How Do Finance Teams Function Best?

Dec 28, 2022 by Sage Thee

The finance team is integral to any organization, managing all functions related to your company’s financial well-being. The finance department forecasts your future budget, makes long-term investments, pays taxes, creates budgets, organizes the books, analyzes data, tracks cash flow, and advises leaders. But what takes a finance team from good to great?

We’ve talked at length about finance software and automation — and the right software is integral to the function of the finance team — but that’s not what we’re talking about today.

 

Learn more about finance software and automation:

[Ebook]    Finance Automation is Good for Your Job
[Ebook]    How to Make Month-End Accounting Stress-Free with Automation
[Blog]       Guide to a Stress-Free Month-End Close

 

Today, we’re going to talk about the people on the finance team and our top seven tips for a fine-tuned, efficient, and happy finance team.

#1 Diverse backgrounds

To build a great team, you need folks from a wide range of backgrounds who think differently and can challenge each other while still working as a unit. Everybody’s life experiences give them a unique perspective, and the mark of an outstanding finance team is all sorts of strategic thinkers who can think outside the box.

#2 High emotional intelligence

The finance team needs to prioritize without ruffling too many feathers. Now, your accountants don’t need to be HR professionals, but they do need to be able to communicate effectively and compassionately.

⇨ Tip: Conflict resolution and sensitivity training are great ways to grow and nurture workplace communication skills.

#3 Strategic focus

Finance teams have a lot on their plate: They’re responsible for daily tactical tasks and must keep long-term goals in mind. Successful finance departments recognize the importance of continually mining data, then analyzing it to spot trends, opportunities, and any problem areas, making future predictions.

#4 Look to improve efficiency

The best finance teams are filled with people who look to work smarter, not harder. Finance teams should continuously look at ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

#5 They take a holistic view

Truly spectacular finance teams don’t just stick to the numbers; they take a holistic approach to how their function fits into the broader business model and how it impacts other areas. A business can’t transform and adapt to change if all of its departments are dancing to a different beat and not sharing insight and information.

Finance teams should work closely with other departments (like IT, operations, and HR) to align goals, strategy, and information sharing. By fostering open communication channels and an environment where they can freely and comfortably share ideas, the finance team can have an impact that shapes the entire organization.

Breaking down silos and building relationships across the organization is crucial to the function and well-being of the company as a whole (and its employees).

#6 Strategic partners with the leadership team

Let’s face it — companies would be nowhere without their finance and leadership teams. That’s why both the finance and leadership teams need to be strategic partners, collaborating to bring business-wide visions for growth alive.

The finance team can safely steer the business through turbulent waters by demonstrating where problems are most likely to arise and providing insight into how to combat and budget for these roadblocks.

#7 They feel valued

Most importantly, the mark of an excellent finance team is when every member feels valued for their work and the invaluable service they provide the company.