Finance transformation is a process that looks at the finance function in terms of three main pillars i.e. processes, people and technology with the aim of redefining the financial strategy to drive long term value. In this digital age this often includes a strong focus on automation of certain processes or tasks within the finance function.
There is no “one size fits all” approach that can achieve financial transformation within an organisation hence there is always a need to firstly understand the current state of the organisation. With the overall company strategy (and long-term objectives) in mind, the finance function through the CFO need to define the finance function end-state – one that will support and help the organisation to achieve its overall objectives. In certain instances this might mean creating new financial capabilities e.g. one that focuses on strengthening internal controls for operational, financial and compliance purposes; automated reporting capabilities that will allow the team to focus more on analysing data and providing quality information which ideally should result in actionable insights – as opposed to spending a lot of time in report creation – which in itself though necessary – does not add a lot of value to the organisation. The benefits for finance transformation are both qualitative – as explained above – and quantitative e.g., initiatives like automation often result in reduced costs.
However before embarking on a financial transformation journey there is a need to build a business case that will justify the investment. Like any other project there is a need for strong alignment between stakeholders to ensure everyone feels heard and are part of the journey in defining what transformation looks like. Misalignment among stakeholders often result in resistance to change and in dire instances, ultimate failure to implement envisaged changes.
What can ISB Optimus do for you?
Finance teams can, inter alia, leverage on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to execute mundane, repetitive and time-consuming activities. Finance transformation is not only reserved for large organisation as this can be done for an organisation of any size. Organisations should not be left behind on this journey, reach out to one of our consultants to see how we can help you.
ISB Optimus can help you optimise processes, identify and implement new technologies including RPA to assist in achieving financial transformation. Our consultants would be happy to engage with you to provide new perspectives on opportunities available within your organisation.
About the Author
Takudzwa Mberikwazvo CA(SA), is a business professional who holds more than 10 years’ experience in auditing, financial reporting, finance transformation and business process optimisation and has worked in various roles, including in top JSE listed companies within financial services, FMCG, retail and telecommunications industries.