Finance transformation (FT) is a process that can bring real value to your business by making it more efficient, informed and strategic, but it requires time, resources & commitment.

1. Gain Buy In (Align Mindsets) – Ensure your thinking behind FT aligns with the strategic business vision. FT doesn’t work in isolation. You need to take into confidence all the key stakeholders by explaining why of FT and how it can add true value to the overall business with its ROI. Ensure to communicate all the project requirements including time, resources, budgets etc. to the senior leadership team. Also ensure that the mindset of your finance staff is aligned with the mindset of senior leadership team.

2. People & Skills Review- A crucial aspect of finance transformation is people. Be ready to find skills gaps & to take advantage of your team’s specialisms with a curated review process that reflects your company goals and project goals.

3. Support & Change Management – FT requires support from non-finance business functions in the form of support networks in order to help your finance department & rest of the company embrace new ways of doing things in order to avoid slipping back into old habits and culture.

4. Systems & Tools – Objectively reviewing your tools & software will be vital for finance transformation. You need to fully document what your finance function needs, what tools you currently have & what they are used for and how you can leverage digital technologies.

5. Collaboration With The IT Department-Discuss the internal technical requirements ahead of time. Do more than just keep IT informed – collaborate with them. You you must ensure your business’ IT architecture is ready for change.

6. Project Management- Decide who will be leading the project & who else will be heavily involved. Is there anything that will delay the project. Ideally, there should be cross-functional teams in order to ensure FT project bring forecast benefits to all the stakeholders, not just finance.

7. Assess Structural Changes In Finance & Prepare Its Requirements – If you are planning to re-structure finance organization with different options like shared-services, outsourcing, centers of excellence etc. then ensure to keep all vendors in loop from the start of the project.

8. Data Governance- Ensure availability of data, its accuracy, completeness & manage its velocity, variety & volume.

9. Collaborate With HR Function – Your people & skills may need adjusting as a result of the finance transformation project. Make sure HR is informed of your upcoming project and how this is likely to impact your hiring process & ideal future candidates

10. Establish Benchmarks & Baselines- You need to ensure you can prove ROI at the end to demonstrate the real value to both senior leadership & other stakeholders. You need to determine what metrics will you use to measure project success & how you will measure its progress.

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Author : Muhammad Zeeshan Taqi

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