The Hackett Group European Practice Leader David Ketchin talks with Global Advisory Practice Leader Tom Willman about key findings from our 2022 Finance Key Issues Research, which outlines changing trends, priorities, and challenges facing the finance function.
Welcome to the Hackett Group’s Business Excelleration Podcast, where – week after week – we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours, and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. Today’s episode is hosted by David Ketchin, who leads the Hackett Group in Europe, and his guest for the discussion is the Hackett Group’s Global Practice Leader for Finance Advisory, Tom Willman. David and Tom’s conversation focuses on the key issues from the Hackett Group’s latest research conducted at the end of 2021, and it identifies why these issues are the top priorities for finance functions in 2022.
While the Hackett Group’s Key Issues Study identifies the top ten priorities for the finance function, David and Tom narrow their discussion to the first half of these priorities. But first, David first offers business context concerning current realities of high inflation, labor shortages, labor rate and freight price increases, and COVID-19 recovery. This context provides the backdrop for considering the priorities highlighted by the study, most specifically those of returning to growth and fostering agility. Tom explains how he has seen the business context of the day impact finance, detailing how finance is being asked to do more with less staff and money, and so needs greater productivity and to lean into tech-enabled improvements.
The acceleration of digital transformation has actually jumped to be finance’s top priority for the year ahead. This priority is followed by the goals to enhance finance’s role as a strategic advisor to the business, upskill and retain talent, and foster agility. Digital Transformation, Tom says, is the process of driving change in which we will leverage new technologies combined with people and processes to create value. He unpacks what this involves for finance before expanding on the priority of advising the business; this priority, at heart, looks like giving business leaders new insight, saying things they don’t already know. In terms of talent, finance needs to take stock of and improve its value function, and make changes within workforce and management strategy. As the episode ends, Tom offers four absolute “get rights” for finance.
- 0:58 – Welcome to this episode, hosted by David Ketchin and featuring Tom Willman.
- 2:04 – David offers business context, and Tom shares its impact on finance.
- 7:41 – Finance priorities and the place and meaning of digital transformation.
- 14:58 – What does it look like for finance to be an advisor to the business?
- 20:07 – Conversation shifts to the priority of upskilling and retaining talent.
- 24:31 – The episode ends with four absolute “get rights” for finance.