Walking The Talk


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Walking The Talk

  1. 1. Walking the Talk Aligning Investments in the Finance Workforce with Executive Priorities to Achieve High Performance
  2. 2. Introduction The finance organization used to be The study shows that while finance both in size and scope. These quot;finance home to the quot;numbers guys,quot; the people leaders are aware of the importance leadersquot; reported obtaining higher simply responsible for monitoring of the workforce to the achievement levels of benefit from their income and expenses and ensuring of high performance, their investment transformation programs, better the company did not run afoul of in that workforce is strikingly small— returns on their workforce investments, tax and reporting requirements. But less than 2 percent of their budgets and higher overall performance. as any chief financial officer will in many cases. And when they do acknowledge, those days are long invest in the finance workforce, that In this paper, we explore the finance gone—replaced by mandates to provide investment is not comprehensive workforce challenges reported by guidance on everything from capital enough, focusing only on a few quot;hot participants in recent Accenture investments, outsourcing, business spots.quot; In fact, our research discovered research, as well as the leading combinations, large-scale technology that the workforce initiatives that are practices identified by those implementations and even business in place in the finance function deal respondents with superior results. strategy. Given this, it's not surprising only with discrete aspects of the We also discuss an integrated, that executives participating in recent workforce—such as staff commitment concrete process and enabling tools Accenture research named finance and performance feedback—while that finance executives can use to one of the three most critical work- paying comparatively little attention address their workforce challenges forces within their company. to leadership, recruitment and staff and realize enhanced productivity, a training programs. This underdevelopment more value-centered culture, greater Yet for all its increasing importance, of programs has a predictable result: efficiency, higher levels of employee the finance organization has struggled Most executives do not believe engagement and high performance. in many cases to live up to expectations— they have the organization, staff largely because investment in the or skill level to meet their challenges. finance workforce has seriously Furthermore, most think their work- lagged spending on technology force initiatives are either inadequately and process improvement. In fact, developed or insufficiently applied, a new study by Accenture reveals that and only one-third are satisfied with a lack of comprehensive and holistic those initiatives. investment in the finance workforce often prevents the function from But while prevalent, this condition is effectively supporting the larger not always the case. Our research did enterprise not only in day-to-day uncover a number of organizations pursuit of high performance, but also that are supporting the finance work- in major transformation initiatives. force with appropriate investment— 1 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  3. 3. An increased need for high performance in the finance function Figure 1: Primary focus of global companies 59% Growth Cost control Even split 36% 33% 22% 16% 14% Today 12 months from now Source: Accenture 2006 High-Performance Workforce Study As the global economy gains steam, Furthermore, when these growth- In addition, according to Accenture's today's corporate leaders are mindful focused executives appraise their 2006 Investment in the Finance of their responsibility to generate as organization's bench strength and Workforce Study, finance executives much shareholder value as possible its ability to support their future believe that the workforce is the from each fiscal updraft. Indeed, the goals, they are increasingly looking single-most important factor in 2006 Accenture High-Performance to the finance function for help. achieving high performance finance— Workforce Study has confirmed When we asked executives participating ahead of efficient processes, appropriate a clear shift in their focus toward in the Accenture High-Performance tools and technology, or an effective growth and away from cost Workforce Study to rank the functions strategy (Figure 2). In the words of containment. More specifically, most critical to achieving high one surveyed CFO, quot;We are emphasizing the study revealed that 22 percent performance, finance was tied with putting in place the absolute best of CFOs said their company's primary strategic planning as one of the top athletes that we can find.quot; Another focus today is on cost control, 16 three—just behind customer service CFO added, quot;In terms of making percent on growth, and 59 percent and sales. things happen, the workforce is evenly split between cost and growth. everything: providing judgment and In 12 months time, those figures shift an interface with business operations. to 14 percent on cost, 33 percent Workforce is everything.quot; on growth and a 36 percent split between the two (Figure 1). 2
  4. 4. Figure 2: Most important factors for achieving high performance finance Extremely important Very important Somewhat important 38% 43% A little important 52% Not at all important 65% 45% 44% 44% 29% 1% 12% 3% 2% 1% 9% 1% 1% 1% 5% 1% Highly skilled Efficient Appropriate Effective and and well process design tools and well-executed organized and execution technologies strategy workforce Source: 2006 Investment in the Finance Workforce Study These findings are consistent with has become increasingly responsible quot;There is an expectation that we in Accenture's ongoing research into the for the success of the company's finance someday will be business characteristics of high-performance transformation programs, and is being leaders,quot; explained one CFO we businesses which confirms the rising asked to advise top management surveyed. quot;So beyond the basic importance of the finance function on growth-related issues such as technical skills, the educational and its leaders to the achievement of mergers and acquisitions, product line background and so on you also need growth and other performance goals. changes, organizational restructurings skills in change leadership and in Indeed, when we talked to CFOs and and geographical expansions. performance management. We are other leading finance executives ensuring that the people we're putting about their jobs and the challenges And while CFOs and other finance in positions now in our finance and they face, we heard a strikingly leaders have invested richly in new accounting organization are going consistent tale. technologies and business processes to drive our long-term performance. to support this changing role, Whereas 10 years ago, if you were Once upon a time, the finance work- they have overlooked the need to a great finance mind, you were just force was narrowly focused on the simultaneously upgrade and enhance going to keep moving up. It takes management and containment of the workforce. Without new skills, more than that now—I'm not promoting expenditures, the timely collection new training and in some cases new anybody to a VP position who isn't of revenue, compliance with regulatory people, finance leaders can find also a proven organizational leader.quot; statutes and the accurate reporting of themselves in charge of a function financial results to shareholders and that cannot fulfill the demands of its analysts. Over time, however, finance new, more strategic role. 3 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  5. 5. A function that often falls short of high performance Figure 3: Development of recruitment programs for skilled staff 61% 43% 65% 27% 12% No recruitment Inadequately Programs are programs in place developed adequately programs developed Source: 2006 Investment in the Finance Workforce Study Unfortunately, the increasingly specifically, most think their workforce In addition, when it comes to keeping mission-critical finance function initiatives are inadequately developed pace with a dynamic competitive is not seen as achieving high or insufficiently applied and only landscape, just half of finance performance by a large majority one-third are satisfied with those executives think their departments of executives in the Accenture High initiatives. The specific challenges adapt well to change and even fewer Performance Workforce Study. these executives face include recruitment, believe their departments anticipate it Specifically, using a scale of 1=low retention, leadership development and well. Finally, only half the respondents to 5=high, only 19 percent of all adaptability to change—in sum, the believe in the coordination of their respondents and 13 percent of CFOs entire employee lifecycle. leadership team—in other words, how who named finance a top-three well the top leaders work together— function said the function performs For example, more than 60 percent and even fewer give a high rating at a high level. So while the finance of finance executives participating to the team's overall quality. quot;We workforce is widely perceived as critical in the survey describe their staff recognize that we are not doing to growth and a direct contributor recruitment strategies as inadequately what's needed to get deep ranks in to overall high performance, its low developed (Figure 3), and finding the finance organization, and that relative performance is a potential qualified finance staff is a challenge our line of succession is very thin,quot; stumbling block. for more than half of respondents said one CFO. quot;We know we need to (Figure 4). Indeed, only about one- dig in on these issues.quot; Indeed, this perception is reinforced quarter of finance executives are by the 2006 Investments in the satisfied with their recruitment and Finance Workforce Study, which development programs (Figure 5). found most finance leaders do not Furthermore, fully 62 percent are only believe they have the organization, somewhat satisfied or are dissatisfied staff or skill level to meet their with their staff retention programs challenges, including growth. More (Figure 6). 4
  6. 6. Figure 4: Difficulty in attracting and growing talented staff 40% 30% 65% 13% 11% 6% Not at all A little Somewhat Very much Extremely Figure 5: Satisfaction with staff recruitment and Figure 6: Satisfaction with staff retention programs development programs Extremely/very much Extremely/very much Somewhat Somewhat 25% 27% Not at all/little Not at all/little 38% 42% 53% 38% 31% 24% 22% Recruitment Development strategy program Source: 2006 Investment in the Finance Workforce Study 5 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  7. 7. Most finance leaders do not believe they have the organization, staff or skill level to meet their challenges, including growth. 6
  8. 8. A critical factor: lack of alignment between investments and priorities Figure 7: Percentage of finance’s investment budget spent on workforce enhancement 45% 33% 20% 1% 0-2% >2-5% >5-10% >10% Source: 2006 Investment in the Finance Workforce Study We believe that this low performance In fact, with respect to workforce A respondent who did invest richly may be due in part to a dichotomy in investments as part of overall in the workforce during a major the minds of CFOs. Most executives transformation programs, nearly transformation had this to say: quot;[With participating in the 2006 Investments 40 percent of finance executives less investment in the workforce] in the Finance Workforce Study agree in our survey said their companies we would be in a very marginalized that the workforce is more important had made minor or no investment. position. Instead, we are enjoying than technology and process for Of particularly low importance to a great degree of success and our creating a strong finance organization. finance executives were investments people are optimistic. We often think However, in contrast to this mandate, in employee morale and leadership of what would have happened if we finance executives are allocating a development during transformations, had not invested in the workforce—I relative pittance to the workforce with nearly 50 percent reporting believe that we would be in a big hole compared with their investments in minor or no investments in those areas. and trying to dig ourselves out of it.quot; technology and process improvements. Indeed, fully one-third of surveyed These decisions are not without Furthermore, the initiatives that are in executives spent 2 percent or less of consequences. Indeed, the result of place in support of these transformation their investment budgets on enhancing failing to invest in the workforce as programs deal only with a few the workforce (Figure 7). part of transformation programs is aspects of the workforce. Our finance that while quality, access and speed survey revealed an all-too-common Furthermore, in companywide of information is improved and phenomenon: serious gaps in the transformations such as ERP operational efficiency increases, initiatives intended to make finance implementations, outsourcing and improvements in workforce productivity workforces capable of achieving post-merger integrations, finance and workforce service to the high performance. executives continue to overlook the organization are not fully achieved. workforce when making investments. 7 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  9. 9. Figure 8: Leadership development program in place Figure 9: Staff development programs in place Have had programs in place for over 2 years Yes, for all staff 11% Recently initiated programs Yes, for >75% of staff 9% Programs are being considered Yes, for about 50% of staff 42% No perceived need for programs Yes, for about 25% of staff 20% No funds allocated for programs No staff development programs 18% 33% 38% 28% 1% 1% Source: 2006 Investment in the Finance Workforce Study For example, fully 40 percent of Leadership and staff development are workforce initiatives is widespread, respondents do not have leadership only two areas where finance executives indicating finance executives' awareness initiatives in place at all, which is are failing to provide adequate of a need for attention. And, about especially surprising given every resources. Our survey also revealed 50 percent of respondents to our organization's need for qualified that 66 percent of respondents have survey have plans to address some leaders (Figure 8). And while these training initiatives in place for less aspect of the workforce. organizations are failing to adequately than half of employees, and only just develop leaders, they also are falling over one-third of companies have quot;We feel pretty good about where we short in developing the best skills of initiatives to develop employees' are, but we also have a healthy level quot;the rank and file.quot; In fact, 81 percent ability to respond to change. of discontent with the status quo,quot; have staff development initiatives in noted the CFO of a major retailer. place for half of their employees, and The good news is that finance quot;We know we need to get to the nearly 61 percent have them for 25 executives are aware of the need next level of maturation, and to get percent or less of their employees for change in their approach to on that path we are establishing (Figure 9). workforce management. Our study several formal development programs reveals that executive evaluation of within finance.quot; 8
  10. 10. What separates the best from the rest? Figure 10: Percent of finance organizations with strategies in six dimensions of workforce development Laggards Leadership acquisition and development 36% 56% Leaders 56% 94% Organizational structure Talent management 46% 78% 51% 97% Workforce performance 47% 67% Employee engagement 30% 61% Change management Source: 2006 Investment in the Finance Workforce Study There's one inescapable conclusion An analysis of the survey responses workforce development. In comparison, of our research: To shift from quot;talking of the finance leaders and all other the majority of leaders had strategies the talkquot; to quot;walking the talk,quot; finance companies in the sample (the laggards) in place for all six (Figure 10). executives must not only make their revealed two clear patterns: Leaders approach to workforce investment spend a greater percentage of their In all, the leaders as a group have much more comprehensive and budgets on workforce development strategies in place to address a much complete, but they also should and they take a much more wider range of workforce challenges consider improvements in workforce comprehensive approach toward than do laggards. The words of one productivity and service to the that investment. For example, 31 leading CFO capture the comprehensive, organization as essential as technology percent of leaders reported spending quot;can-doquot; attitude that separates them enhancements-as is being done by a greater than 5 percent of their from laggards. quot;You've got to get the small subset (30 percent) of companies investment budgets on workforce- whole organization in tune with the participating in our survey. These oriented activities, versus only 19 fact that we really need to develop companies—which we deemed the percent of laggards. our people, and this is what we quot;finance leadersquot;—reported skills equal need to do to do that,quot; the CFO said. to or better than those of competitors Leaders also reported much more quot;You've got to get everybody on board in three or more key aspects of the broad-based strategies than laggards. and say we're going to measure it finance function. Less than half of laggards indicated and it's got to become a part of that they had strategies to address everything you do.quot; four out of six basic dimensions of 9 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  11. 11. The payoff of emphasizing investments in the workforce Figure 11: Benefits of a comprehensive approach to workforce performance (illustrative) Potential Retain top performers performance over time Exhibited job Current 80% proficiency proficiency performance in % Continuously improve performance Cost The Value: The gap between the two (shaded) areas highlights the reduction in cost and increase in productivity achieved through the increase in Attract performance attained by comprehensive investments in workforce top talent Build core finance skills Recruiting 30 days 60 days 90 days Time Orientation Performance Performance and initial enhancement improvement training Source: Accenture Accenture's own client experience Accenture's experience also has companies can focus not only on supports the CFO's sentiments and revealed that comprehensive building a new organization, but also shows that this comprehensive workforce initiatives are particularly on enhancing the roles and skills approach to workforce performance important at key moments in an of the retained organization. For can reduce costs while it increases organization's lifecycle. For example, organizations implementing new productivity, leading to significant during a change in finance leadership Enterprise Performance Management business benefits (Figure 11). Such an or strategy, a merger or acquisition, (EPM) toolsets, workforce initiatives approach can enable an organization a systems consolidation or ERP can help ensure that the people to attract employees with higher implementation, or a period of that will use the new tools have the levels of proficiency, decrease the increased regulatory oversight, such required skills and business acumen. time it takes employees to gain initiatives can help win employees And during a post merger integration, additional skills and knowledge, over to the organization's new focus, workforce initiatives can help make retain top performers and put in place goals and procedures. Furthermore, sure that skills from the old and new performance management processes comprehensive workforce initiatives organizations complement each other that lead to continuous improvement. help employees develop the skills they and align for maximum benefit. As the figure shows, these benefits need to adapt to change, and help can add substantial value by quickly ensure that change does not result in and effectively ramping up the the loss of top talent. For example, organization's overall performance. during a shared services program 10
  12. 12. For the leaders in our survey, a Furthermore, when it comes to comprehensive approach to workforce proactively preparing for change, performance has resulted in similar taking a more comprehensive operational and competitive advantages. approach has clear benefits. More specifically, 52 percent of leaders In general, leaders felt much better rated their workforce's ability to equipped to face the challenges that prepare and react to change either affect their ability to operate at high a 4 or a 5 (on a scale of 1=lowest to levels of performance, with much 5=highest). In comparison, only 31 lower percentages reporting extreme percent of laggards reported the same levels of challenge with quot;number level of preparedness. At the lowest or caliber of managers/leaders,quot; levels of preparedness, the comparison quot;organizational structure/job was just as compelling, with 29 definition and alignment,quot; quot;skills percent of laggards describing their and knowledge of workforce,quot; finance workforces as a 1 or 2 on the quot;employee engagement, morale, same scale and only 6 percent of and commitment,quot; and quot;workforce leaders reporting the same low levels adaptability to changequot; (Figure 12). of readiness for change (Figure 14). Perhaps this explains why nearly 60 percent of leaders reported having The comment of one leading CFO finance leadership teams very capable sums up the attitude of the leaders. of delivering high levels of performance, When asked whether or not his and why only 34 percent of laggards staff responded well to change, this could make the same claim. respondent said, quot;In my lifespan as CFO we have changed operating Leaders also experienced fewer models at least two or three times, challenges attracting and developing changed CEOs and regimes three skilled staff. Indeed, while nearly one times, installed SAP in 50 countries in four laggards reported high levels and several hundred legal entities, of difficulty attracting and growing and did an IPO without much of a talented staff, only less than 1 of blip. So I would say the answer to every 10 leaders reported the same that question is yes.quot; levels of difficulty. In fact, 53 percent of leaders experienced no difficulty or Finally, companies that invest quot;a little,quot; while that level of ease was significantly in workforce initiatives attained only by 36 percent of laggards during transformation programs (Figure 13). This advantage can be achieve a greater percentage of very meaningful, especially given the expected benefits than those that challenges facing finance recruiters. don't. High-investment respondents In the words of one CFO: quot;For high- reported better results in terms of end talent there's always a war— their control environment; the service everyone wants the best and the provided by finance to the rest of the brightest and that's always a challenge. organization; operational efficiency; As people start retiring, that's going and data quality, speed, and access to be an even bigger challenge.quot; (Figure 15). In sum, nearly 90 In this context, it seems especially percent of respondents who invested significant that more leaders than in workforce initiatives during laggards described their turnover rates transformations reported that as quot;much lower than industry average.quot; those programs helped achieve the transformation's full benefits (Figure 16). 11 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  13. 13. Figure 12: Percentage of respondents reporting quot;extreme levels of challengequot; in workforce areas Laggards 10% 3% Workforce adaptability to change Leaders 14% Employee engagement, morale and commitment Skills and knowledge of workforce 8% 3% Organizational structure/job definition and 6% alignment Number or caliber of managers/leaders 15% 6% Figure 13: Difficulty attracting and growing talented staff Laggards Extremely 8% 3% Leaders Very much 16% 6% Somewhat 40% 39% A little 22% 42% 14% 11% Not at all Figure 14: Workforce proactive preparedness for change Laggards 5 - Extremely high 6% Leaders 4 - High 31% 46% 3 - Average 40% 43% 2 - Low 27% 6% 2% 1 - Very low 12
  14. 14. Figure 15: Percentage of respondents achieving greater than two-thirds of expected benefits from transformation programs 53% 49% 47% 47% 47% 44% Lower average investment in 41% 41% workforce during transformation 37% Higher average investment in workforce during transformation 29% 28% 23% Improved Strengthened Improved Enhanced Better quality, Increased control workforce service use of access and speed operational environment technology of information efficiency Figure 16: Extent to which workforce investment helped realize the full benefit of transformation programs 41% 37% 10% 9% 3% Extremely Very much Somewhat A little Not at all Source: 2006 Investment in the Finance Workforce Study 13 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  15. 15. A proven approach to making the most of investments in the finance workforce While our research provides many and expertise spell the difference important issues, creates a climate reasons why more comprehensive between initiatives that have that attracts and retains top talent, investment in the finance workforce substantial, lasting business impact and helps the function build strong is critical, how should a CFO go about on the organization and those and productive relationships with the implementing such an approach? that generate merely incremental business. Accenture estimates that Our deep experience in finance performance improvement. between 15 percent and 20 percent transformations is helpful in augmenting of an organization's business Diagnosing shortfalls our research findings. In our years performance is determined by of working with the world's leading The first step in transforming the the quality of its leadership. This companies, we have observed that finance workforce involves diagnosing estimate is born out by our experience, while those with superior finance any shortfalls in the current workforce in which we have seen greater than functions follow approaches that performance. One tool that we have 20 percent productivity gains when differ, each of those approaches found to be highly effective in such leaders have worked hard to develop incorporate the following three basic an evaluation is the Accenture Human their own capabilities. steps: diagnosing shortfalls in current Capital Development Framework. 2. Organization structure: A focus workforce performance, establishing Developed by Accenture as part a target state, and devising and of its High Performance Business on organization structure enables implementing a comprehensive initiative, the framework measures finance workforces to better align improvement plan. the performance of a company's with the company's strategic direction, workforce along six key dimensions: understand how finance roles and To be sure, these steps may seem leading practices can be best integrated 1. Leadership: Top-quality leadership obvious and intuitive. However, what and incorporated into the function's distinguishes leading companies from is critical to the performance of structure, and develop quot;customizationsquot; all others are the tools and expertise finance organizations. It focuses of the basic organizational structure to supporting these steps. Superior tools effort and attention on the most deliver the specific finance capabilities 14
  16. 16. required by the organization. A leading to lower productivity, low capabilities and how they differ from detailed study of leading finance talent retention and high absenteeism1. existing capabilities, and how the organizations has revealed that Gallup estimates that the lower function can best support the overall optimal organization design productivity of actively disengaged goals of the organization. Also during contributes to lower cost, increased workers costs the U.S. economy $328 this stage, a company establishes and effectiveness, and improved focus billion. On the other hand, there is supports clear, objective performance on higher value-added activities. little that can stop a motivated work- metrics that will allow it to analyze force on a mission, equipped with all the return on any workforce investments. 3. Talent management: By employing the tools and knowledge it needs to Establishing targets good talent management practices, an complete that mission. By focusing organization ensures that its workforce on employee engagement, finance Once data is collected, it is synthesized, is always quot;fit for purpose.quot; Best of executives ensure that their workforces organized and analyzed to provide a all, even when this is not the case, achieve that level of motivation, and clear, actionable picture of where organizations with strong talent are not distracted by organizational gaps exist within each of the six management know exactly where changes or career frustrations. dimensions just discussed. At this the fit is off and can take action point, it should become clear where 6. Ability to change: The ability to quickly. Our experience shows that the finance workforce falls short conscientious talent management change is critical to addressing large, compared with industry benchmarks, can be a source of real competitive potentially disruptive events such as key competitors and peer companies, advantage. For example, the difference acquisitions, internal re-organizations and the needs and desires expressed between a quot;rightquot; and a slightly or market re-positionings. Conversely, by stakeholders. Armed with such quot;out of balancequot; talent pool can in the absence of a change-ready a comprehensive view of capability mean as much as 15 percent to 20 culture, finance organizations are left gaps, the organization can prioritize percent of the total labor cost for with slow and ineffective reactions to each opportunity for improvement in the finance organization. the changing business environment, terms of its value to the enterprise. leaving workforces in disarray and Once approved by all key stakeholders, 4. Workforce performance: By incapable of supporting continuous this priority list enables the organization focusing on driving high levels of improvements and progress. Research to develop high-level recommendations workforce performance through by Change Track reveals that only for workforce improvement. on-demand, role-based information one in nine workgroups is able to delivery to employees, organizations effectively manage change—meaning To aid the efforts in this step and have achieved productivity increases millions of business dollars are wasted through its experience working with of up to 20 percent. Furthermore, each year2. In contrast, the creation of many companies, Accenture has skill gaps in the workforce have been a change-ready culture ensures that developed the Accenture Finance found to be an important reason for the finance organization is capable Workforce Maturity Model (see Figure project failure; by bridging these of implementing, owning, developing, 17). This tool allows a company to gaps, organizations have been able and sustaining the process and make a point-by-point comparison of to significantly reduce these failures. structural changes required for actual finance performance against And by better leveraging high sustained high performance. industry benchmarks, as well as assess performers while elevating the the function in comparison to the performance of quot;averagequot; workers, Using the Accenture framework, a capabilities required to achieve finance executives can achieve company begins diagnosis of shortfalls both the overall company strategy dramatic productivity increases that in each of these areas with a and the finance function's specific goals. benefit every level of the organization. comprehensive data collection Devising and process. This process includes surveys, 5. Employee engagement: A recent focus groups and in-depth interviews implementing the plan Gallup study showed that 20.6 million with a wide range of stakeholders to The final step is generating and employees or 15 percent of the U.S. gain insights on the current state of implementing a detailed action plan workforce are actively disengaged, the function, the function's desired for improving each of the workforce Source: Gallup Management Journal 2006 1 Source: ChangeTrack Research, Breaking the Cost Cutting Cycle, Insight CT-0205 2 15 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  17. 17. Figure 17: Accenture's workforce maturity model (illustrative) Human capital Ad-hoc Basic Proactive Progressive Pioneering capabilities Leadership Organization Talent management & HC efficiency Workforce performance Ability to change Employee engagement Actual capability Target capability Source: Accenture dimensions under focus. This plan should For example, as part of its quot;Achieving on an initiative to transform the classify improvement opportunities Finance and Controlling Excellencequot; entire finance function—an effort that into quick wins and long-term goals, agenda, Siemens decided it needed included a new finance organization and should be explicit about the to focus on workforce performance— structure, clear divisions of responsibility, dependencies between each—with a major portion of which is learning. global shared services, a holistic the ultimate goal being to develop The company created and deployed a finance training program, and supporting superior capabilities in each of the sustainable accounting training program change management. The other six workforce dimensions. supported by a Web-based-training company, Halliburton, has committed technology, with the goals being to to building a world-class finance It's important to note here that foster an understanding of intermediate organization by focusing on leader- quot;comprehensive and holisticquot; and expert Siemens-specific account- ship development, talent management investment in the workforce does ing knowledge; provide fast updates (with an emphasis on recruiting and not necessarily mean addressing all for new accounting topics; enable making finance a more rewarding six workforce dimensions simultaneously. usage of accounting and expert career at Halliburton), culture change In some cases, a company may knowledge; evaluate individual and workforce performance, and already have sufficient capabilities training needs; and enhance knowledge sharing. in some areas and needs to focus on decentralized accounting quality. the two or three in which it is lacking. The point is that there is no quot;right In other cases, a company could Two other companies we looked at, wayquot; to develop critical finance use more investment across all six however, are looking at the challenge workforce capabilities, nor does one dimensions, but its business model more broadly and addressing several capability necessarily take precedence. or strategy requires emphasis on one dimensions of the finance workforce. Rather, the type and scope of or two that would have a substantial, One of these, a multibillion dollar improvement efforts should be immediate payback. global high-tech company, embarked dictated explicitly by the needs of the business. 16
  18. 18. The secret to a successful finance function: people In a profession characterized by Clearly, it is critical that workforce Guided by tools and techniques such ratios, equations, and spreadsheets, enhancements assume the same as the Accenture Human Capital the human element retains considerable level of priority among CFOs currently Development Framework and Finance importance. Multiple Accenture enjoyed by technology and process Workforce Maturity Model, finance research studies, coupled with our enhancements. While technology and leaders can make workforce investments deep experience working with companies processes inevitably become obsolete that address a wider range of that have achieved high performance as a function of time and progress, challenges and generate substantially with the help of a superior finance the workforce is intelligent, dynamic, higher returns. With the right people function, have revealed that the and able to be upgraded to a nearly in place and the right initiatives human element is a linchpin for unlimited degree. Without a systematic supporting their growth and develop- achieving economic value. This body approach, however, knowing how ment, these executives can make of knowledge makes it irrefutable that much to invest and where to spend substantial progress toward creating those companies that take a more it can be akin to finding the proverbial a finance driven value-centered comprehensive, holistic approach to needle in a haystack. Furthermore, culture of the finance organization developing their finance workforce today's finance function faces a host and, in the process, take major strides achieve higher levels of performance of unprecedented demands on its toward the achievement of high than those that do not. time, attention and expertise, increasing performance in the overall enterprise. the pressure to perform at high levels. 17 | Investments in the Finance Workforce Report
  19. 19. About the research Three recently conducted Accenture 118 CFOs or their direct reports research efforts are referenced in conducted over a two-month span. this paper, each of which focused Respondents were distributed across on important aspects of workforce the world's leading companies from performance and managing human more than 12 industries. Survey findings capital in today's dynamic environment. with finance executives at leading global organizations were bolstered The Accenture High-Performance by in depth interviews. Workforce Study is conducted approximately every 18 months Accenture's Finance and Performance to measure workforce management Management Mastery and the High trends among executives in large Performance Business report examines corporations around the world. The the relationship between finance 2006 edition included a telephone mastery and high performance. survey of more than 250 senior Throughout the report, which includes executives (including CFOs) across a benchmark analysis in collaboration seven broad industry segments in with the Hackett Group and more the United States, United Kingdom, than 40 CFO interviews, Accenture France, Germany, Spain and Australia. empirically demonstrates the unique role that finance and performance Accenture's 2006 Investment in the management capabilities play for Finance Workforce survey was a global companies aspiring to become multi-industry Web-based polling of high-performance businesses. 18
  20. 20. About Accenture About the authors Chris Rutledge is an executive partner in the Accenture Finance Accenture is a global management Rodney Bergman is an executive & Performance Management service consulting, technology services and partner in the Accenture Human line. Chris has responsibility for outsourcing company. Committed Performance service line. He managing our finance strategy to delivering innovation, Accenture serves as the lead for the Human practice. Since joining Accenture, collaborates with its clients to help Performance practice in Canada and Chris has focused on global finance them become high-performance as the global lead for Accenture's transformational efforts across businesses and governments. With human performance offerings in industries and functional areas. deep industry and business process Finance Workforce Transformation He has expertise in finance visioning expertise, broad global resources and and Organization Design. Rodney and strategy, finance and accounting a proven track record, Accenture can specializes in design and development shared services and outsourcing, and mobilize the right people, skills and of human performance solutions and enterprise performance management. technologies to help clients improve strategies and has deep expertise in their performance. With approximately organization design and development. Rosanne Williams is a partner in the 146,000 people in 49 countries, the With over 17 years of experience, he Accenture Finance & Performance company generated net revenues of has led shared services projects for Management service line. Ms. US$16.65 billion for the fiscal year finance and HR functions as well as Williams has over 15 years experience ended Aug. 31, 2006. Its home page numerous transformation projects for consulting in the finance and is www.accenture.com. finance functions in the high tech, performance management area communications and media industries. and is currently the Director of Research and Innovation for the service line. For further information on Copyright © 2007 Accenture All rights reserved. this research or the Accenture Finance & Performance Accenture, its logo, and Management service line, please High Performance Delivered visit www.accenture.com/fpm are trademarks of Accenture. or contact us at fpm.service.line@accenture.com.