?
15. What are the gold standards of finance for your industry, and how can you achieve them?
16. Are you setting new goals as required?
17. Are you pushing the bar higher/is your definition of success evolving as the company matures?

The finance function and organisational strategy

Further, to ensure you are adding strategic value, you need to think about the business as a whole and how the finance function must be equipped for its development. For example:
18. What are your existing markets?
19. What new markets can be tapped?
20. How will these markets change in the future?
21. Do you have a USP/market advantage and how will the use of it impact the finance department’s role / deliverables?

Ensuring successful finance function transformation

Five key questions to answer:
22. Are you using time wisely, directing key finance resources to the most productive tasks and eliminating non-core activities wherever possible?
23. Have you ‘simplified, standardised, systemised’ your processes?
24. Are you using your technology to the optimum?
25. Do you really know your Excel?
26. Is your consolidation still manual?

Five key actions to consider:
1. Take stock of the finance function’s current state
2. Envision where you want it to be in 5 years
3. Conduct a gap analysis of desired position compared to current state
4. Produce a finance function transformation roadmap to achieve your aim
5. Draft an executable plan with incremental delivery

Assess your finance department’s effectiveness

We have a free assessment tool to see how effective and efficient you are as a finance function, and how to improve. By providing scores and analysis, we can help you work on the areas you need to build a finance function fit for these most challenging times.Transform your finance function today

Having an expert help you ensure your finance function is optimised, enabling you to focus on supping the leadership teams and drive strategic success.

Talk to us today about our range of services to help you build and deliver a more cohesive, value-added strategy for your finance function, at the very centre of your organisation.

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