Advanced debate: The future of the finance function

Rob Brough, Advanced

Four finance systems managers gathered recently at the Advanced User Conference in Gateshead to consider how their jobs were changing. Panel chairman John Stokdyk reports on their conclusions.

Each of the panel members in the Advanced ‘future of the finance function’ session had been through a number of organisational and system changes in recent months. They started the session off by describing their circumstances and challenges:

  • Simon McGrattan, FPL project manager, NHS Northern Ireland
  • Julie Bodman Finance systems manager, Companies House
  • John Greene,  Finance systems manager, Aer Lingus
  • Steve Mawson, Assistant director, finance & performance, Doncaster Council

The first common factor that emerged from their experiences is that the modern finance function has to be able to cope with permanent change. There will always be efficiency improvements that can be made, or technical and regulatory changes to which it must react.

For the public sector panellists, there was an additional pressure to reduce costs - yet still deliver the desired efficiencies. And while it was apparent they needed to have a good understanding of the technology and financial processes involved, the success of their software projects depends to a huge extent on...

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