Expensive is cheap, and cheap is expensive

Expensive is cheap, and cheap is expensive

Key considerations when transforming your finance systems

We’ve all heard the saying – ‘buy once, buy well’. The principle is simple: When making a purchase, look to buy good quality as it will last. Of course, you must still look after the item to keep it in good condition, but those of better quality should require less maintenance and last longer.

This principle also applies to clients transforming their finance team or systems. One of today’s biggest challenges is identifying a good quality product. You must research products and understand your use case before you buy.

The first mistake many businesses make is not taking the time to establish why they are making the change. Another is failing to gather their list of requirements for the new system, to understand what they need it to do.

In making a change to your finance function, you must consider the purpose of the change and how your people and processes can be optimised. This is particularly important if you are considering a system change - without this optimisation, the change will often fail.

Below are our top five considerations before embarking on any transformation.

  1. Why are you going through this change? What does success look like?
  2. Nothing is sacred. Old processes, systems, and operating models are for the past - the best way forward is to start with a blank slate.
  3. Are you fixing a problem for today, or future-proofing the organisation?
  4. Have you examined every aspect of the system and its problems to build a thorough understanding?  
  5. Simplicity is the key to success.

When contemplating a transformation, research and understanding your intended outcome are both critical. This pre-work, including understanding the current processes, will ultimately save the organisation in the long run. Otherwise, a cheap project may become expensive very quickly, with rework, out-of-scope changes, and all manner of issues.

If you are considering transforming your finance function, our team can help mitigate unexpected costs by working with you to clearly outline your vision, and the path to get there.

For more information, please contact your local BDO adviser.