How High-Performing Organizations Empower Financial Analysts
We all hate inefficiency. Whether it is on a personal or a company scale, there is nothing worse than time and effort put into workloads that quickly become invalid. Yet, various kinds of inefficiencies are exactly what under-performing finance teams come up against when they spend too much time dealing with disconnected systems and processes, and a lack of real-time information.
Empowered Financial Analysts move with agility and are able to keep pace in a rapidly changing, globalized world. We interviewed top CFO’s from large cap companies and here are the five things high-performing organizations do to empower financial analysts.
1. Automate And Improve Workflows
It’s critical for Finance leaders to tackle ingrained and inefficient processes first. High-performing organizations are not wasting time on labor-intensive tasks or struggling with financial planning and reporting processes that are inflexible or quickly invalid.
By building reliable, automated processes and connected financial planning workflows you can bring speed and agility to your organization. This helps decision makers gain confidence in the reliability of their reporting and allows accountants and analysts to redirect their efforts from ‘report building and preparation steps’ to analyzing their business, empowering Financial Analysts to be strategic leaders.
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Automation frees up resources, so your team can find time to focus on key performance drivers. Enabling extra time for value-added analysis and providing the tools for increased efficiency and ongoing skill development can be a big empowerment for Financial Analysts and the entire organization.
2. Align Technology To Digitize The Workplace
It is no longer sustainable for Financial Analysts to struggle with the technologies of yesterday in the increasingly digitized workplace.
Research from Gartner has found that with an effective Corporate Performance Management (CPM) technology solution, finance teams can feel confidence in the reliability of their reporting and be empowered in their roles. CPM is the essential technology for enterprise efficiency. Having one intelligent finance platform provides the opportunity to focus on decision-making and analysis, allowing Financial Analysts to put their time to much better use.
One of the biggest challenges for organizations is getting front-line Financial Analysts to partner with operations and simply use the insights garnered in their daily decision making. You can have the all right tools and technology in place, but some Financial Analysts are still resistant to incorporating advanced analytics and technology into their day-to-day workflow.
3. Drive Adoption To Derive Value
Find out what’s behind the hesitation. Encourage Analysts to ‘get their hands dirty’ with simulation drills and forecasting exercises to become comfortable mining the data and analyzing trends. Some Financial Analysts will need extra ‘practice’ before gaining trust in the data, but eventually will grow more fluent using new technology until deriving value and analyzing trends becomes second nature.
Empower Financial Analysts to make data-driven decisions by providing the tools to analyze and a communication platform to share findings. Finance and Operational leaders should be consistent in setting expectations for finance teams to provide forward-looking analytics and actionable insights
4. Ensure Cross-Functional Collaboration
Efficient finance teams cut down on time-consuming processes by working cross-functionally with other departments. It's essential to break silos and get project teams at every level to trust and value one another. Encourage teams to share ideas and focus on external versus internal competition. When you break down the walls between different parts of the organization you stand to gain insights that will eventually lead to improved financial planning and reporting.
High-performing finance teams are better able to make adjustments in real-time that help to highlight variances before financial close, and they can also go above and beyond their usual reporting duties by collaborating with peers and adding to corporate strategies, which helps to drive innovation and leads to ongoing business growth.
5. Involve Analysts In Overall Strategy
A policy of involving the entire finance team in the overall strategy offers a higher chance of success because Financial Analysts are more likely to hold themselves accountable when they understand the broader goals of their organization.
Senior leaders can start by communicating long term vision and suggesting where to improve finance processes, but not how. Financial Analysts who feel they understand the overall strategy are more likely to improve their performance and optimize their potential.
Companies who empower their Financial Analysts see major changes in their business which leads to greater efficiency and productivity.
If you'd like to speak with the author, Valerie York, Director, CPM Applications or to learn more about Tevpro's expertise in automating and optimizing finance processes, reach out to us.
Who we are (Tevpro)
Tevpro is a trusted technology partner for the modern CFO. We help organizations realize maximum value from their technology investments to transform the role of finance from reactive to proactive.
We provide implementation support and technical guidance for all major CPM vendors—including Oracle and OneStream software—to automate and optimize your business processes and make your work simpler and more efficient.