A 3-wave roadmap towards a future-proof finance department

Finance Transformation Roadmap

delaware’s digital finance transformation roadmap helps finance departments step out of their islands and become strategic business partners that add true value to their business in today’s increasingly digital era. The roadmap consists of three waves aimed at raising the efficiency (wave 1), effectiveness (wave 2) and added value (wave 3) generated by the finance function.

Digital transformation rewrites the rules of business. Yet, it takes much more than a forward-looking IT department to drive digital transformation. The role of the CFO is changing dramatically, too: finance must report on the past, manage today and anticipate the future, working closely together with colleagues in all other departments to deliver the insights they need to make decisions rapidly. Who takes the lead in this change, how does this impact your organizational structure and (how) can technology help?

5 key transformation challenges for the CFO

Finance Transformation Roadmap

Most finance departments have their operational and financial responsibilities well covered. But this is no longer enough. They must take up new roles and responsibilities, facing the following transformation challenges:

 

  • Redefining KPIs
    Cash flow, EBITDA and other balance sheet details are not enough to understand how a company is faring. To determine their future strategies and business models, businesses need metrics like customer profitability and equity, brand equity, customer life time value, etc. 
  • Ensuring always-on data access
    Valuable data about customers, channels and products should not be dotted throughout the company or locked away in siloes. It must be readily available to the people who need it, when they need it and on whatever device. In other words, data, as well as its availability – even its presentation – has to be reorganized. 
  • Turning data into insights
    Determining the right KPIs requires a deep understanding of the business. To get the most out of the data and turn it into actionable insight, today’s finance teams need ample analytical skills, too. 
  • Onboarding the right people
    As finance is about much more than numbers and results, it requires a great deal of people skills. Finance departments need empathetic, creative people who can connect with colleagues in operations, sales and marketing, report to management, cut the knots whenever needed and realize that they can set trends rather than simply following them.
  • Freeing people from repetitive tasks
    To give finance professionals space to collect and analyze data, collaborate and think, they must be freed from repetitive tasks. Automation can help e.g. through the installation of a rule-based exception-handling center in the cloud, through Robotic Process Automation, etc.

A roadmap is a must these days, as the pace of transformation is increasing in every industry.

 

Actions on many different levels

For years, there has been a lot of discussion about the CFO’s changing role and how they – and their teams – should become business partners. Yet despite that understanding, we see that most finance departments are still struggling to embrace their new roles and responsibilities. Understandable, as it requires actions on different levels to make the shift from capturing and reporting results to becoming a true business partner that focusses on long-term value creation: from leveraging the latest technology and carrying out organizational change to learning new skills or hiring new people.

Three transformation waves

delaware helps customers move towards a finance office that creates value for the business. Our 3-wave transformation model illustrates how a company can evolve from focusing on operational aspects that increase efficiency to using smart tools that create true value. Based on this model, we help companies define their own roadmap towards becoming fully future-proof:

 

  • Wave 1 focuses on efficiency: we help customers understand how they can streamline finance, optimizing the operational aspects of accounting, budgeting, costing and reporting. Here, finance is seen as a ‘must-do’ as it mainly concerns legal compliance and basic reporting. Wave 1, where most companies currently sit, is closely linked to the ERP implementations in the past.
  • Wave 2 takes finance one step further, exploring ways to increase its effectiveness: we introduce next-level controlling. By extending the year-end closing with continuous accounting and soft closes, for example, or by introducing cost-to- serve concepts, driver-based modeling and management reporting, our customers gain insights into how their businesses evolve over time. 
  • Wave 3 focuses on value creation: we truly transform finance to help it create value for the business by introducing robo-accounting (RPA) in finance processes, by harnessing innovative technology, such as SAP integrated business planning and performance reporting,next-generation business intelligence solutions (Microsoft PowerBI) enabling real time right time reporting and much more.

How can we help?

Based on our three-wave model, we can help you define your roadmap towards future-proof finance. Whether you want us to review and smooth your operational processes, or you have a full-blown ERP system in place and want to learn about next-level controlling, we will tailor the roadmap to meet your needs and expectations. As seasoned finance, controlling and ICT consultants, we can

  • assess your business needs and design solutions
  • provide advice based on industry best practices
  • give training sessions (workshops, refresher courses)
  • identify the right technological solutions and architecture
  • implement technology
  • ensure integration with your existing systems

More than that, we increasingly offer advice and solutions that help companies bridging the gap between finance and controlling.

Why choose delaware?

  • Our down-to-earth approach inspires companies to set up successful strategic roadmaps
  • We take a proven, agile, structured approach
  • We offer end-to-end solutions from concept to realization and support
  • We collaborate closely with your team
  • We have +15 years of experience in finance transformation across numerous industries