The CFO as strategic partner: from insights to actions

Mar 02, 2022
  • finance

The CFO is sitting on a gold mine when it comes to relevant data. However, in reality, many organisations fail to translate their finance department’s valuable insights into concrete actions that will boost business. When armed with the expertise and supporting technology, the CFO can play a vital role in supporting the business strategy.

Data alone is not enough

In the heavily-regulated finance department, there is little room for error. As a result, the quality of the data and insights derived from it is very high. But insights alone are not enough: they need to serve as input for the business strategy and must be broken down into concrete action plans at all levels of the organisation. The result is strategy-oriented behaviour and better outcomes.

But how can you change employee behaviour across the organisation? Involve employees beyond the core finance team. Imagine a company with a large number of clients. With the right tools, the finance department can determine which clients creates the bulk of value for the business and which ones might be unfavourable (due to a higher cost-to-serve).

Creating value together

In our experience, account managers need to re-organise themselves to dedicate more time and effort on the more profitable customers and focus less in those with a higher cost-to-serve.

Strategy co-creation is key

The key to getting these account managers – and everyone else in the organisation – on board is to participate and invite them to co-create the finance strategy. In fact, a fundamental part of developing the business strategy lies in answering this question: “How can we create value together?” Establishing such a dialogue helps employees internalise these insights and that is when they are motivated that their effort will make a difference. People embrace what they have created!

No longer just an 'information provider'

In doing so, it is possible to transform your finance department from merely an information provider into a truly dynamic motivational driver. It is a golden opportunity to establish a unity of vision that will excel your organisation to the next level.

from our experience, account managers need to re-organise themselves to dedicate more time on profitable customers and less in those with a higher cost-to-serve

How might delaware help?

In the new generation of finance controlling and reporting, we gel finance and business together by:

  • enabling the finance department to provide the business with information and new insights relevant for decision-making
  • supporting the business to motivate managers to use these newly derived insights to develop new business strategies, reach consensus and alignment
  • translating business strategies into action plans at different levels of the organisational structure
  • helping businesses create the most appropriate and enabling performance measures to monitor improvements in strategic and financial performance. 

This way, insights are effectively translated into strategy-oriented behaviour and tangible outcomes.

The delaware next-level control process is essentially a continual (plan-do-check-act) activity. By infusing performance management into the organisation's DNA, it becomes a source of competitive advantage. 

delaware’s highly experienced strategic control experts act as the trusted partners of the CFO, the CEO and functional and/or business unit managers to accelerate strategic renewal and turn information and new insights into business value.

Add greater value to the CFO office