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Building a Finance Function for a Post-COVID World Series – Part 3

August 12, 2020
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Part 3 - Finance Operations:

  

Expectations

Finance operations will receive a renewed focus and company leadership will begin pushing for more speed, more transparency, and greater efficiencies out of their finance function. Every day of the close process matters now so tasks like booking journal entries, booking accruals, and reconciling cash and subledgers will need to be done with greater efficiency.

Transactional processing for areas like payables, receivables, and inventory are likely to see increasing automation. The tools exist to largely make these processes automated or at least self-service, and finance departments will begin to take advantage of these to free up their staff to work on more analytics tasks. In order to automate, you also need to standardize and that means rationalizing (and some cases overhauling entirely) the processes and procedures that govern the finance function.

Improving finance operations can’t be done in a silo – doing so inevitably means also improving the technology and/or the organization. In some cases, outsourcing parts of the function will be more cost effective and will help your staff focus on the strategic element of finance.

What it Means

  • Companies need to care about policies and procedures. Written, agreed-to policies and procedures are the first tool to drive standardization.
  • For multi-location and multi-entity companies, centralizing core finance functions will improve the quality of the processes faster and also drive down the cost. Keep core finance close – general ledger, payables, fixed assets, and in most cases receivables; and field finance close to their locations – product and service costing, inventory control, etc.
  • You’ll probably need to change your technology too. Sustaining process changes over time is very difficult for most companies without the technology to enforce standardization.

Up next, we’ll discuss how to effectively leverage finance technology for your company.  Check back next week to learn more!

Missed the previous post? Click here to read Decision Support for the Finance Function.


Want to learn more about finance transformation?

Guide

Re-Building Finance for a Post-COVID World: In this visual guide, Strategy and Business Transformation Practice Leader Steve Ronan, shares how the finance function has changed as a result of the pandemic, how to define finance excellence, what finance executives are (or should be) prioritizing now, the importance of compatible finance technologies, and how you can start improving the finance function for your business. Click here to learn more. 

Webinar

Missed our July webinar on Building a Finance Function for a Post-COVID WorldClick here to watch the recording.

Whitepaper

Finance Transformation Roadmap: Download our complimentary whitepaper to learn how you can use process engineering and digital technology to close your books faster. Click here to learn more.