Build an Effective Finance Strategy

Accelerate your finance function and drive business growth with a clear, actionable finance strategy

Strategic plan on a page for finance leaders, 2021-2022

Develop a clear strategic plan for your finance function

An effective finance strategic plan connects your organization's strategy to specific initiatives for your finance function. With the right preparation, your finance strategic plan should provide a clear roadmap to deliver on your wider business goals.

Download this free Finance Strategic Planning Template to develop a finance strategy roadmap that can deliver on your business goals.

  • Build a successful strategic plan for finance.
  • Communicate your finance strategy with precision and clarity.
  • Secure buy-in from business partners.
  • Execute your strategic objectives on time and within budget.

Download the Finance Strategic Plan Template

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    Develop a finance strategy that positions your finance function for success

    Maximize your finance function's value by developing a clear finance strategy.

    Tools

    Gain confidence in your finance strategy by benchmarking your function’s resource allocation, staffing and organizational structure against your peers. 

    Research

    CFOs play a critical role in setting digital strategies to guide investments and achieve desired business outcomes. Learn how finance leaders can help their organizations set and execute strategies that promote digital optimization and transformation.

    Experts

    • Over 30 finance advisors and hundreds of IT experts who advise on creating an effective finance strategy for the digital age
    • Gartner BudgetSmart™ and Gartner BuySmart™ for fast and smart budget and tech decisions

    Community

    • Real-world advice from peers in live cohorts and virtual discussion boards
    • Networking at Gartner virtual and in-person conferences

    Deliver on your critical finance priorities

    Plan and implement a successful Finance strategy for your organization.

    Finance strategy: Frequently asked questions

    A finance strategy combines financial planning with strategic planning. The outcome is a functional roadmap that assesses current resources, costs and budget and aligns them with the company’s mission and goals. It sets a plan to align with enterprise goals to grow and innovate, despite changing and often unpredictable business conditions. A finance strategy defines functional priorities, manages trade-off decisions and minimizes the costs of change to effectively finance critical initiatives.

    Strategic planning is a set of practices, tools and techniques that enables enterprises to assess capabilities, set and measure strategic objectives and allocate resources. For finance, effective strategic planning connects the enterprise strategy to specific initiatives for the function. As enterprise strategy evolves, functional leaders are challenged to reset priorities, manage trade-off decisions and minimize the costs of change in a way that effectively prioritizes the successful execution of critical initiatives. Done well, the finance strategic plan should provide a clear roadmap to deliver on your business goals.

    Finance transformation describes strategic initiatives aimed at reenvisioning the finance function to align with the overall company strategy. Finance transformation may consist of restructuring and implementation of the finance operating model, accounting and finance organizations; accounting and finance processes; financial capabilities; and replatforming of finance and accounting systems. These changes may purport to revolutionize the way an organization manages its financial function and the associated processes, internal controls and financial reporting.

    CFOs are continually transforming their function to enhance business partnership and reduce cost but most fail to deliver desired outcomes due to unclear or misaligned objectives. Accelerated market disruption, coupled with an increase in decentralized decision making, has driven a greater push for finance to play a critical role in steering the business via strategic decision support. CFOs juggling with a large number of competing business priorities, multiple ongoing technology programs and the urgency to reduce cost may create a transformation program with competing, too narrow or too many objectives. CFOs can ensure a finance transformation program is positioned for success by using internal and external leading indicators to determine how changes in the business strategy and macroeconomic environment would impact finance transformation objectives and conducting an internal finance function assessment that measures and prioritizes finance processes on indicators of importance, maturity, cost and effectiveness to gain insight into the areas where the gap between business partner importance and finance’s effectiveness is greatest.

    Other finance priorities Gartner can help with

    Finance Analytics
    Finance Transformation
    Transform Finance Business Partnering

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