“A clear mission for the finance function, ensuring the fundamentals, but adapted to the specific needs of each business at that point in time, and determining the areas for change and improvement.”

I have implemented a “Finance Supporting Strategy” methodology a number of times to assess and agree what the mission of the finance function of a business with its stakeholders.  It is a very powerful way to identify and agree objectives and criteria for success, communicate the vision within the business, and agree and monitor the priorities, projects and initiatives:

  • During a preparation and agreement phase, which involves the key finance and associated teams (eg IT), operational management and the board, the Finance Supporting Strategy is a great way of assessing the finance skills and awareness of those groups and individuals
  • Once the key aims and objectives have been identified it becomes easy to identify the gaps and necessary projects, initiatives and priorities.  Thereafter, the Finance Supporting Strategy provides a simple reminder of the direction and principles that were agreed
  • Finally, the Finance Supporting Strategy allows for a simple and clear communication of progress and challenges. Behind the overview, project and programme management can be added as necessary, using the existing toolset of the business.

An example of a finance supporting strategy overview of objectives and actions is here.

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