Chapter Twenty-Three

Achieving Finance Transformation

VERY FEW FINANCIAL ORGANIZATIONS have remained static during the past decade. Given the mounting financial and regulatory pressures, CFOs have responded with a series of initiatives to streamline their communications, standardize their processes, and enhance their analytical capabilities.

Frequently, CFOs refer to their organizational aspirations as achieving “finance transformation,” a term that can have a generalized meaning, but typically and more specifically is associated with:

  • Revising the organizational structure
  • Implementing technology systems
  • Reengineering financial processes
  • Outsourcing financial functions
  • Emphasizing analysis versus data


The CFO's first objective in finance transformation typically is to revise the reporting relationships, creating more centralization and specialization among the financial functions. These changes can occur quickly—especially in response to severe cost pressures or control issues—but more likely will be implemented gradually, with incremental revisions over several years.

Traditional Structure

In most large companies, the financial organizations traditionally have been organized according to business units. In this traditional structure, each business unit has a financial leader—typically with the title of division chief financial officer or division controller—who in turn has people reporting to him or her who are responsible for the various financial ...

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