Multiple factors contribute to the success of a business. You need a great product that is in high demand. A practical approach to marketing. And the right strategy and tools to reach your target market effectively with your products. However, nothing is more crucial than trust. Trust is more important in today’s competitive business environment than ever before. In a world where businesses interact with their clients in the virtual space, trust is the fabric that makes it possible for companies to edge out competition and thrive.

The finance department can, and ought to, help. After all, trust starts with numbers, as finance officers know too well. But the finance department can do more than get the numbers right. It can help build trust both within as well as beyond the organization by setting the right example for process excellence and bringing the risk-aware strategic guide to business planning and development.

Getting the numbers right through automation

Accuracy is the core duty of the finance department. Finance solutions’ automation is essential if you want to minimize fraud or costly accounting mistakes. Automation saves time, and this is important for cost reduction as well as eliminating consuming manual tasks. Automation also creates efficiency for the department, especially during the intense auditing periods. According to the Institute of Management Accountants’ 2016 study, nearly 30% of financial managers and analysts asserted that automation could help the finance department produce more timely and trustworthy financial reports.

Adding process validation

Besides relieving time and pressure in the finance department, automating finance solutions also makes it possible to get end-to-end accountability. Procedure and policies are put together during process workflows. It embeds and standardizes internal controls to ensure consistency and result validation. Automation helps balance the workload so the department can adjust points of pressure before they occur. Introduce visibility and validation into the department’s processes. It will then be easy to see if the controls in place are getting applied correctly. Validation will help you understand if there is added pressure in any of the department’s units.  If not, you can re-balance them smoothly and in time. This process validation is especially crucial in applications where accounts change frequently. And a well-balanced validation process can pay a huge dividend in the form of trust both within and beyond the organization.

Adding trust to strategy

The finance department can also use information generated through its finance processes to add insight to the organization’s strategic planning process. According to the 2017 report titled Enterprise Risk Management Framework by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, organizations need to strategically figure out how to manage complexity, increasing volatility, and ambiguity in the business environment. Especially in departments like the finance where stakes are at their highest.

Financial solutions provided by the finance department can play an essential role in helping decision-makers within the organization. This can be from top management to business units. It is thus vital to understand and interpret the financial risks that come with strategies and initiatives put in place by the department.

For instance, if the organization wanted to expand to a new market, the finance department can be entrusted to write a detailed report that shows how the decision might affect every person and department involved in the reporting chain.  From business unit managers, to the executives as well as board members. The need for executive-level risk management and the trustworthiness therein is both clear and growing.  The finance department can utilize the tools and resources at its disposal to facilitate success.

Making reports available

Financial solutions, such as financial analytics, that visualize accurate views of critical issues are now available to most business executives and managers. But for comprehensive and coherent presentations, an organization can turn to modern finance solutions for real-time, up-to-date and trustworthy information.

Modern financial solutions are capable of handling large data sets in real time. This capability is essential for time-sensitive planning. Moreover, these solutions allow presentation customization based on the company’s organizational structure.

Sound finance solutions can instill confidence across the executive team that an accurate accounting and finance foundation back the finance department. This way, the organization, and its stakeholders will have peace of mind that decisions influenced by these solutions are trustworthy and well-informed.