Finance teams need to keep up with the changing business landscape

PETALING JAYA: The business landscape has become very competitive and it is crucial for finance teams to continue evolving to meet the needs of a changing business landscape.

A finance department’s role is no longer about fulfilling transactions alone, according to experts, but about anticipating and managing business risk.

“Finance roles have progressed, and in most organisations, finance is now firmly entrenched in the minds of businesses as strategic trusted partners.

“It is now a case of ‘how’ we help drive performance forward in a rapidly changing environment. It’s no longer just about beating up business heads that don’t meet budgets but rather bringing in creative ideas that add value.

“The best finance people are those that can integrate themselves into the business and not disrupt it.

“Being a strong cross-functional leader that can connect the dots across all areas to mediate and reach optimal decision for the firm can be very powerful,” said Mable Lau, CFO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd.

Lau, along with other CFOs and finance directors, will be addressing the transformation needed to move finance from a purely support role to a value-added business partnering function at the Finance Transformation and Shared Services conference, which will be held from April 25-26.

Various industry veterans will be sharing their expertise, experiences and insights in leading change in the finance industry.

The conference is designed around the three pillars of finance transformation: people, process and technology.

PureCircle Limited global operations finance director Hyder Hasan added that quick reaction from the finance team makes a significant difference in holding their top- and bottom-lines.

“In such dynamic and competitive business environment, there needs to be a shift for finance department from being data-centric to decision-and-change-centric.

“The new role of the finance department is being a change catalyst to decision making.

“Finance Business Partnering is an initiative to sharpen the impact that finance will have on the organisation.

“We expect finance people to focus on helping the business make right choices, maximising returns on investment,” said Hyder.

The conference will also enable participants to explore the creation of value for organisations via business analytics, productivity and cash flow improvement as well as learn finance and finance shared services best practices and benchmarking.

Finance Transformation & Shared Services Conference is organised by Star Media Group in partnership with AGOS Asia and with ICAEW and i2m Ventures Sdn Bhd as the working partners.

For further information, please contact 03-79671388 extension 1233 (Christine Darlington) or extension 1432 (Jasmine Chin) or email events@thestar.com.my.

Registration of the conference can be done at http://sites.thestar.com.my/ftscc/