This interesting research paper by Dunn & Bradstreet indicates that finance functions have become overloaded. The conclusion is that there is mounting pressure on finance as a result of its increased role in supporting business growth rather simply being the risk protector. There is concern that mistakes are being made as less checking and due diligence is done. An underlying driver of this behaviour is unrealistic expectations being set at board-level of what must be achieved by finance on limited staff budgets.
I certainly see many people leading and working in finance functions who are struggling to cope. They are often working long hours in a stressful environment and in too many cases in inefficient ways which fail to provide clear, useful and timely management information that supports strong decision-making. With the right focus, learning and resources these situations can be turned around.
The hardest thing for many CFO’s and finance leaders is acknowledging that they can’t succeed without some more help. This can be seen as a sign of failure. The vital first step towards a performance turnaround in finance is admitting that something needs to change, before identifying priorities and tasks that need done to rebalance activities for a better future. An outside perspective can help assess current performance and identify changes to make.
I am passionate about helping those who run finance functions improve what they do. As part of this mission Bellevue Partners are running research to find out what people think makes up an effective function. By learning together we can create sustainable and effective changes to improve finance functions’ performance.
If you would like to join the research or would like an initial chat about your situation and how help Bellevue Partners could help you please get in touch.