Thrive: Navigate Finance in a disrupted world
How a resilient operating model is the key to building a shockproof finance function
Finance has always held a pivotal position within any organisation. Management relies on financial insight to drive decision-making, steer the achievement of organisational objectives and execute growth strategy. 2020 though has truly been a year like no other. In a world beset by unprecedented challenges and events, Finance has an opportunity to rethink its operating model.
Being resilient and shockproof are the keys to future success for any function. Finance can take the lead as a pioneer of resilient operations and thrive as an exemplar of an efficient digital business, with a renewed mandate to steer and accelerate the organisation’s financial recovery. Our advice on how to thrive in a post-pandemic world is to rethink how Finance operates by focusing on three key aspects.
Build resilience to proactively manage business continuity risks and pre-emptively reduce them. More than ever before, Finance needs to be a sound steward and shrewd operator to ensure uninterrupted delivery of core processes, reimagined through standardisation, automation and specialisation.
Deliver real-time insights through advanced modelling of stress scenarios as the basis for informed decision making with management as they seek to map their way through the uncertainty.
Establish cost leadership as a lean Finance organisation with an optimised service delivery model, standardised and automated processes and a continual innovation mindset.
A resilient operating model of this kind requires expert leadership from the centre while local Finance teams serve as agile business partners, providing strategic and tactical decision-making support to local management, using the resources and capabilities of Global Business Services (GBS) and Centres of Excellence (CoE). Our advice is to invest in designing a solid operating model upfront, which will enable you to execute on your Finance strategy without compromise.
As an illustration: in 2020, a global manufacturing organisation was able to capture multiple million dollar cost savings by establishing regional CoEs focused on planning and reporting, and driving operational excellence through improved efficiency. Crucially, their advanced centralised CoE and GBS structure enabled them to remain fully effective while working remotely. When lockdown required 100 per cent of staff to work from home, Finance operations continued without interruption or loss of service. What’s more, their financial closing that month turned out to be the most efficient they had ever done.
Recent challenges and events have revealed a pressing need to build resilience into the DNA of any organisation’s Finance operating model. CFOs have an unprecedented opportunity to steer shareholder value creation if Finance can deliver improved insights, reliably, on time and efficiently. Now, more than ever, significant process efficiency and cost effectiveness can be generated by optimising Global Business Services and Centres of Excellence. A resilient operating model, fuelled by standardisation, automation and digitisation will be the key to thriving in a disrupted world.
The past may indeed be a foreign country. The best way to predict the future is to create it.
How can Deloitte help?
We help our clients to build resilience and thrive in a number of ways:
- Finance in a digital world Lab: Define your Finance vision and strategy and bring it to life
- Quantify your improvement potential: we review your current operating model and help you size the window for improvement to support early-stage decision-making
- Optimise your operating model: we provide hands-on solutions to ensure you realise efficiencies, centralise delivery of business insight and successfully establish or optimise GBS and CoEs
- Become a ‘digital native’: we assess your digital maturity and provide practical solutions for you to make use of state-of-the-art Finance technologies
- Digital finance academy: improve your capabilities to provide decision-making support by developing Finance talent
Centres of Excellence for Business Finance
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