Norman Broadbent Interim Management CFO Practice – Our Predictions For 2018

By Jonathan Stringer, CFO Practice Director at Norman Broadbent Interim Management

The start of 2018 continues to show strong signs of growth as CFOs begin discussing the areas of investment which should be covered by their business plans. Overall, the levels of optimism are high as organisations are planning to expand either by entering new international markets, or by improving the capability and capacity to deliver new products and services to their existing customer base.

2017 saw numerous organisations focus on improving operational efficiency and cost control as a reaction to the economic factors and uncertainties surrounding Brexit. Furthermore, Norman Broadbent Interim Management observed that Interim Managers with skills in FP&A and systems transformation were in high demand for companies aiming to improve their reporting and MI requirements.

Finance and procurement divisions also worked closer together and there was an increase in demand for procurement professionals who could deliver lasting savings for organisations. Heading into 2018, the mood has once again changed following a recent forecast from Deloitte, which suggests that the UK is on track for the best two-year period of growth within Britain’s core export market, the EU, in the past ten years.

The main challenge for businesses going into 2018 will be to achieve growth whilst operating within an environment of increased emphasis on cost control. Data has now become one of the ultimate drivers linked to growth. Additionally, we have noticed a significant demand for Interims who can support organisations gather greater business intelligence and data analytics in order to improve the firm’s decision making processes.

Improving performance and expanding the offering of their shared service centre operations is key for many of the larger corporates. Numerous businesses have restructured their traditional finance operating model into one with centralised back office support. A result of this expansion has been the creation of ‘Centres of Excellence’ for highly technical specialisms such as tax and treasury. This ensures and delivers a consistent process with a global remit for the business.

Norman Broadbent Interim Management foresees continued high levels of demand for Interim finance transformation specialists, reflecting a changing commercial landscape and a need for quicker and more ‘joined up’ data across business divisions. Organisations have been increasing their commercial finance capability, in addition to requiring support from Interim Executives with the international implementation of new finance ERP systems.

Norman Broadbent Interim Management supported many finance transformation programmes during 2017, both internationally and within the UK. Our vast experience shows that the CFO community requires greater control across project delivery and has chosen a blend of both Interim Managers and their own permanent staff. The primary objective of organisations is not only to manage the delivery of financial transformation, but to also ensure knowledge transfer is effective and fit for purpose.

With an increased appetite for change and a continued push for the CFO to be both the guardian and creator of data, clients have an increasing appetite to recruit highly skilled commercial finance professionals with broad expertise in transformation and change. In a highly competitive market, many organisations are trying to attract similar individuals, but often struggle with the recruitment process.

Interim management today is not only viewed as an opportunity to attract talent faster and deliver results quicker, but also as an integral means of upskilling the current workforce through the delivery of transformation programmes on time and on budget. Clients have also found significant savings can be achieved in comparing daily rate charges to Big 4 consultancies, at times as much as 50% at Director level.

With a track record of facilitating change for over 25 years, Norman Broadbent Interim Management operates from a trusted network of Interim Executives and Managers known and recommended to us.

We wish you a very prosperous and successful 2018 and look forward to working with you.

If you would like to find out how Norman Broadbent Interim Management can help your organisation, please contact Jonathan Stringer, our CFO Practice Director for an initial confidential discussion on jonathan.stringer@normanbroadbentinterim.com or +44 (0) 020 7484 0036.