As the economy moves toward recovery, many leaders are eyeing growth opportunities in their organizations. If you’re like most business people, you’re feeling cautiously optimistic about your company’s financial prospects in the months ahead.
As your company’s economic hub, your finance team is uniquely positioned to deliver key insights, develop flexible business plans, and drive growth throughout the organization. For maximum success, finance should be sharing their perspective with the rest of the organization, building a truly cross-functional experience.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what makes cross-functionality so important right now. Then we’ll explain how to leverage your data and tools to facilitate better communication and collaboration across the entire organization.
What is a cross-functional team?
A cross-functional team comprises employees from different levels and departments such as marketing, sales, finance, and HR. Sometimes these groups are temporary, created for a specific goal or project, and will disband as soon as the initiative is complete.
Cross-functional teams can also become a permanent structure of the organization. For example, a cross-functional team could be set up as a permanent fixture to allow people from across the company to collaborate on reporting or budgeting.
What makes cross-functional teams important?
Cross-functional teams should be a key part of any economic recovery plan in a post-COVID world. When employees from throughout the organization collaborate, they’ll be better positioned for growth in a post-COVID world.
Cross-functional teams are also crucial because:
• They make everyone more accountable for profit generation. Involving a range of experts throughout the company in the reporting, budgeting, and forecasting process can be a game-changer. Cross-functional teams can work together to determine critical financial KPIs, making them accountable and engaged in improving performance and generating profit. It also involves them in a common, company-wide goal.
• They provide a clear view of expenses to be managed. When you have a cross-functional team, other departments get an inside look into their expenses. When departments are siloed, non-finance folks don’t necessarily understand budgeting and expense management decisions.
• They drive growth. When employees from other departments can weigh in on critical financial decisions, it builds creativity, innovation and problem-solving — which eventually leads to growth.
How Phocas can facilitate collaboration
Better communication and collaboration in your organization might seem like a lofty goal, but it doesn’t have to be. Modern leaders turn to new technologies that facilitate the sharing of information such as profit, loss, and variance among key departments. That means an end to the days of relying on static spreadsheets and long-winded financial statements weighted down with irrelevant information.
A digital solution like Phocas budgeting, forecasting and reporting software can provide a single source of truth for cross-functional teams. With built-in dynamic financial reporting, these software tools allow everyone to view the same data and make data-driven decisions that benefit the entire organization. This leads to a truly collaborative process, since teams can view data from every aspect of the company and make stronger, more informed decisions.
Embrace business continuity amidst disruption
Growth in a post-COVID world is about innovation and cross-functional teams are well-equipped to deliver creative solutions that bust the status quo. CFOs are now on the front lines of a rapidly changing business landscape. With the right data and software tools, they can leverage operational and financial data to create strategic insights across the business in sales and marketing, inventory, purchasing, and pricing.
Now more than ever, companies need cross-functional teams to gain a competitive edge and create meaningful change.
To learn more about using your business data to collaborate with other teams in the company, download our ebook: Modern financial planning and analysis.