Having the right tools are very powerful for a finance function

“Over the last few years, we’ve been very focused on developing and implementing a business warehouse to provide a very robust structure for our data so that the finance teams can get the insight and have a single point of truth for them to be able to be efficient and be effective?” Said Samantha Bradshaw, Head of Business Solutions at Southern Co-op.

Speaking at a recent webinar on The Evolving Role of the Finance Leader, Sam spoke about their digital transformation journey and why having CFO buy-in was paramount to its success.

“Finance has always been, and will always be a critical function within the business” said Bradshaw

Sitting down with Tom Lemmon, Senior Journalist at the Financial Director, Sam and Tom discussed the shift she is seeing at Southern Co-op as senior executives embrace technology in particular to deliver financial reporting.

“The finance team wouldn’t be able to make the quick informed decisions that they currently are able to do without the technology, it would mean that the business would struggle to grow at the speed and pace that we need to  compete in the environment,”  said Bradshaw

Tom then went on to discuss how more focus is being given on the elevated emphasis that businesses are placing on the Finance Function and why now, Finance are becoming more critical to the growth and operational efficiency of the business.

“One problem for Finance Teams is that historically Finance just got it done, however long it took, no-matter the time it took to complete, which meant that the investment in Finance was lacking. With the pandemic business’ have realised the impact of remote working has led to a higher focus in implementing a digital process within the finance function” said Lemmon

Paul Winsor, Head of Industry Solutions at Sempre, reflected on how “Southern Co-op would not have been able to make quick decisions or grow as a company if they operated off manual spreadsheets. Not having the right tech capabilities would impact their operational efficiency”.

Bradshaw said that “Spreadsheets are still used on a regular basis but they’re more an aide rather than the oracle of the data” This has given Southern Co-op a single source of the truth for their data analytics.

During the Webinar we were also able to hear form Ken Mertzel, Global Industry Lead at Automation Anywhere. Ken took us through a great key note on the value and importance of automating processes using RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and illustrating how the business can add value by automating transactional tasks which enhance process and customer experience.

Lemmon reflected on this presentation and asked “if you’re not using technology then your competitor is” he went on to say “You may be thinking, will automation take my job, but what you really should be thinking if we don’t automate it may take my business!.”

Whilst Winsor highlighted the importance of “Leveraging a digital workforce business can drive operational efficiency and empower their human capital”

On March 2, Sempre Analytics hosted a virtual session entitled The Evolving Role of the Finance Leader, watch the On-Demand here.

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