The four main board-level priorities for 2019
As a finance leader, you’ve got to juggle lots of different priorities. From ensuring that all regulatory requirements are met to keeping all of the day-to-day operations jobs (such as payroll and expense claim processing) in action, there are many boxes to tick. However, perhaps the main priorities that you have to contend with are those laid down by your company’s board: board members often think strategically in nature, and are concerned with the compliance and growth sides of the business. With 2019 now well underway, here are four key aims that your board members may well have in 2019.
With the outcome of the Brexit process still just as unclear as it was this time last year, preparation is the name of the game. Recent news stories suggest that any eventuality – from crashing out without a deal to an indefinite extension or even a revocation of Article 50 – could be possible. As a result of the uncertainty, taking steps such as building up cash reserves in case of an expensive shift in sourcing or supply chain strategy is a good way to demonstrate preparedness to nervous board members.
A more strategic workforce
While they may not always show it, board members are often very well aware of the fact that staff members – and finance leaders especially – are doing more and more work in an increasingly busy environment. With just 2.2% of finance leaders telling AccountingWEB that they prioritise strategy (compared to the 80% who prioritise cost reduction), expect to see board members pushing for an increase in strategic thinking this year in order to gain those all-important competitive advantages.
Ensuring regulatory compliance
HMRC’s Making Tax Digital reforms will hit most VAT-paying organisations this April, and your organisation will need to ensure that it files its VAT tax returns through a software package that integrates with HMRC’s APIs. With one alarming study from YouGov last year reporting that a third of firms aren’t ready, board members are likely to want to see evidence of implementation and compliance sooner rather than later.
Investment and growth
This aspiration is likely to look distinctive based on the particular organisation in which you work. Growth can mean different things to different businesses: if you work in a start-up or an SME, for example, then it’s possible that growth plans will include attracting investment. For this, a centralised data system that allows all those working on an investment pitch to locate the firm’s most positive performance statistics is a good idea. For a larger business, board members are likely to be hopeful that this year will lead to new branches and ventures – and that profits will be healthy enough to enable this. Either way, having accurate figures to hand when meeting with the board will be a must.
With the new year now in full swing, time’s running out to set your goals for 2019. By thinking about what your board members might want to see, you’ll be able to develop a set of strategic, compliant and innovative priorities that place you and your team in a great light.
The Access Group’s Finance software can help you achieve your – and your board’s – aims. Find out more.
In addition, you can also read our guide of the Top Financial Trends to look out for in 2019 to gain some knowledge on upcoming changes to the financial industry.