“Financial excellence” is having processes in place to confidently make decisions regarding matters that significantly impact cash-flow and profitability of your business, on a timely basis.
To achieve financial excellence, one has to identify risks, search for opportunities and set clear expectations. For each aspect certain methods and prerequisites are important and should be applied:
Enabling to quantify risks:
- The first challenge is to create an overview of all existing and potential risks throughout the financial process of a company. It is recommended to analyze, summarize and align all identified risks with the involved stakeholders in a standard “Risk Management Tool”. Try to evaluate every single risk with impact potential on time, money and criticality.
- After you finalized the tool, it is time to take the next step from passive to active Risk Management. This includes establishing a weekly/monthly/annual reporting structure, a clear defined communication plan and the development of contingency plans in form of decision proposals to the management.
- After getting the responsible management involved into all available risk scenarios, there are two possible outcomes: Either they approve, partially approve or decline your contingency plans (e.g. budget reasons). In any case, it is now your job to do whatever is in your power to mitigate the identified risks and to keep continuous communication running, regarding the outcomes, to all involved stakeholders.
Enabling to quantify opportunities:
- In order to recognize opportunities, throughout the entire financial process, it is essential to capture, analyze and evaluate the crucial financial information & data over a defined period of time. It is recommended to visualize the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). There are numerous tools and methods to do so, for example financial dashboards, cockpits or balanced scorecards.
- After evaluating the KPIs, different scenarios should be created and implemented in order to optimize the financial process. Don’t forget to always keep all involved stakeholders up to date.
- It is surely necessary to highlight the main stream of any scenario or plan, but most importantly a holistic approach for growth and profitability is vital, to get a realistic view on the financial excellence vision. So, keep in mind to always deliver a finalized end-to-end approach.
Enabling to set clear expectations
- On the way to financial excellence, clear targets and objectives must be set and aligned with all stakeholders to ensure common understanding about the goals. The most effective way to do so is by creating a holistic project plan for the entire optimization and implementation process. Do not forget to define responsibilities behind each of your project tasks and keep the communication flow with the project team.
- With the finalization and the management approval of the Financial Excellence project plan, you must motivate the staff to focus on the project. A dedicated growth story serves as the basis for a clear vision and strategy.
- However, such a project can only be achieved through passion throughout the entire company, so remember to keep highlighting your achieved goals and the generated project success. In the best case you can launch a small incentive program as a reward.
I-tec consulting has developed a modular approach to support companies, to implement the required processes to achieve their financial excellence goals, providing years of experience and knowledge to the customer. A key factor is the close and transparent collaboration and communication with the involved parties.