Finance transformation is no longer an option, it is vital to ensure finance teams shift from number crunching to adding real value to the business through business partnering & strategic support, data & analytical capabilities & serving as business advisors.
The impact of COVID over the last 3 years has taught us the necessity to be agile & respond quickly to expected, & more importantly, unexpected changes in the business & the external environment are critical.
I have had the opportunity to work on a large number of finance transformation projects including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) & revenue system implementation, scoping & roll out of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) & data science & analytical tools. In this article, I will give insights into what I believe are the success factors for finance transformation to aid those in the process of automation or looking to embark on their journey of transformation!
In a recent article she wrote for DCU Catherine Drysdale FCA, Consultant with Barden’s Technology Practice, highlighted some of the key elements of finance transformation including:
- Leadership – They set the vision & agenda for transformation, create an environment of accountability & make decisions for the good of the organisation as a whole.
- People / Resources – Identify & centralise the Transformation team to ensure they can work standalone on the transformation programme.
- Implementation partner – dependent on scale of the project, you may need to engage with an implementation partner. Key in selecting is to ensure they are compatible culturally with your organisation & will partner with each function to achieve success.
- Identify Technologies – Identifying what technologies will provide the solution to meet the transformation objective is critical for success. Often it’s not a “one size fits all”, a hybrid of solutions may be required to achieve optimisation.
- Scalability – Do not underestimate the future potential and synergies from automation.
- Quick wins – Early on in a project “quick wins” are important to gain momentum from all parties.
- Change Management– fundamental element to ensure success of any transformation. It will go on long after implementation has occurred & should align to a culture & ethos of continuous improvement.
And finally celebrate the successes!! The journey to transformation can take time, so celebrating each milestone is important to keep momentum & engagement across the organisation.