The finance function in the face of crises and underlying trends - Dedicated hub

The finance function in the face of crises and underlying trends – Dedicated hub

It’s obvious: the corporate finance function has been transformed. At the origin of this metamorphosis, two events which have been grafted onto two fundamental trends: digitization and the renewal of generations.

After the bankruptcy of the American bank Lehman Brothers, access to bank financing has hardened, hence the need for companies to turn to other players for day-to-day financing but also and above all for development projects. .
The CFOs, to support this, have refined their skills in cash management and forecasting, but above all in communication. First to present the company to the market, to analysts, to banks, to investors. To this end, the CFO has learned to adapt his speech to the interlocutor external to the company, in order to reassure, put into perspective and propose the right indicators. At the same time, he had to convey a coherent and educational discourse internally, for example on cash management. Finally, with the financial crisis, the finance function has acquired a role of arbiter, namely to make the figures speak to guide sometimes difficult decisions: production stoppage, site closure, etc.

Organization of work, agility, extra-financial

The second event that had repercussions on the corporate finance function is obviously the health crisis. Beyond the economic slowdown generated and then the strong recovery that followed and their consequences, it is also the organization in companies that has been modified with distance working and the acceleration of digitalization. The health crisis has also accentuated on the one hand the need for agility (rolling forecast, reduction of the budget preparation cycle) and on the other hand that of integrating ESG criteria into the strategy.

The DAF catalyst and advocate

The finance function now goes beyond its traditional posture of control, recording of operations, management of assets and working capital, reduction of tax or preparation of the required financial reports. The DAF (about the evolution of the profile of this function, in particular its rejuvenation and its feminization) is now the function which proposes or must propose a grid of catalysts for the company’s growth, which provides or must provide timely insights and insights, key performance indicators, business risk analyzes and recommendations.

An evolution made possible thanks to a technical revolution that is only gaining in depth: the digitization of tools and processes, which has become essential. According to the 2022 Priorities Barometer of PWC’s financial departments, 83% of them plan to invest in the digitalization of this function.

To find out more, download the White Paper “2088-2022: the adolescence of the finance function?” »

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