CFO.com: Some companies tap the finance department mostly for raising capital, closing books, and implementing controls. And it’s true, of course, that a key function of finance is ensuring accurate reporting and preservation of capital and assets.
However, the CFO and his or her team can and should be a partner to the CEO when it comes to developing strategy — and, more importantly, executing it.
Most CEOs know how to create a strategy and are using some form of strategy map or guide. Often, the difficulty lies in the execution. Implementation breakdowns can be traced to the following challenges:
- Communication of strategy to middle managers and line workers
- Definition of success
- Resource allocation
- Incentive alignment
- Transparency and accountability
Effective strategic execution needs, first and foremost, a performance-based culture — one in which transparency and accountability are the norm, data is trusted and relied upon, and everyone in the organization is aligned to the company’s mission.
The finance department is typically the keeper of the metrics and measures, understands the value of data integrity, and is very good at “getting stuff done.” This makes finance the de-facto driving force for creating the performance-based culture, and for ensuring that the critical initiatives are completed in accordance to the timeline established.
In addition to creating a performance-based culture, companies need to look beyond the typical financial KPIs.