In brief: our FDs’ Forum, 23rd May ‘Future of Finance’.

Our Finance Directors’ Forum on 23rd May at Ashridge Management College was another engaging event. Focusing on the ‘Future of Finance’, the seminar was designed to discuss what Finance leaders need to be prepared for to ensure the businesses they work within are prepared for legislative changes, technological advances and workforce challenges.  We were delighted to welcome David Stibbs, a Finance Director at Britvic plc, to outline how his planning and change program was required to assist the FTSE 250 business prepare for the short, medium and long-term.

Britvic plc
David was asked by the senior management at Britvic to prepare a plan for the future of the finance function so he designed what he thought was a reasonable, achievable and forward-thinking set of goals. However, on presentation to the SMT, the feedback was immediate: “Your plan isn’t ambitious enough”. They wanted Finance to be the centre of so much future decision making in the company that David needed to reassess.

Back to the drawing board?
So, it was back to the drawing board.  The altered presentation is what the assembled FDs were privy to. In short, this is what David and his team addressed in the plan:

  • Restructure and launch the vision of the finance function
  • Understand and build Shared Services and manage capability development. Identify leadership personnel to delegate and efficiently process needs for a successful partnership
  • Put in place efficiency and control measures through automation
  • Design and implement Reporting Centre to assist finance moving away from cost focus to value focus
  • Evolution of Business Partnering and stakeholder management
  • Re-evaluate KPIs and performance management within the business and finance team
  • Development of future skills and capabilities needed to achieve the above

Realisation of the plan
This process started in FY2017 and realisation of the plan will be seen in FY20. Importantly, this was a plan that the entire management structure signed up to. With six months to go, what successes have been achieved?

  • >300 processes reviewed
  • Robotic Process Automation – AI – piloted
  • Eight promotions to leadership positions
  • Shared Service Centre personnel has grown from 42 to 72
  • Graduate scheme reinvigorated to enhance pathways

At MRK Associates, we’d welcome your experiences and desires for embracing the Future of your Finance team. Thank you to everyone who attended our Seminar; we hope you enjoyed the seminar and the networking. Thank you to David for outlining his process, thoughts and plans – good luck for the future.

We’ll be scheduling the next FDs’ Forum very shortly.

Have you downloaded our 2018/19 Finance Survey yet? Please do so here

Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email:

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