The new finance function
On Thursday, October 15, some 60 alumni from the School of Business and Economics gathered at the University of Gothenburg for a lunch lecture on The economy function of the future. Organizer was Business economists Trade Friends.
Rikard Olsson, management consultant at Ekan Management, and before that, manager checks on AstraZeneca, was the lecturer for the day.
Rikard began with a blow in today's reality with an increasingly uncertain and rapidly changing environment with major challenges in the form of globalization, computerization and automation. He then went on to link this reality to the role of the finance function. Rikard believes that the development entails new demands on the finance function to meet the present and future challenges.
For example, research shows that over 50 percent of all financial risk management is spent on control of financial reporting and legal issues, while 95 percent of all companies that collapse do so for strategic or operational reasons. Only two per cent collapse due to shortcomings in financial reporting. Thus, in order for the finance function to assert itself in the future, it needs to offer more strategic support. Rikard further describes how this can be done by separating the vertical specialist competencies from the supporting transactional services and the more business and decision support functions. If HR, IT and Procurement also follow the same logic, there is further potential for strategic coordination. Rikard also emphasizes that in this modern economy function, personal characteristics such as the ability to challenge and communicate with non-economists are in many cases much more important, and formal competence only a hygiene factor.
If you want to know more about Ekan Management's thoughts and experiences on the development of the finance function, contact Rikard Olsson.
Phone: 031-761 60 25.