10 Ways An Organization Can Build A World Class Finance Team

Advice from Stuart Pasternak, Toronto Regional Director, CFO Leadership Council

Stuart Pasternak, Toronto Regional Director, The CFO Leadership Council

Today’s finance team is no longer a group in the back office, counting the dollars, reporting the numbers and ensuring internal controls are working. The finance team needs to be “WORLD CLASS“.

What is world class? Simply being the best or standard of excellence to be envied by others. There is no standard to develop a world-class finance function; however, the following steps are a process of achieving the desired result.

 “This is not an overnight process, but a journey constraint
by culture and organizational needs.

~ Stuart Pasternak, Toronto Regional Director, CFOLC

  1. Assess your current team’s skills and identify the skills you need today and in the future.
  2. Review the roles and responsibilities to determine the best fit within your team. Identify the gaps to determine needs.
  3. Consider staff workloads and the effects of transferring workload around.
  4. Develop two organizational charts, one for the current state and the other for where you want to be.
  5. This is time to bridge the gap, bring in trusted advisors from within the organization to provide feedback and buy-in.
  6. Consider discussion with your current senior staff members (that you want to retain). Senior staff strengths should be tied to areas of improvement, communication, and technical knowledge. This is when we “map the path forward.”
  7. Change the people who do not fit the new structure.
  8. Replace staff with the senior most people who will be retained, so they become part of the hiring process.
  9. Start tracking the finance team results against key position initiatives (KPI’s).
  10. Innovate, innovate, innovate – focus on continuous improvement, progress through people, teamwork and collaboration and the use of technology and automation.

This is not an overnight process but a journey constraint by culture and organizational needs.

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About  Stuart Pasternak, Toronto Regional Director, CFO Leadership Council
Stuart is the Toronto Regional Director of The CFO Leadership Council, the premier networking and educational forum for senior financial executives – built by CFOs for CFOs with 23 chapters across North America and growing. Stuart and the Toronto team manage membership, sponsorship, events and growth of the Toronto Chapter. Stuart is also Principal at PSI which provides entrepreneurs and small-medium organizations with growth and value strategies. They advise and guide the progress of Strategic Planning, Performance Management, Accounting and Financial Management, Treasury & Cash Management, Project/Critical Event Management and Human Capital to ensure that the actions taken are realistic, achievable, foster long-term development and mitigate risks. Stuart is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer Society for York Region and a Certified CPA Mentor.


About The CFO Leadership Council
The CFO Leadership Council offers both live & online programs that feature expert panels and interactive sessions that drive meaningful conversation and leadership development among our membership. Our collection of leadership development resources similar to this article contain pragmatic insights and advice sourced directly from our members and industry experts.  Recordings of CFOLC webcasts are made available to our current CFOLC Premium & Virtual members. CPEs are now offered for our webcasts to current CFOLC members only.  To learn about our membership and connecting with our growing CFOLC community, visit www.cfolc.com.

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