Now…. Now. Now!
Life, right? People want answers and they don’t want to wait. It used to be that a finance team had a structured 9-to-5 with tasks that were completed on a regular routine. Often providing a review and a current standing (that becomes out of date the next day) of the financial status of the company. These reviews looked at lengthy periods of time and were used to forecast the next 6 months to a year.
Today, business moves faster than ever. With the technology and analytics a company can have in place, businesses are able to conduct immediate transactions, analyze customers in real time, and personalize a live experience tailored to that individual. It’s all done through the power of data and our instant access to it. And it has created a monster of an expectation around data availability that all departments now need to live up to.
The New Speed of Business
Seconds. That’s how long a customer’s attention span is, how long a transaction takes, and how fast you have to react. The more that businesses can operate in real time, the easier it is to keep pace and make those split second decisions.
Get Back to the Future
As more data than ever has started to pour into the finance department, the workflows in place have gotten bogged down and become irrelevant. It’s time to start focusing on the future and that’s only going to be done by being able to process data faster as it happens.
Prioritize for the Biggest Impact
No team is capable of doing everything. It’s up to you to prioritize your team’s activities so that they are focused on providing the most value to the company. This will put the team into a position to get ahead and really make an impact on how the business is operating.
Change the Mindset of the Company
As the team shifts towards a proactive process, it’s important to realign the expectations from influencers and stakeholders as well. The whole company needs to be onboard in order to fully make the switch. Start by proving out your process changes by showing the value that you can add to the decision making process. Also make sure that you share your team’s priorities and the strategy behind them. This will help sway the mindset and drive the proactive workflow changes over the finish line.
In the new speed of business, a proactive finance team is the difference between providing meaningful value to in the moment decision making and it requires real process change. Making the process switch to a proactive finance team completely revolves around the availability of data and what data you focus on. The end goal is to make a positive impact with the data you collect. The more real time your data is and the faster you can process it, the bigger the impact will be. Focusing on implementing tools that use real time data and also finding ways to integrate all of your systems is the paramount to creating a proactive finance process.