What business management tools can offer the Director of Finance: challenges and developments to the role
Business management software is generally associated with three management positions: general, finance, and IT systems. In fact, the Director of Finance is becoming more and more involved in the choice and roll out of ERP software, by checking that the chosen solution corresponds to the company’s strategy and aims. What, then, does business management software offer to the finance role?
Rolling out an ERP solution at a company means that you can access all the company data in real time, whilst benefiting from a level of access which eliminates duplicate entries and reduces the risk of error. Productivity is therefore increased, and employees have more time for tasks with a higher added value. Data processing is also faster and dashboards can be consulted directly, particularly from mobile devices.
The Director of Finance (DoF) holds an important position in the company’s transition to digital because they are the ones who will eventually decide on the budgets which will be allocated. It is precisely this transition which will come to play an important role in the development of the finance role which will become more “horizontal” in the near future.
The DoF used to have more of a control and analysis role, whilst at the same time contributing to the company’s strategic management. In terms of accounting and finances, the role was certainly demanding. Today, the job is moving towards other responsibilities. The automation of tasks and procedures has an impact on the role already. It is humans who are at the heart of this change: Directors of Finance are being asked to identify sticking points and to find solutions to overcome them. They now have to develop a global and objective company mission which goes beyond the skills of a financial analyst. The DoF needs to have conversations with other departments and be more involved in HR processes.
With an ERP, the role of the DoF isn’t simply limited to using data but choosing key figures, creating dashboards and making the raw data comprehensible for everyone at the company in their horizontal roles. Because of the ERP, the DoF becomes a real communicator of financial data, responsible for sending round this information internally. They become more forward-thinking. Sent to the DoF on an automatic basis, yesterday’s data can be used to predict the data of tomorrow.
All jobs within the finance occupation will change with this digital transition. The DoF will have multi-role, multi-skilled colleagues who speak digital and have an analytical mindset. No-one will be limited to a single, specific role like before.
A business management solution will develop finance roles towards a more collaborative, predictive mode of working.