“Ensuring the finance team, resources, skills and organisation can deliver outstanding service in each of the key finance areas.”

In three of my four corporate CFO roles it was necessary to rebuild, significantly reinforce, or even build from scratch the finance team to meet the changing needs of the business.   In these medium sized organisations with numerous operating locations there was rarely a large, mobile finance talent pool to draw on.  Often historical knowledge of the business and processes is concentrated in a few people who may be nervous of the coming change and need new skills.  I have been proud frequently to be able to coach and promote existing team members to success in new more senior roles.  Where change has been necessary a clear vision of the Finance Function Strategy, personal track record and enthusiasm have enabled me to attract skilled and talented individuals into the team.

I would generally prefer to see the finance resources working in the business and for the business “challenging and supporting”, rather than exercising policing and quasi-auditing functions from headquarters.  This is a far more effective way to support the business, but requires local finance managers to have a strong understanding they also have a duty of control and an effective open reporting line to the CFO whenever needed.  The design of the finance organisation must go hand in hand with the Risk Management environment, and some situations may not make this approach appropriate.

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