Transforming Your Finance Team into a Trusted Advisor: Practical Steps for Impactful Results

The finance function has come a long way from being a mere numbers game. In today’s dynamic business landscape, finance professionals have a golden opportunity to step up and become proactive agents of change, leveraging their expertise to provide valuable insights that drive better decision-making. To transform into a trusted corporate advisor, your finance team should focus on the following strategic priorities:

    1. Ensuring Compliance Through Proactive Risk Management. As a trusted advisor, the finance team should actively identify potential compliance risks and develop mitigation strategies. They should implement robust internal controls, conduct regular audits, and provide guidance to other departments to ensure adherence to compliance standards. By championing compliance, the finance team builds trust and credibility throughout the organization. This not only keeps your organization on the right side of the law but also safeguards its reputation.Driving Effective Corporate Governance. Strong corporate governance is the foundation of a well-run organization. Your finance team plays a crucial role in promoting and maintaining effective governance practices. They should actively participate in the development and implementation of governance policies, such as financial reporting procedures, risk management frameworks, and internal controls.The finance team should collaborate with the board and senior management to enhance governance practices. They should establish clear financial reporting guidelines, implement a robust risk management framework, and ensure transparency in financial operations. By doing so, the team demonstrates the organization’s commitment to sound governance principles, and in the process enhances stakeholders’ confidence and supports the board and senior management in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities.Unleashing the Power of Performance Measurement and Management. Beyond managing financial transactions, your finance team should focus on performance measurement and management. By closely analyzing financial data and key performance indicators (KPIs), they can provide insights into the organization’s financial health and overall performance.The finance team should develop sophisticated reporting tools that go beyond basic financial statements. They should collaborate with other departments to establish performance benchmarks, track progress, and identify areas for improvement. For instance, they may analyze sales data to identify underperforming units and recommend strategies to optimize resource allocation. This data-driven approach empowers leaders to make informed decisions that drive business success.
    In order to effectively fulfill the above strategic priorities, the finance team should also invest in continuous professional development, staying abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and evolving best practices. By leveraging advanced financial tools and embracing digital transformation, the team can streamline processes, enhance analytical capabilities, and deliver actionable insights in a timely manner.By prioritizing compliance, corporate governance, and performance measurement and management, the finance team will transform into a trusted advisor. This transformation not only enhances the team’s value within the organization but also positions it as a credible source of guidance and expertise for key stakeholders. As trusted advisors, finance professionals can duly guide decision-making processes and foster a culture of financial excellence throughout the organization, supporting overall growth and business success.About the author:
    Gemma Gaerlan, CPA, CMA, CPM is the Chief Finance Officer of Eastvantage. She has a wealth of experience, having served in senior leadership and consulting roles in Finance & Accounting, Audit, Law & Taxation, Service Delivery, Operational Excellence, Internal Business Controls, Change Management, Project Management, Internal & External Risk Management, Business Continuity Planning, and other domains for over 20 years. Gemma is a transformational leader who builds high performing teams and drives people culture, values, and relationships. She is also an inspirational speaker and considers herself a mentor with a big heart.Eastvantage provides customized finance and accounting support services. Find out more about our outsourcing solutions and the successes we’ve helped our partners achieve.