To organize your finance function more intelligently, you can refer to the insights provided by Gartner. They suggest that digitalization should be considered when shaping the finance function’s long-term plans. CFOs are accelerating digital technology investments with various initiatives, including fostering digital skills, prioritizing well-integrated data, strong leadership, digital technology strategies and roadmaps, and managing culture shifts. To achieve cohesive digitalization, CFOs can organize the finance function’s structure, roles, and networks in the following ways:
1. Adapt finance workflows and roles to align with digital: Finance function leaders have traditionally focused on standardizing workflows and roles to increase efficiency. However, standardized models proved brittle during the volatility of the pandemic and are at risk of becoming outdated with the increasingly digital finance function. CFOs must make three key role updates to achieve cohesive digitalization: establish digital expectations for all finance roles through digital citizenship, identify technology power users to focus on end-user digital engagement, and make specific role updates for finance technology personnel focused on integration mapping.
2. Work together with tech teams and digital champions inside finance: Finance leaders need to update their organizational structure so that finance digital technology investments are coordinated, transparent, and aligned with a finance-wide strategy. They can invest in dedicated finance IT support, establish and retain a technology team within finance to reduce reliance on an enterprise IT team, and create an indirect reporting line between finance IT and a digital champion. A formalized relationship between finance IT and a digital champion creates transparency with decisions around digital investments, making them more likely to meet the needs of most users in the finance function.
3. Prevent silos with cross-functional networks: Internal networks are key to ensuring cohesive digitalization. Finance function leaders and managers must create opportunities to identify, create, and support existing networks to ensure clarity, interoperability, and cross-functional coordination to break down information and data silos. These networks should ensure that all voices are heard and valued, provide pathways for information sharing, enable peer-to-peer learning, define clear rules for usage, and assess contributions based on quality, not seniority.
Please note that these suggestions are based on Gartner’s insights and can help you organize your finance function more effectively.