Why it makes sense to turn your finance function into a powerful business asset


Giving your finance team members the opportunity to grow professionally is good for their careers and good for your business.

Are you making optimal use of the highly qualified staff that make up your finance department? For many Australian businesses and organisations, the answer is definitely no. Their finance professionals remain mired in the mundane – routine transactional tasks that don’t require higher-level thinking or analysis.

This leaves these individuals with little leeway to develop attributes and skills that could support their employers’ productivity and growth.

Relieve your finance team of much of the day-to-day routine and it can be a very different story. Given time and opportunity, they will be able to develop a host of next-level skills and abilities that will help them advance their careers and bring greater value to your business.

So what are some of these skills and how could they be harnessed for mutual benefit? Here are a few.

Analytical capacity

Historically, the finance department was responsible for providing the management team with an overview of their organization’s recent performance: the proverbial result, along with some commentary. Right now, however, policy makers are looking for more than a picture of the past. They want to know what’s coming, next month, next year and on the horizon. Predictive analytics can provide this insight, and it’s up to accountants to understand how to extract it from the wealth of company and customer data they have access to.

Clearer communication

We live in the digital age and businesses are full of information. But it’s all just noise unless it’s synthesized and shared effectively. Help your team learn – and use – strong written communication skills, and you’ll reap the rewards: documents and presentations that convey relevant financial information to business executives and stakeholders, compellingly and easily. comparable.

Stronger Relationships

At the time, accounting was seen as behind-the-scenes work; well-suited to smart introverts who prefer crunching numbers to chewing fat. This is no longer the case. As automation continues to replace tedious transactional tasks, organizations are increasingly expecting their finance teams to come out of the shadows and into the shop floor or the boardroom. Help yours cultivate a wider range of people skills – think team building, employee engagement and performance management – ​​and watch them succeed in managing numbers and people.

To show creativity

The term “creative accounting” has long had a pejorative odor. But while you might not want the financial affairs of your organization handled by a team of “creative accountants,” a team of accountants who can think creatively is something else entirely. Financially savvy people who can spot opportunities and mitigate risk simultaneously are strategic assets. Give them more opportunities to lash out on complex financial and non-financial issues and see their ability to think outside the box increase rapidly.

Business acumen

Numbers are an important aspect of business, but they are not the only ones. Being able to advise the C suite – or join its ranks! – finance professionals need to be able to see the big picture: how each part of the business works and works together. Walking in place of their colleagues, or alongside them for a time, can provide that perspective. Free your employees to undertake expanded assignments, secondments and special projects and you will reap the benefits of the exposure and knowledge that these out-of-the-box opportunities inevitably generate.

Technical skills

Technology is changing at a bewildering pace and professionals in all industries, including finance, who don’t commit to keeping up will all too quickly find themselves left behind. Give your team the chance to use emerging tools and technologies and you’ll have a win-win situation on your hands: engaged, up-to-date employees and a more efficient and productive finance function.

Minimize the grind

Automating critical finance and accounting processes such as financial close, accounts receivable automation, and cross-company financial management is a way for organizations to give their finance teams the time and space to develop new skills. . The term “financial automation” refers to the use of software to automate many repetitive tasks associated with the finance function, such as account reconciliation and the production of month-end statements and reports.

The use of technology reduces the number of human hours required to complete tasks and significantly reduces the error rate at startup.

If you’re serious about maximizing the benefits your finance team brings to the business and providing them with opportunities to grow their careers in the process, this is probably the smartest investment you can make.


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