In business the value of a high performing sales team is recognised and applauded; they are seen as the life blood of an organisation, driving growth through the generation of new sales and maximising opportunities with existing customers to ensure a healthy turnover for the business.
But what of the finance team?
Often overlooked for their contribution to the success and profitability of a business and considered a support function as opposed to critical partner in business growth.
Well, if the sales team are the life blood of a company, an effective and high performing finance team can be considered the back bone, ensuring companies weather even the most difficult of storms.
Organisations who value the contribution of their finance team, and focus on investing in and developing this function as opposed to streamlining and rationalising during difficult trading conditions or failing to react when a member leaves, typically fare better in the long term.
Let’s consider the team, and their impact on the business operations:
Financial Director - A Financial Director plays a critical role within any large organisation, providing strategic direction and financial rigour. They manage the balance sheet, ensuring robust corporate governance is in place, maintaining sensible growth, and providing a prudent approach to decreasing levels of credit available.
Financial Controller - The Financial Controller makes certain that the financial books are prepared accurately, that all aspects of the company's finances are properly documented. They provide financial analysis for the business, ensuring all stakeholders are aware of the company’s financial performance.
Management Accountant - A skilled Management Accountant will ensure you can analyse efficiencies and minimise non-essential costs.
Credit Control - Credit Controllers provide vigilance in monitoring debts, managing payment plans, and devising discounts in return for prompt payment. They can also put procedures in place to manage poor credit ratings and prevent problems arising. An effective credit control team are critical to ensuring positive cash flow within the business.
In addition to supporting internal stakeholders, an effective and high performing finance team are increasingly externally/customer focused. The right team can work to strengthen customer relationships, but in the wrong hands, the damage can be irreversible (imagine the impact of an overly aggressive credit controller on a key client relationship).
So, if you are a client looking to strengthen your existing Finance team or a finance professional seeking a role within a company where your contribution to the business performance is valued, I hope this has given you some food for thought.