Finance Blog | 12 October 2017

Lead your business out of the dark ages

Your financial future is looking good!

For many financial professionals, the task of producing their company’s financial reports is both a painstaking and stressful process. This is often due to outdated systems meaning that the risk of errors is ever looming. In the last few years alone, we have seen how dramatic the effects of spreadsheet errors can be, both in terms of job security and cost to the business; Mouchel and its £4.3 million profits write down fiasco is a prime example.

To those on the inside of this process, the issues are clear, but sometimes it’s not as simple for senior management to understand. This article is aimed at helping you convince these decision makers that change is needed. You don’t want to waste time and resources preparing to pitch an idea for a project, only to be shot down and have to return to antiquated processes. So, here are our top tips to get the nod from senior management:

Collaborate and Listen

Some of the most successful projects from conception to implementation have had the support of individuals on multiple levels of the business, from eventual end users to those within the IT department. The more people within the business who feel included and valued in the project, the more they will strive to support your ideas and overcome obstacles together.

It can be useful to find yourself an advocate for change who holds a reasonably senior position, remind them that innovators get noticed as organisations grow and evolve. Each of these people will help bring a different perspective and their own experience into the mix.

Link to Company Goals

 If you work within a particularly acquisitive or fast growing company, then change and expansion are always on the horizon. Show how the change will allow for continued progress towards company goals and allow for long term expansion. Even pose the question: what will happen otherwise if the company infrastructure does not facilitate growth?

Focus on ROI

Without a doubt, the people you will be pitching your idea to are business savvy professionals with a head for numbers. It’s important to explain to them how they will see a return on their investment. One way to do this is to breakdown the cost into something more tangible for them, such as how many paid man hours need to be saved per week in order for the investment to pay for itself. In most cases, this is a very achievable number making it an attractive prospect.

It can also be beneficial to demonstrate how CPM systems are helping save money and time for others, perhaps even competitors or those in similar industries. There are a handful of case studies to help you on the Talentia website.

If you’d like tips on what to include in a compelling business case for change within your finance department, you’ll find a link to our webinar “A better way for finance to Excel” here