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Smart Goals for Finance Teams in 2022 and Beyond

What you’ll learn

  • Digital transformation is a must-have goal
  • Automation and diversification of workforce drive business growth and innovation
  • Cost optimization is the key to strong bottom-line growth

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As a finance professional, you are the gatekeeper of the company’s resources. Often, you may be so bogged down by the details that you deal with daily that you could miss the big picture.

Finance teams have their hands full, especially during the close and start of every quarter and financial year. As a result, they may not get the time to keep up with the changing market dynamics and set smart goals.

In this article, we look at seven macro objectives that finance teams should consider to set smart goals. These include learning how to leverage technology, upskill, reduce costs, and drive growth through innovation.

Identify gaps and automate workflows with technology

Your business may have adopted some digital tools and technologies to transform business operations. While it is a good start, it is pertinent that you continuously assess technology and functional gaps and take remedial measures.

Automation technologies are the best bet to reduce operational costs, maximize efficiency, and get competitive advantage. As we move into a new year, finance teams will need to identify and budget for the best automation technologies.

Improved data analytics solutions, conversational chatbots, and machine learning and AI for complex processes are some technologies that you can look at implementing. You’d also want to keep an eye out for developments in the blockchain space, IoT (Internet of Things) in finance, and security measures such as strategic tokenization.

Smart goal for 2022: Invest in relevant digital technologies without losing out on time.

Train your employees in AI and ML

Advances in artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning now dictate the way we work, market, build customer relations, and most importantly, make decisions. This is no different for finance teams. All finance functions including accounts receivables, payables, taxation management, and reporting are being transformed by these automation technologies.

But keeping up with the pace of technological advances is no easy job. Finding skilled employees for the different roles is a key challenge for most companies. Upskilling their existing workforce and hiring best-in-class talent who are adept at finance and business would be key goals for organizations in 2022.

CFOs should always be on the lookout for new talent as well as ways to upskill or re-skill their existing workforce. According to Gartner, lack of data literacy skills can cost a company as much as 1% in revenues, and finance leaders need to plan well to bridge this costly gap.

Smart goal for 2022: Make your workforce tech-savvy with the right training and addition of appropriately-skilled new hires.

Restructure your finance team

The year 2020 brought significant changes in how finance teams work. With the pandemic necessitating remote work, finance teams with almost no experience connecting from any place other than the office had to go completely WFH (work-from-home).

The adoption of digital technologies and the evolving work trends will force CFOs to experiment with finance team structures. This could range from keeping a fully centralized finance center to having fully decentralized business-unit aligned finance teams.

Gartner predicts that finance team structures will become permanently flatter, driven by automation of repetitive, clerical workflows and more autonomy to employees to make independent decisions.

With changing governmental regulations, tech disruptions, and a ravaging pandemic, it is important to restructure your finance team structure to enable your employees to quickly adapt to changes.

Smart goal for 2022: Restructure your finance team to make it more agile and efficient and to lower costs.

For tips to build a modern finance team structure, check out –Everything You Need to Know About Corporate Finance Team Structures

Grow through innovations

If finance restructuring is one of the goals for finance teams in 2022, changing the mindset to become an innovation-focused team is another. As the competition becomes fiercer, capturing market opportunities as and when they arise by making the right investments is crucial to succeed.

To drive this explosive growth, finance teams need to collaborate with other business units and drive client acquisitions, new market initiatives, and mergers and acquisitions.

Innovation is the fuel that propels growth and finance teams should work cross-functionally to ensure that their businesses can grow irrespective of changes in the market dynamics.

Investments in upskilling teams, acquiring technologies, and growing the R&D practice are goals that finance managers are setting for themselves to scale their business. Cash-rich companies can also consider smart acquisitions and launching new business ventures to create a competitive and diverse organization.

Smart goal for 2022: Evaluate risks objectively and within time-bound conditions to lap up market opportunities and embrace innovation.

Raise capital to support growth

After subdued economic conditions in 2020 and a moderate recovery in 2021, CFOs will be looking to raise more funds in 2022 as the global economy bounces back.

Finance leaders, especially at small and mid-sized companies, should gear up to lure investors to fund their businesses. Showing growth trends, commitment to R&D, and digital agility are some areas that CFOs need to work on to convince investors to partner with them.

Whether it’s a series A for growth capital, an IPO for the initial investors, or a future public issuance to fund an acquisition, CFOs need to have their goals and strategy clear in 2022.

job of CFO

Smart goal for 2022: Get the funds flowing in. Prepare clear short and long-term plans to approach investors.

 Reduce operating costs

Cost optimization has always been, and will always remain, a priority for CFOs. Managing costs and growth will get trickier as we enter 2022; inflation and possible COVID-19 shutdowns will likely be spoilsports to business growth.

For many years the role of the finance team was to understand the financial implications of operational decisions. But today the role of a modern CFO moves beyond financial numbers. Balancing cost concerns with hyper-growth initiatives is a tightrope walk. The finance team can no longer be naysayers to budget proposals but need to carefully weigh the merits of each proposal and take the best decisions.

A key goal for finance teams in 2022 would be to identify creative ways of cost-cutting without hampering growth. This would include evaluating multiple projects based on their ROI as well as how well they align with your business’ long term plans.

One of the strategies to help your finance team achieve their cost targets would be to assess P&L from two aspects:Cost drivers: Anything that affects the total cost of an operation is termed as cost drivers. Calculated moves to assess these cost drivers and control them is one of the ways to ensure cost control.

Value drivers: Anything that increases the value of a business or product in the event of a sale is called a value driver. Having a strategic approach in increasing value factors in your business will directly help improve your profits.

Smart goal for 2022: Use creative cost-cutting methods to drive business growth by investing in value drivers and reducing the impact of cost drivers.

Improve diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI)

Studies show that workplaces that focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) do better on various metrics such as employee retention and innovativeness. CFOs need to prioritize DEI metrics not just to drive growth but also to help build the company brand.

Assess how the finance function as well as the organization has done with respect to diversity in the workplace,and spread awareness about DEI. Step up the efforts by having DEI-focused hiring measures, active network groups to support workforce diversity, and formalized succession planning. CFOs, as strategic leaders, can play a key role in helping their business grow while remaining committed to DEI goals.

Like ESG goals ,DEI goals are crucial not only for large enterprises but also for SMBs that seek hyper-growth and rapid expansion of their client base.

Smart goal for 2022: Drive DEI practices into your business to foster creativity and innovation, and have a diverse pool of talents and ideas.

Next Steps

Looking for a technology vendor that can help you achieve your goals in 2022 and beyond?

HighRadius’ RadiusOne AR Suite is a good choice if you are looking for a fintech partner to help you achieve your goals.

Our RadiusOne AR Suite includes a set of AI-powered solutions designed to support AR processing for midsized companies across industries with a complete order-to-cash solution. Automate and fast-track key accounts receivable functions with RadiusOne AR apps, pre-loaded with industry best-practices and ready-to-use with popular ERPs including NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics and Infor.

Talk to us to know more.

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The HighRadius RadiusOne A/R Suite is a complete accounts receivables solution designed for mid-sized businesses to put their order-to-cash on auto-pilot with AI-powered solutions. It leverages automation to fast-track key accounts receivable functions including eInvoicing & Collections, Cash Reconciliation, and Credit Risk Management powered by RadiusOne A/R Apps to improve productivity, maximize working capital, and enable faster cash conversion. Affordable, quick to deploy, and functionality-rich: it is pre-loaded with industry-specific best-practices and ready-to-plug with popular ERPs such as NetSuite and Sage Intacct. The HighRadius RadiusOne A/R Suite is designed to automate labor-intensive processes while streamlining credit and collections activities for faster A/R processing, better cash flow and improved profitability.

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