How well aligned are Finance and Operations in your organization? If your company is like many others, the answer is probably - "not so much."A recent podcast called, "The Rise of the Ops Executive," delved into the link between finance and operations. In an interview with Ian Charles, CFO of Host Analytics, Charles explained why aligning finance and operations is essential for business success.
Looking Toward the Future
Integrating finance and operations will
provide a clearer view of a company's future.
Anticipating and predicting future trends is imperative for all successful businesses. According to Ian Charles, cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM) software makes it easier to pin down future trends, resulting in greater accuracy in forecasting. It has a single platform for consolidating all company data, offering a single source of truth that will bolster company insights. It can improve the accuracy and reliability of business data, so forecasts are more reliable and inform smarter business decisions. In addition, it provides tools for advanced data analysis, so companies can gain greater insights from their data than before.
How to Deploy Talent Effectively
The deployment methodology for talent will vary among businesses and CFOs. However, Charles says he prefers to start with the hiring process. Businesses need to source the best talent and employ people who possess the critical skill sets that will advance the goals of the organization. Furthermore, it's important to hire versatile staff members that are capable of taking on tasks from other departments, while managing financial tasks as well. This will allow finance and other departments to integrate, resulting in more synchronicity between finance and operations.
It will also create a closer partnership between finance and other facets of the organization, helping to bridge the gap and create a more unified vision for the company as a whole. By increasing the collaboration of departments, businesses can gain a clearer view of the organization, including the primary drivers of business, the revenue sources, the product lines, the customer base, and more. The biggest piece of advice Charles has for other CFOs is to begin with baby steps and bring about change incrementally, moving on to larger pieces as the integration process progresses.
Driving the Success of CFOs
When asked what has driven his personal career success, Charles casually remarked, "I'm a triathlete," going on to explain that his Type A personality gave him the ambition and drive needed to tackle the multiple facets of his job title. He uses his morning exercise routine as an opportunity to reflect on his workday ahead and consider what's working for the company and what isn't.
Other Productivity Tools
Financial and operational integration provides
the insights needed to make smarter financial decisions.
Businesses shouldn't only be looking at improving the efficiency and performance of finance. Other tools can enhance the efficiency of their business model as well. In the podcast, Charles says that, aside from cloud EPM software, his favorite productivity tool is teleconferencing. Its ability to connect people from all over the world, make it easier to share information, and encourage communication and collaboration among colleagues, makes it incredibly useful in the business world.
Priorities for CFOs
Prioritizing and goal setting are integral aspects of strategically steering businesses in a positive direction. Charles, being Type A by nature, has already planned his business goals for the next 12 months. His main goal is to continually add value to all of his CEOs decisions and provide his CEO with the best information that will aid business growth.
He's also focused on expansion, and eagerly planning when and where to open a new office. With the help of his Cloud EPM Suite, he can accurately model the financial impact of expansion to help determine future locations, the future client base, future investment capital, and other key factors that will reduce the risks involved with expansion.
According to Charles, the primary role of a CFO is to serve as a co-pilot to the CEO. By uniting the goals of finance with the overall organization, CFOs can make smarter decisions and provide better information to CEOs, allowing the CEO to steer the business toward success.
Cloud-based EPM software offers a unified and centralized solution that makes it easy to integrate finance and organization. With a single dashboard that consolidates all business data, companies can find that single source of truth that will establish the current state of their business, allowing them to alter their business strategy as needed and lead their business more effectively.
To learn more, listen to "The Rise of the Ops Executive" podcast.