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Finance as a strategic partner can add value to the energy enterprise

Read Accenture's corporate finance report and learn how finance can add higher value to the energy enterprise by becoming a strategic partner to the business.

Overview

Accenture believes that finance can deliver high value to the energy company by becoming a strategic partner to the business. This partnership is achieved by transforming finance’s activities through what we call horizons of financial maturity.

 

Download PDFRead the report [PDF 795 KB]

Background

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.

Analysis

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:

 

Download PDFHorizon 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.

 

Download PDFHorizon 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.

 

Download PDFHorizon 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.

 

Download PDFHorizon 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.

Recommendations

Accenture has identified seven important elements of strategic business partnering:

  • Talent management

  • Investment appraisal

  • Business advisory capability

  • Using analytics as a competitive advantage

  • Infusing the enterprise with a value creation mindset

  • Decision support for investment in operational improvement

  • Enhanced system and process capability through continuous improvement

Authors

Scott Pharr
Executive director–Energy Accenture

Doug Groves
Executive director–Finance and Performance Management, Energy, Accenture

Nicole Tranchitella
Executive director–Finance and Enterprise Performance, Accenture

Elisabeth Chambon
Manager–Finance and Performance Management, Accenture