Factors Driving Success in Finance Transformation

Catherine Drysdale FCA, Consultant with Barden’s Technology Practice with Barden was recently invited to speak at the ‘Lets Talk’ event hosted by DCU. The topic of the event was ‘Navigating Finance Transformation With AI’ with a focus on ‘Factors For Success’. Here in the final blog of a 3 part series, Catherine shares her insights from the event as well as factors for finance transformation success.

As with any transformation there will always be critical success factors at play that will contribute to successful outcomes. In my experience some factors to consider include:

Leadership – They set the vision and agenda for transformation, create an environment of accountability and make decisions for the good of the organisation as a whole.

People / Resources – Identify and centralise the transformation team to ensure they can work standalone on the transformation programme.

Implementation Partner – Dependent on the scale of the project, you may need to engage with an implementation partner. The key to success in selecting is to ensure they are compatible culturally with your organisation and 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. Examples include Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Intelligence (BI), data science & analytical tools (i.e. Alteryx) & Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Often, it’s not a “one size fits all” and a hybrid of solutions may be required to achieve optimisation.

Scalability – Do not underestimate the future possibilities of current automation; scalability is key when considering automation opportunities; what might be +100 hours a month saving when automating a process (e.g. high volume report downloads using robots) could translate to +500 hours saving in 12 months’ time as a business scales & grows.

Quick Wins – Early on in a project “quick wins” are important to gain momentum from all parties.

Change Management – A fundamental element to ensure success of any transformation. It will go on long after implementation has occurred and should align to a culture & ethos of continuous improvement.

Constantly Evolving – Transformation is constantly evolving, it should not pause or end. You need to consider new ways of adapting and automating as business strategy and external factors change. This lends itself to setting up a centre of excellence, further details below.

Return on Investment (ROI) – Consider ROI but don’t allow this to be the primary driver in decision making during transformation. You need to consider other factors in conjunction with ROI. Measure value as you go because transformation is iterative. Think of factors such as employee engagement, attracting talented employees to best-in-class finance functions, customer engagement and ability to respond to customer demands and external environment factors.

Sustainability Considerations – This is a hot topic at the moment and will continue to be so. Ensure it is part of the planning process around your transformation objectives and vision, both for finance and the wider organisation.

Centre of Excellence – When established, consider creating a centre of excellence to manage the transformation journey allowing other areas of the business to leverage off automation opportunities.

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.

Take a look at the two previous blogs in this series…

Navigating Finance Transformation With AI…Factors For Success – Barden

Variables Impacting Transformation – Barden

A little bit more about Catherine…

Catherine is a Consultant with Barden’s Technology Practice. In her role Catherine supports Barden on a variety of different initiatives playing a key role in supporting clients within the project/change space.

Contact Catherine at catherine.drysdale@barden.ie or via LinkedIn.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there. Easy.

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