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The world is becoming more complex and unpredictable as supply chains lengthen and customers flex their muscles. As the finance function is responsible for funding growth and managing expenses, it has a central role to play in navigating this fast-changing business environment and ultimately enabling high performance.
However, today’s finance functions may not be equipped to meet the demands of this new role. What is required is a new generation of finance. Accenture explores what CFOs must do in order to create strong, flexible and scalable global operating models for finance. Key elements in this transformation are a renewed focus on four areas:
From the CFO’s point of view, globalization has not created a level playing field, as argued by Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat. Divergent economic growth rates, distinctive consumer preferences, varied competitive environments, and different currencies, cultures, tax regimes and regulations require strategies, management processes and operating models that can adapt to diverse and volatile market environments. Furthermore, the degree to which organizations now are connected to the rest of the world is demanding new approaches to management—particularly in the finance function.
Success depends on the finance function’s ability to navigate this diverse marketplace.
To help the larger organization win in a dynamic global marketplace, finance must embrace a new scope focused on growth and operational excellence, and it must generate value well beyond the walls of the finance department.
At a minimum, finance must help provide assurance regarding the integrity and accuracy of accounting statements, while ensuring compliance with diverse global financial regulations, including statutory reporting, tax rules, and risk management requirements. Of course, finance also must provide efficient management of cash and capital resources and deliver high-quality finance services at optimal cost.
Positioning finance to add such value demands excellence in four areas:
A balanced focus on cost control and growth.
A repeatable acquisition integration capability.
Performance management processes that adapt to changing market conditions.
Finance talent that is deployed for maximum value by liberating finance professionals from low-value activities.
October 9, 2012
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