Finance function effectiveness

14 July 2016

Finance plays a critical role in the effective management and performance of successful organisations. A highly effective finance function that works alongside the business as a trusted business partner, actively contributing to the strategic aims and objectives of the business is vital to achieve success.

Constant advances in technology, communications and infrastructure are placing an ever increasing pressure on finance teams to support the business in shorter timescales.

Appropriate resource and effective processes and systems need to be in place to respond to these changing demands allowing finance to respond with more insightful financial information to the business and within shorter timescales. This in turn leads to improved decision-making. 

Case study 

The client

Sedbergh School is a private fee paying school with annual fee income of £12.5m. The school has a number of complexities including being multi-site, operating trading and fundraising subsidiaries, currently undertaking an intensive capital programme as well as expanding the brand. While the school has grown in scale and complexity the finance function has remained with the same structure and processes for the last 10 years. 

What RSM did 

RSM’s specialist finance function advisory team worked with the school over a four week period to establish the demands for finance services from the organisation and identify how the finance team could bridge the gap given the significant pressure that was already felt from existing requirements. 

RSM identified transactional process improvements (standardisation) to alleviate the processing burden on the finance team and enable them to undertake the more value-adding services that the school required to support the demands from the organisation as a result of the developments.

As well as process changes RSM identified areas requiring systems changes to support automation of the largely manual processes. The roadmap developed has provided Sedbergh with a clear route to a more effective finance function and RSM will continue to support through the implementation.


“RSM undertook a speedy and very credible piece of work. The team immediately demonstrated an experienced grasp of the key issues and a strong knowledge around effective finance functions. They produced a coherent and comprehensive evidence based report that will enable us to develop finance team that is fit for our purpose.”

Peter Marshall, Bursar, Sedbergh School

If you would to discuss any of the points further, please contact Steve Uttley, or your usual RSM adviser.

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