Finance teams are in a great position. They have well qualified, hard working and committed people.
The foundations are in place to make a big contribution to the business.
Sometimes that happens. Sometimes teams are just plodding along, doing the basics well,
What about your team?
If your finance team is not making the kind of impact that it could, what can you do about it?
Start with a big question
Let me ask you why your team exists. I’ve posed this question to many groups.
Most respond in terms of the activities they do. Perhaps not surprising.
On the other hand what’s the bigger reason why your team exists?
The industry or sector in which you work will be a factor.
As a minimum I would say to make the business more successful.
What about your team?
Create the right environment
This scenario might be familiar. You hire good people then you try to micro manage them.
After a while people disengage, do the minimum and depart on time.
The environment that you create makes a difference.
Is the environment that you create encouraging people to be creative? Is it supportive? Does it give people the freedom to do their best work?
Or is it environment of doing what you are told, doing the basics well and not showing any initiative?
Find out what the business really wants
One of the first things I always did when I joined a new team was to suggest a survey of the business.
It’s a really fast way of getting insights into what the business really wants.
You will also discover what’s working and what’s not.
These days it’s never been easier to set up a simple online survey.
Create time for the added value activities
One common thing I hear from Finance teams is they don’t have the time to make the kind of impact they would like.
Usually it’s because they are spending way too much time on the important but routine activities.
Sometimes it’s because there are too many work arounds because systems have been bolted together.
Often what’s required is a critical and objective look at where people are spending time.
Recording time over a quarter will tell a lot about the percentage of productive compared to unproductive or non productive time.
Reviewing processes and eliminating non value adding activities makes a difference.
In truth finance teams have the potential to make a big impact
So what action are you going to take to help your team make a bigger impact?