What defines a successful financial department?
It is an important question that all managers of a financial department should ask themselves. For me, it means that we are not content with simply creating invoices and providing accurate accounting. We challenge ourselves every day by pledging to provide additional value to our customers.
The key to success
Because we offer top service and high quality work throughout our business chain, our quality index measurements show that our financial department performs exceptionally well, year after year. This year, our quality index landed at 98.7%, a figure that makes us extremely proud. What does this number reflect from our day-to-day work? In our case, quality means creating correct invoices, making time for phone calls and responding to emails, as well as assisting our customers and colleagues with support and advice without any considerable delay.
We realize that everyone in the A Society financial department has the opportunity to influence how others experience us as a company, so every one of us is equally important. It is our customers’ overall experience that determines whether they want to continue doing business together or not, so high quality service is the foundation of our business model and we prioritize spending time with our customers. Whether providing the best consultant for an assignment, sending a correct invoice, holding a professional interview or supporting the consultant with time reporting and invoicing, giving our clients full attention and assistance at every step motivates us every day.
Sometimes you have to stop and think about why you exist, and the answer to that question is that we are primarily here for our customers. Everyone we interact with, from a consultant in assignment, to a client in need of a consultant or an accountant at one of our partner companies, can be defined as a customer. By acknowledging that all business functions have to contribute with high customer service, it becomes important for all employees within A Society to make time to assist customers and prioritize personal contact, regardless of which department you belong to. By managing the business in a sensible way, providing service in every step, we contribute to the growth of both A Society and our customers. That's what makes us a unique financial department!
Introducing: Finance and Service Management
To demonstrate how seriously we see our task of providing top quality service to all our customers, we have decided to rename the entire financial department to Finance and Service Management. We believe that by emphasizing the importance of service in the name of our department, we will continue to establish a common mission among our current and future employees focused on keeping our priorities aligned. We want our customers to continue associating us with high service whenever they come into contact with us, whether it is during an interview or while assisting with an invoice.
How do we work with Service Management?
We are a team consisting of “generalist specialists”. What this means for us is that we do not divide our financial department into different smaller departments that handle customer accounts, supplier accounts, payments, etc. This allows us all to do (almost) everything, and thus help customers directly without sending them from one colleague to another. This work process is appreciated not only by our customers but also by our employees, who as a result have a more comprehensive picture of each customer and his or her needs.
As my colleague Hanna puts it, "We always feel motivated. It's fun to have a variety of work tasks and we are developing a lot as individuals."
We are also an integrated part of A Society's development plan for systems and processes. It is important for us to not become isolated from the rest of the organization. We work closely with our colleagues in all main functions, in the same system and are thus a natural and integral part of the business.
We participate in all projects involving development of systems and our system development group consists of one representative from each function in the organization to ensure that every change will have a positive effect for customers and consultants. We also do this to ensure that every system change is optimal for our workflow throughout the business, from presenting a candidate to a new assignment to invoicing the same.
Just a phone call away
We make sure to keep short contact routes; all questions we receive from customers go directly to personal e-mail accounts or via telephone directly to our employees who do their utmost to help all customers. Impersonal e-mails and automatic responses are something we want to avoid as far as possible with regard to everything except receiving and confirming electronic invoices and time reports.
We are passionate about what we do and we strive to maximize each individual's ability to perform. Passion is one of the organization's building blocks, it is one of our three core values that we strive to maintain and manage in our contact with each customer, every day.