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 [PDF 150 KB]
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 [PDF 150 KB]
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 Business [PDF 151 KB]
At Horizon 3 of the transformation journey, finance addresses the information coming into the 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 [PDF 795 KB]
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 toward the strategic business partnering relationship.