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Another Brick in the Finance Wall – We Don’t Need No Innovation!

By Andy Burrows

This is my second article looking at the relationship of Finance with innovation. In the other article I shared a few thoughts on how Finance can support strategic business innovation, which benefits customers and provides competitive advantage.

This time I want to turn my attention to innovation within Finance, affecting what we do on a day to day basis.

What is innovation?

One question we’d probably better get sorted in our minds is, what is innovation?

I remember attending a presentation a while back. In it they expressed great concern that a survey showed very few CFOs had priorities in innovation within Finance. (Well, of course, they did. The event was sponsored by one of the big software vendors! Ok, I’m being cynical, I know!)

And I sat there thinking, what do they mean by innovation?

And why is it such a high priority thing to do?

We’re all so busy. And some software sales person comes along and says we really need to consider their...

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Don’t make this one mistake in your Finance Transformation

By Andy Burrows

Finance Transformation programmes will often include something like the following line in their business case: “Capacity created by automation and process efficiency will be reinvested in value-adding activity.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? What could possibly be wrong with that?

Well, as an aspiration, it’s got a lot going for it. The trouble is, no one really believes it and it hardly ever happens. In fact, the opposite often happens. The capacity created is turned into cost savings, which leave even less time for “value-adding” activity than before.

So, if you really want a value-adding Finance function, don’t let your Finance Transformation programme become all about cost savings. And be clearer on how Finance adds value.

Automation is a good thing

First, lest you misunderstand me, let me say that automation and process efficiency are good things.

When I look back on the revolution caused by computerisation 20-30 years ago,...

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