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What’s stopping Finance teams from achieving the full potential of transformation?

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Transformation is an over-used word these days, and in many organisations is fast becoming synonymous with a never-ending drain on money and people. Veran’s Finance team has been trying to understand why this is the case, and how organisations can tread the path of transformation without falling off a cliff...



One interesting aspect of Finance transformations is the common misconception that Cloud technology will provide an instant solution to modernising the Finance function. Colleagues in this area are attracted by the automation and reporting available in a modern Finance solution – and rightly so, these do help - but may not fully appreciate the level of process and behavioural change that also comes with adopting 'out of the box’ Cloud based solutions.


This often comes to light when organisations try to move from heavily custom-built systems to a standardised Cloud solution, whereby certain behaviours and disciplines are required to maximise the opportunities of the technology.


In this series of blogs, we’ll provide more detail and examples of how these challenges often materialise during a Finance transformation, through the four lenses of People, Process, Policy and Technology. Below is a quick summary of what’s to come in each:


People

For any transformation journey looking to create synergies and value, it’s important to have your people on board; we’ve all been in situations where the fear of the unknown excites strategic individuals but disheartens process-driven ones, right? Engagement across Finance – and beyond – is critical to driving cultural change.


In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into the key challenges faced by organisations undertaking such transformations and share how our clients have successfully navigated the changes within the wider organisation, including what transformation means to the Finance function and the mix of roles and skills required.


Process

A lot of clients developed their Finance processes over time due to a need to react to the changing requirements of operations. This can lead to an unconscious adoption of sub-optimal practices to accommodate wider business needs, which can be problematic when implementation of SaaS solutions is part of a transformation as they work best when as much ‘out of the box’ thinking is adopted as possible.


In our Process blog, we’ll bring to light the areas where Finance colleagues need to adjust their mindset and think about working differently in order to adopt optimal processes.


Policy

When it comes to adopting ‘out of the box’ processes, a lot of Finance colleagues use current policy as the reason why custom builds are required. Policy changes may require careful consideration - but that shouldn’t be a reason not to transform (so long as the need for a policy change is flagged early enough in the transformation process). In our blog on Policy, you’ll get an understanding of the need and rationale for doing the right level of preparatory activity before selecting and implementing your tech.


Technology

As above, and throughout, a common thread through all our blogs is the role of Technology. And while it’s been proven to transform many areas of the Finance function and deliver significant improvements to an organisation’s financial and risk profile, the issue arises when an organisation tries to use modern technology with a ‘lift and shift’ mindset.


In our Technology blog, we’ll provide examples of why this doesn’t work well and actually significantly reduces the value of the transformation. We’ll explain some of the common misconceptions and challenges regarding design, data and testing, so you can avoid the same pitfalls.


What else?

With the pace of technological innovation and constant monitoring of developments, expert knowledge is needed to understand current market offerings and which solution will best fit an organisation’s needs. It’s important that you have a trusted partner in your transformation journey that is both experienced and unbiased as it provides an opportunity to assess the true value of the transformation, holding yourself and your teams accountable to make sure it happens, smoothly.


In our future blogs, you can dive deeper into each of our four lenses and read about learnings that the Veran’s finance transformation experts have had, so that you can incorporate best practice into your transformation project. And if you have any questions or would like to find out more in the meantime, you can get in touch with the team here, who can put you in touch with one of our Finance Transformation Experts.


We also run regular social, networking and learning events for our Finance Transformation Community, and would love to have you involved. Bookmark this page and check back to see when the next event is happening.

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