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Accenture believes that finance can deliver high value to the energy company by becoming a strategic business partner to the business. This partnership is achieved by transforming finance’s activities through what we call horizons of financial maturity.
Our research finds that mastering the finance basics alone does not lead to competitive advantage for the enterprise. The cutting edge of difference comes when finance excels at activities that contribute the most value to the energy company: supporting business growth; managing data as an asset; providing superior analytics; acting as a change agent; and taking a leading role in risk management, trading and capital projects. At this step, which we call Horizon 4, finance becomes a trusted strategic partner in the company’s drive for high performance.
As finance organizations progress from mastering the basics toward strategic business partnering, they move up a maturity curve of increasing efficiency and value. Accenture has defined stages, or ‘horizons,’ of this finance transformation journey:
Horizon 1: Basic – Delivering Quality Back Office At Horizon 1 of the transformation journey, the focus is within finance and accounting (F&A)—addressing critical skill gaps and cleaning up the processes, master data and related support networks that primarily affect the day-to-day business of the finance function.
Horizon 2: Emerging – Supporting Business Growth At this stage, the focus is on transforming the activities of the finance organization to support the anticipated and ongoing growth of the business while still addressing costs.
Horizon 3: Competitive – Competitively Optimizing the BusinessAt Horizon 3 of the transformation journey, finance addresses the information coming into the finance and accounting (F&A) organization—as well as the information finance provides to the business at large. There is a focus on working with sources feeding into the F&A services to ensure that the information is of maximum value to the organization.
Horizon 4: Leading – Strategic Business Partnering At this stage, the finance organization engages in a collection of activities and capabilities that make them full strategic partners in the business.
Taken together, horizons 1 to 3 build the organization towards the strategic business partnering relationship.
Accenture has identified seven important elements of strategic business partnering:
Scott PharrExecutive director–Energy Accenture
Doug GrovesExecutive director–Finance & Performance Management, Energy Accenture
Nicole TranchitellaExecutive director–Finance & Enterprise Performance Accenture
Elisabeth ChambonManager–Finance & Performance Management Accenture
November 6, 2012
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