Solution to boost finance function productivity

20 April 2016
  • Hiring specialist project professionals and leveraging data analytics technology identified as key strategies to improve finance function performance
  • Productivity of the finance function anticipated to increase by 9.63% if strategies to improve efficiency are introduced

London, 20 April 2016: Improving productivity in the finance function is now a key objective for UK organisations, reveals new research from leading interim management specialists Robert Half Management Resources. Almost a third (31%) of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Finance Directors (FDs) plan to recruit specialist project professionals, while an equal 31% plan to leverage data analytics technology to achieve productivity gains.

Investing capital in human resource and technology to automate and streamline processes are the primary strategies to improve productivity in an environment where firms continue to look for efficiency savings. Streamlining processes (30%) was acknowledged as a strategy to improve productivity in finance function performance, followed by investment in performance management software (29%) and hiring additional permanent resources (26%).  

CFOs and FDs were asked: ‘With the growing need to improve efficiencies, how do you plan to improve productivity within your finance function?’ Their responses*:

Rank

Strategy

Percentage of CFOs and FDs planning to adopt this strategy

1

Hire additional temporary/interim resources

31%

=

Leverage data analytics technology

31%

3

Streamline processes

30%

4

Invest in performance management software

29%

5

Hire additional permanent resource

26%

6

Invest in finance automation solutions

11%

7

Outsource processes to third party vendors

5%

*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to multiple responses permitted.

The CFOs and FDs believe they could boost the productivity of the finance function by 9.63% if their strategies for improvement were introduced. More than one in ten (13%) respondents believe they could achieve productivity gains of 20% or more.

Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half Management Resources UK, said: 'The finance function is gearing up for the next phase of evolution, as businesses continue to expect more support from their finance teams. Businesses across the UK are seeking efficiencies in how they progress new commercial opportunities, mitigate their operational risk and reach their growth goals.

'In the current skills-short marketplace, utilising the specialist skills of interim professionals can be a powerful strategy to effect change management in an organisation and improve productivity.  At a time when return on investment is an increasing focus in both operational and commercial departments, capital outlay needs to deliver real dividends.' 

- ENDS -

Notes to Editor

1The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm. The study is based on more than 200 interviews with senior HR executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

Finance 2020: closer than you think is a new report launched in March 2016 by Robert Half.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 330 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.