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Strategic role of Finance in driving Organizational Performance Management

‘Unmet’ management team needs

The role of finance has evolved over time from a back-office function that does bookkeeping, billing, payables and day-to day transaction processing to more of a gate keeper of business performance. This evolution was triggered by a need for unbiased pulse of the business that the executive teams need, to make fact-based, objective and proactive decisions. Some of their key asks include:

  • Need to look ahead not just behind: “Tell us what we need to watch out around the corner….”

  • Past performance learnings need to be internalized: “Did we implement the changes we made and how do we know it has had an impact….”

  • Understand the relevant metrics: “There are a lot of moving pieces, but what is most important for me to know and take actions….”

Finance is a ‘hub not a spoke’

Should Finance take on the central responsibility to aggregate organizational performance KPIs and make recommendations? This has been the so-called proverbial question….

The answer, repeatedly has proven to be “Yes”. While this question has been debated to a great extent including Fortune 100 companies, the relevance is consistent across all sizes, sectors and markets.

Finance at the hub facilitates:

  • Gatekeeper of objectives, targets and expectations to achieve annual operating plans & long-range vision

  • Effective forecasting of the business and what it takes to achieve targets

  • Objective and unbiased view across functions

  • Influence actions leveraging facts, insights and cross-functional interactions

Finance as a ‘feedback-loop

Organizational performance management is achieved through effective management decision making ‘feedback loop’. These decisions should be grounded on facts, insights and a view of risks and trade-offs. Finance and Accounting need to play the critical role in synthesizing all relevant performance drivers. The expectation is to beyond data aggregation to the ‘so-what's’ and then to proactively recommend actions to achieve the organization’s short-term & long-term financial goals.

For further details, please contact: Andy Ramanujam, Managing Principal, Burloak Advisors @ (416) 576-9803 or

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