In one of the finance conferences, I was running an introduction to my finance team & its functions. I decided to take note of expectations from finance from all functional leaders – some came up with expectations of partnership, vendor delight, fund flow optimization, excellent operational planning, tax optimization and one of the unique expectations came as a function which demonstrates clock building and not limited to time telling.
This concept was unique and can be explained as –
Clock Building is a concept, as stated in the book Built to Last. Having a great idea or being a charismatic visionary leader is "time telling"; building a company that can prosper far beyond the presence of any single leader and through multiple product life cycles is "clock building."
In today's world organizations have to build teams for clock building and not limited to time telling. The optimum structure for finance organization is governed by the business, industry & vision of the functional leader.
There are key functions of finance are
The real Estate Finance department is high on activities of financing, working capital management, fund flow management, customer collections, vendor payments for constructions, especially labor payments, compliances. With my experience in Real Estate & Infrastructure sector, the best structure is to have a visionary leader with a key functional division of - Financing, Finance Operations –( O2C, P2P, R2R, Insurance ), Reporting, Taxation, Finance excellence – focus on policies, process, technology, automation,
The key functional group in finance
- Working capital Mgt
- Land /Labor payments
- Joint Venture Accounts of land and development
- Investor Reporting of NCD etc
- Reporting MIS Budgeting
- Partnering, Planning, Progress monitoring
- Receivable Mgt. – Collection, Revenue accrual, Receivables claim Mgt.
- Payable Mgt – statutory dues, land dues, Vendor claims
- Insurance Policy/ Claims
- Direct Tax and Indirect tax
- Audit and financial reporting
Finance Excellence –
The most important function to take the function to the next level, due to changing technology, accounting standards, taxation, there is continuous improvement required to relook to perform tasks better each day.
Important tip: "BCP" Business continuity planning is the key to ensure the critical knowledge and skills with backup are available in team / developed over time.