CFOs are struggling to meet the increasing and competing demands of the business, particularly in the current economic climate. The compliance burden has grown, the finance function is subject to increasing cost pressure, whilst the demand for more and better management information challenges the function to do more at lower cost.

CFOs are juggling three agendas; Insight, Efficiency, Compliance and Control, and turning to us to help them strike the right balance. They want to secure the finance function to support the business during the downturn, but lay the groundwork to build a high performing function for the future.

Creating a case for change

A number of factors are creating a hunger for sustainable change in the finance function:

Management triggers

  • Pressure to cut costs
  • Ineffective or inefficient use of cash
  • Budgeting and forecasting is unreliable or time consuming
  • High cost of finance vs. peer comparison
  • Poor, unreliable, or slow management information (MI)
  • Lack of accountability for non-financial MI
  • Synergies not realised from recently merged or acquired entities
  • Finance staff feel undervalued by the business

Compliance and reporting triggers

  • Multiple GAAP reporting
  • Pressure to report more information more quickly (internal and external)
  • Manual and non-standard reporting
  • Changes in legislation
  • Compliance costs deemed too high

Complexity triggers

  • Increased complexity e.g. wider use of alliances and joint ventures
  • Multiple legal entities as a result of acquisition activity
  • Mismatch between legal (statutory) and management structures
  • Inconsistent ways of working between finance and other functions
  • Multiple finance systems and different charts of account
  • Need for simpler and standardised processes

Process triggers

  • Shared services not delivering predicted benefits
  • Prevalence of spreadsheets and off system activities
  • High level of errors / rework
  • High levels of manual intervention
  • Duplication of activities
  • Unclear ownership
  • Inefficient tax planning processes