How to build a good finance team and why it’s important

With automation and AI affecting every aspect of business, the role of a CFO’s team is changing. Here are three suggestions for how to future-proof your CFO team. 

 

Automation software is increasingly doing basic accounting, so financial teams need to do more. CFOs especially are increasingly involved in strategic business decisions. To do this, they must surround themselves with a versatile, innovative and adaptable finance team. Here’s how you can build one.

 

Look for tech-literate people

An effective financial team should be able to build frameworks to create “data lakes” for general ledger information, inventory, HR information, sales data and external information. These lakes should incorporate data from all servers across the company so fiscal information is as complete and up to date as possible.

 

An excellent financial team should be able to effectively access and interpret any data from these data lakes to present it when necessary. Partnering with the CEO and CRO can help establish a team that can use the technology to create these frameworks.

 

Have a business-savvy team

Nico Serfontein, the CFO of Maserati South Africa, talks about how being a CFO is “more than accounting. It’s managing a business from all points, be it HR, stakeholders, supplies, etc.” For a financial team to be effective in this changing landscape, they need to assist the CFO to look beyond spreadsheets and understand different departments and their industry as a whole.

 

Thembeka Maseko, a chief finance and value officer at Standard Bank, believes that a good CFO should create an environment where their financial team is encouraged to challenge the status quo, innovate, and develop new solutions. She believes that CFOs and their teams play a crucial role in building a business’s culture because their insights are backed up by their financial information.

 

Look beyond qualifications

“Experience outweighs qualifications,” says Serfontein. This counts for your finance team. SAIBA believes that people from diverse academic backgrounds can become CFOs. Similarly, it could assist you greatly to have people with experience or qualifications outside of accounting in your corner.

 

Listen to our full interview with Nico Serfontein here.

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