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Improving finance function productivity is key objective

Improving productivity in the finance function is now a key objective for UK organisations, reveals new research from leading interim management specialists Robert Half Management Resources. Almost a third (31%) of chief financial Officers (CFOs) and finance firectors (FDs) plan to recruit specialist project professional, while an equal 31% plan to leverage data analytics technology to achieve productivity gains.


Investing capital in human resource and technology to automate and streamline processes are the primary strategies to improve productivity in an environment where firms continue to look for efficiency savings. Streamlining processes (30%) was acknowledged as a strategy to improve productivity in finance function performance, followed by investment in performance management software (29%) and hiring additional permanent resources (26%). 


CFOs and FDs were asked: ‘With the growing need to improve efficiencies, how do you plan to improve productivity within your finance function?’ Their responses*:




Percentage of CFOs and FDs planning to adopt this strategy


Hire additional temporary/interim resources



Leverage data analytics technology



Streamline processes



Invest in performance management software



Hire additional permanent resource



Invest in finance automation solutions



Outsource processes to third party vendors


*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to multiple responses permitted


The CFOs and FDs believe they could boost the productivity of the finance function by 9.63% if their strategies for improvement were introduced.  More than one in ten (13%) respondents believe they could achieve productivity gains of 20% or more.


Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half Management Resources UK, said, "The finance function is gearing up for the next phase of evolution, as businesses continue to expect more support from their finance teams. Businesses across the UK are seeking efficiencies in how they progress new commercial opportunities, mitigate their operational risk and reach their growth goals.


"In the current skills-short marketplace, utilising the specialist skills of interim professionals can be a powerful strategy to effect change management in an organisation and improve productivity.  At a time when return on investment is an increasing focus in both operational and commercial departments, capital outlay needs to deliver real dividends.”  



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