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Frontline Finance

Frontline Finance

To effectively support the front line, Finance needs to transform its role and capability – are you focusing on the right things?

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Nicholas Fox

Partner, Head of Government (Justice)

KPMG in the UK

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Register here to download our Frontline Finance report.

Public sector finance teams are constantly having to deal with disruption – from overseeing the required prioritisation of budgets resulting from the period of austerity to reacting to the opportunities of new automation and digital technology.

There remains a key focus on spending controls, financial reserves are being challenged and yet the frontline public service delivery is under increasing demand pressure.

So, how can finance support the frontline in such testing times?

To address changing priorities, the public sector CFO will need to lead a diverse finance team equipped with the required skills and manage talent effectively. The demand for a performance-centric and a technology enabled workforce will prompt finance to step outside of its traditional transaction processing and accounting role, to focus on higher-value services.

Tomorrow’s “Frontline Finance" function will need to consider how its mindset, skillset and toolset will need to adapt to these changes. It will require new capabilities, skills, and roles to meet the growing pressure to deliver more value and serve as a true partner to clinicians, academics, police, social care workers and all those delivering and making decisions on public service that all taxpayers and residents depend upon.

So how should finance adapt?

  1. Beyond book-keeping: Frontline Finance requires a deep understanding of public services, and the organisation as a whole, modifying and enhancing the value finance professionals can create. Finance leaders must remodel their service offering, and effectively utilise the role of the business partner. The CFO must also embrace potential opportunities through use of cross-functional analytics to provide forward-looking strategic insights.
  2. Building value: To move into a role as a trusted partner to the organisation and for the value of finance to be recognised, it must be supported by an effective operating model. True value to the Frontline can only be achieved with a combination of the right skills and capabilities, supported by effective processes and organisational buy-in.
  3. Redefining talent: The evolution of finance requires new skills and capabilities. future Frontline Finance teams will have a mix of skills, some of which currently reside outside of finance. Incorporating these new roles into the team will require careful workforce planning for the profession, as well as agile that enable resources to be deployed in the most optimal way.
  4. Getting on the front foot: To get on the front foot, public sector finance must align its service delivery to the broader provision of corporate services to deliver greater and more coherent insights to the Frontline. Freeing up capacity, standardising ways of working, remodelling and aligning finance is key to meeting the future challenges and opportunities and effectively deliver value adding frontline services.

Now is the time to take your finance talent on the journey to Frontline Finance – seek ways to inspire them to make an even greater difference to the delivery of public service across the UK. After all, as a member of your team, they already have a passion for public service.

 

To find out more, register here to download our Frontline Finance report.

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