The role of the Finance Director is complex, crucial and increasingly demanding. Georgi Kostadinov, Finance Director of Manpower Bulgaria and Deputy Regional Finance Director of Manpower SEE, has been part of the company since 2007. In this article, he shares what are the skills that make a person in finance successful both in the job and in managing people, how has the profession changed in view of the global pandemic and the newly implemented work models, what role does digitalization play and what is the relationship between finance and human capital.
What are the specific skills a Finance Director needs to possess to be successful in leading their team?
The role of the Finance Director has changed a lot in the recent years. Knowledge of the company's finances and asset management is no longer the main focus. The Finance Director must know the company's business processes in detail, support all units and monitor the implementation of strategic objectives in real time. To analyze and prevent not only financial risk,, but also risk at operational level are also very important responsibilities.
In order to develop and successfully lead teams, the Financial Director’s behavioral model needs to constantly change and improve. The way of working with teams is based ontrust and synergy and has a unifying role for the achievement of higher results.
The pandemic, working from home and the overall change in the work processes around the world has also led to a corresponding change in the Financial Director's job description. To what extent does flexibility play a role among the must-have skills he or she must possess nowadays?
Flexibility is very important, especially during a pandemic. Working from home and the limited direct contact also led to a change in people's attitudes and needs. The different working environment also requires a different management style to help ease the social crisis and prevent the quality of work from being affected.
Will the active influx of digitalization and automation in all business sectors lead to changes in the Financial Director’s job? What will they be?
During the pandemic, we were able to remotely implement a new financial system with more functionalities and largely adapted it to our business needs. We have automated a number of processes which will minimise the risk of human error. In the long term, this will optimise cash flow and increase the efficient management of the company's assets.
We have also launched the replacement of the employee remuneration management system and are moving towards establishing and maintaining electronic records.
In this sense, the Financial Director should continuously look for new opportunities to implement digital processes, digitize document workflow, minimize the required inventory resources and rationally utilize office space.
In your opinion what are the most important connections between Finance and HR?
Breaking down barriers between HR and finance functions can bring a number of benefits for an organization.
The ability of Finance and HR to work together and understand the role of the other team is key. In many organizations, HR and Finance are two different business areas. Finance helps to allocate resources, meet the organisation's objectives, balance costs and revenues. HR hires and motivates people to achieve the same goals. Although they are two different departments, it is important to have collaboration between HR and Finance within an organization. It is also important to understand workforce planning. It's not just about headcount, but also about how much critical investment in human capital (e.g., training, development programs, other motivational factors) leads to tangible bottom-line results.
For a structure to function effectively, it is necessary to create a symbiosis in which all participants benefit from the relationships.