Organizations that are growing bigger and more complex typically need more than standard accounting software. Similarly, financial professionals in expanding organizations typically need to redesign their role to meet the changing needs. As departments and projects grow, organizations need a central point of contact for all collaborators – a source of information that can be relied upon for strategic decision-making. For most organizations, this starts with the finance team and its resources.
1. Decisions must be guided by financial data rather than theories.
Most leaders are realizing the distinct difference between data-driven decision-making and gut-based guesses. Financial data is critical for many reasons: It contains crucial information that your investors and creditors need. It allows you to allocate scarce resources with care and make pivotal investment decisions based on cash flow. In addition, financial data helps steer organizations toward legal compliance and alignment with regulatory obligations. If your organization were a body, data would be its blood flow.
2. Cross-team collaboration prevents silos and ensures everyone is on the same page.
In a 2019 Deloitte study, leaders ranked organizational silos as one of the top three challenges, along with a lack of vision and too many disjointed technologies. Silos take an insidious long-term toll on the health and prosperity of companies – often in roundabout ways. Leaders in siloed organizations reported not knowing how to leverage their workers’ skills for the future or get the results they desired from technological investments.
Comprehensive ERP software can enhance collaboration and timely communication between CFOs and Controllers, providing access to various sets of data and reports from one accessible portal.
3. Financial audits keep business-critical functions on track.
Financial audits not only ensure accurate numbers, but provide peace of mind to leaders and investors. Both internal and external audits serve as a way for growing organizations to stay on track, monitor fiscal efficiency, and even reduce the risk of employee theft. Much like a dental appointment, an audit isn’t something you’ll look forward to, but it will contribute to long-term health.
Research estimates it is now possible to automate up to 40% of accounting work. This means audits themselves will undergo a transformation, incorporating additional elements like data ethics and cyber security.
4. Finance teams hold the data that can save critical time, money, and energy.
Financial data tells all – but only if you have the tools to interpret it. Deloitte’s study revealed that actively data-driven companies were more likely to invest in disruptive technologies and train their staff to develop skills important to their roles. Nearly 50% of data-driven companies surveyed generated 5% or more annual revenue growth, compared to just 25% of other companies. Equipped with real-time analytics, finance departments that are ahead of the curve are creating cultures of adaptability in their organizations.
All-in-one ERP software allow organizations to closely track inventory, handle accounting, and automate processes all from one place, saving time and effort.
5. Project management needs your finance team.
The relationship between finance and project management doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in busy firms. But your finance team can track projects and monitor feasibility, seeing where pivots are necessary. While traditionally thought of as a ‘behind the scenes’ department, finance needs to be visible in modern organizations. Financial professionals can uniquely weigh in on project timelines, budgets, and deadlines from a bottom-line perspective other departments simply don’t have.
6. Your finance team needs to know the big picture.
Because finance teams handle compliance and risk management, they need a 360-view of what’s happening in the organization without any surprises. Knowing the big picture prevents leaders from making stress-based, in-the-moment decisions they regret later on.
Traditionally, CFOs have focused on cost cutting as a means of surviving economic turbulence. But our research shows companies that either heavily invest or heavily cut costs during recessions don’t thrive once the economic lull has ended. Instead, the key is to take a balanced, pragmatic approach to budgeting with the bigger picture in mind.
7. Your finance team knows your story.
Tracking key elements like profit/loss, taxes, and payroll makes your finance team most equipped to assess your organization’s past, present, and future and relay that to decision-makers. Finance professionals need to be empowered to share their organization’s story in a palatable way – especially to those who aren’t yet as data literate.
Business intelligence tools have made sharing and understanding data easier. However, adoption rates at large enterprises are only at about 32%, meaning much of the workforce is still working its way toward data literacy.
Centering Your Finance Team
Bringing your finance team to the center of your organization is about transparency and efficiency – neither of which are possible without comprehendible data. Finance experts increasingly view themselves as responsible for driving organizational change and identifying new areas of value, both of which require them to have a more immersed experience in the company.
Financial professionals are in an unprecedented process of automating more day-to-day tasks and learning to rely on novel technology. Rather than just generating financial reports to share with organization leaders, it’s increasingly necessary that finance professionals understand the implications of their data and tap into their capabilities as visionaries.
Working in tandem with sophisticated automation tools has freed up time for CFOs to take on new leadership roles. In the digital age, finance teams are the drivers of organizational transformation and the catalysts for more effective communication and collaboration. CFOs can aim to raise awareness and educate other departments about the changing role of finance teams in 2020 and beyond.
Sign up for a demo to see how Multiview’s Cloud ERP software can empower your finance team and level up your organization. By implementing business insights daily, financial professionals can become experts in their company culture, forecast for the future, and discover opportunities for growth.