January in not only the beginning of the New Year but also a very hectic period especially for Intela’s Finance Department; in addition to the usual routines every member has to focus on the Year End Close-off. As exciting as it sounds, it is the time of the year to look back at the previous 12 months – verify and reconcile the data making sure that nothing was omitted and any discrepancies or issues resolved. I don’t want to, however, describe the internal processes within our team even if it would be a very compelling read, I would rather have a look back at the last year as the year of change not only for Intela but especially for the Finance Department itself.
The year 2012 meant for the majority of the company, changes in the corporate structure and personnel but also in policies and procedures that the business was previously lacking. One of the reasons for these anomalies, I believe was the fact that although Intela was growing in revenue the structural changes were put on hold and not fully appreciated. The new blood in top and middle management was and still is the driving force behind this over-haul that has impacted the overall culture and corporate behaviour in this transitional period that was necessary for healthy and sustainable business growth.
Clearly defined marketing strategy, functioning HR and a function of Credit Manager in the Finance Team were only the few of the inevitable and previously greatly neglected areas that would probably make it into the Top 10 must-haves for the past year but probably the biggest change was the transfer of the Finance function to London and the rebranding of the Finance Department. The latter is thanks to persistency of the CFO – at that time - who made it a point not only to educate our colleagues but also made it very clear that accounting is only a function of finance thus changing the perception of our department and its position in Intela. We all hope that the PR of our department had changed and that the Finance became more user-friendly and transparent. Another priority for the brand new Finance became the timeliness and accuracy of the management reports and the subsequent processes allowing an efficient revenue capture and cost allocation. These were the main reasons for creating a stand-alone Revenue and Accounts Payable Team to ensure revenue and expenses administration was removed from other departments thus making life easier and less stressful all round.
Despite the changes and the good work put in to improve financial processes and controls we endeavour to keep up momentum so as to continue enhancing our performance. One of the current challenges that we are facing in 2013 is accurate and reliable margin reporting that is live and easily accessible. For this task current processes and policies will be revised with the focus on clear information flows, accountabilities, responsibilities and primarily achieving cohesion and synergy between the concerned departments. Thus bridging the current disconnects and disparities in communication to ensure that any issues are dealt with in a timely manner and margin protection processes are in place to aid the company’s growth.
Another of the key focal points will be improved reporting that, which is in line with Intela’s repositioning as a Data Driven company. Historically financial reporting was using the traditional ‘line of business’ approach whereas the new approach is driven by the sources of revenues focusing on utilising the data to facilitate all the management information in the right form.
Post by: Jozef Zbranek, Finance Manager