The challenges finance teams face within a growing business

Jun 03, 2024
  • finance
  • IT
  • SAP
  • data

In this blog, we explore some of the key challenges facing finance functions when businesses look to scale - and share how you can uncover the best practices to mitigate them.  

Though UK businesses are continuing to navigate the uncertainty of a post-Brexit, post-COVID climate, what we’re seeing today is a positive transition from prioritising resilience to prioritising growth.

In fact, according to YouGov, decision-makers across most industries are prioritising growth strategies over sustainability and brand development, with 61% of manufacturing businesses, 47% of hospitality and leisure businesses, and 64% of media businesses claiming that expansion is one of the biggest areas of focus for their businesses in the next five years.

Whilst scaling operations is an exciting and rewarding process that can truly elevate an organisation's bottom line, it can also create significant challenges within its finance function. If not carefully considered and managed, such challenges can really hinder opportunities to maximise revenue generation and business profitability.

In this blog, we explore some of the key challenges facing finance functions when businesses look to scale - and share how you can uncover the best practices to mitigate them.  

More, more and... more!

As you generate more transactions and invoices, your finance team will have to deal with increased workload, complexity, and risk. They will need to ensure timely and accurate invoicing, payment collection, reconciliation, reporting, and compliance, while also managing cash flow and forecasting.

This can lead to longer hours, higher costs, lower productivity, and more errors and disputes. If your finance function is not equipped to handle the growth, it can negatively impact your customer satisfaction, reputation, and profitability.

Talent attraction and retention

One of the challenges of growing a business is attracting and retaining the right candidates to join the finance team. That’s because finance functions require a diverse set of skills and competencies, such as accounting, reporting, analysis, planning, compliance, and communication. Finding qualified and experienced professionals who can perform these tasks efficiently and effectively is not easy, especially in a competitive market.

Moreover, retaining these talents requires providing them with adequate compensation, benefits, training, career development, and recognition. If your finance team is understaffed, overworked, or dissatisfied, they are more likely to leave, which can disrupt your operations and increase your turnover costs. Therefore, building and maintaining a strong finance team is essential for supporting your business growth.

New markets, old systems

Outdated systems can negatively impact finance teams and business growth in several ways. For example, outdated systems are often the cause of poor data quality, fragmented data sources and weak data governance practices.

That’s because, when relying on manual data entry and data transfers, as often is the case with outdated systems, inconsistencies, errors, and data duplication can result. And with siloed solutions that are disconnected, data sources can be inconsistent and captured in a variety of formats. This ultimately makes it difficult to report on and communicate performance, which is exasperated when a business scales and trades in new markets.

Again, this can lead to frustrations within finance functions, with employees wasting time on manual data fixes instead of focusing on more important and enjoyable elements of their roles.  

Managing growth: the best practices

When it comes to overcoming the aforementioned challenges, leveraging the right tools and processes is key.

With the right solutions in place, businesses can equip their finance functions with everything they need to overcome demand surges, effectively manage cash flow and forecasting, optimise the employee experience, and tap into real-time data and analytics for effective decision-making and accurate reporting.

In our upcoming webinar, Scaling Corporate Finance Internationally: Explore the Best Practices, we’ll be joined by Felipe Flores, esteemed board member and CFO, who will share his experience serving one of Europe's fastest-growing privately owned pharmaceutical firms, as well as his perspective on the best practices for scaling finance functions across borders.

You can learn more and register for this webinar here.