Maturity assessment

A maturity assessment is about understanding your starting point and planning the right initiatives – the first step towards becoming a proactive and value-creating Business Partner.

The finance department’s data maturity and ambitions

An assessment of the maturity of the finance department provides an overview of the current situation regarding the use of data and financial processes to support the rest of the company. A maturity assessment is thus the finance department’s first step towards becoming a proactive and value-creating Business Partner.

When talking about companies’ data maturity and forward-looking strategy, it is about understanding the company’s starting point and planning the right initiatives from there. It is not about evaluating the company as “good” or “less good”. There is a natural difference in where companies and departments are in relation to their use of data and automation of processes.

Different levels of maturity

There can be many reasons why companies are at different levels of maturity in relation to data. The age of the company, for example, often has a natural link to how established and documented the processes are. And not all companies necessarily have to follow the same steps up the maturity ladder to end at the very top. It is in especially about the objective of the respective financial processes and how ready the company is in general.

For finance departments, the task has for many years been to provide good financial management, anticipate and manage risks – including ensuring control of the cash flow. For the less mature company, the finance department has often navigated from a chart of accounts with possible accounting dimensions as the analytical perspective.

The use of data sets high standards for the finance department

Data is increasingly being considered as the key ingredient used in planning, management, overview, and decision support – not just in finance, but across all the company’s departments. It also places greater demands on the finance department’s use and understanding of data – for the finance department to be efficient, agile, and able to support the rest of the business with analysis, insight, and good financial management.

In the following, we will provide inspiration for the understanding of the various stages that companies – and in particular economics – typically go through to achieve an understanding of where the individual company is. Thereafter, it is described how the company can map the areas that can be improved – within the area of technology, competencies and/or processes.

The journey of maturity

Based on many projects and various counseling, Kapacity has mapped a number of development stages that many companies and finance departments go through. Often the goal is to become a Business Partner for the rest of the business – a role that requires control of data, processes, and competencies to work in a data-driven manner – both now and in the future.

We will base the dialogue about maturity and the desired for the finance department on the model below.

Each stage has some characteristics that tell something about how ready the department is to move a level higher. For each stage, we look at the general processes in the finance department’s teams – Accounting, Controlling, Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis, Risk & Compliance – and a decision is made on the work processes, degree of automation, data availability and quality, IT support, competencies, and resource composition.

Read more about the typical processes in the finance department.

Maturity assessment – part of a bigger picture

An assessment of the company’s data maturity and readiness can favorably be combined with a broader scope – e.g. an analysis of existing processes. In this way, the assessment will not “just become an isolated finding, but instead a part of an overall picture. This overview can then be used to make recommendations and plans for priorities and process improvements based on the company’s current situation and ambitions with data. In Kapacity we call this a Digital Finance Assessment.

Digital Finance Assesment

A Digital Finance Assessment uncovers your current standpoint and focuses on areas and processes that can be improved. These areas will be mapped so they can be executed in a realistic and value-creating order.

A Digital Finance Assessments is a process where information from relevant contributors is collected in various forms. The process can vary in scope – often based on the following phases:

  • Joint workshop – e.g. for the finance department. Here, tasks and processes that are heavy, demanding or flawed are uncovered
  • Interview and detailed review of selected areas. Here, the tasks that are assessed to have the greatest possible effect of a technically supported data solution are reviewed
  • Analysis and documentation ensure that all information is gathered and communicated in a constructive and structured form

  • Review of results – either with an area owner (CFO?) Or a joint workshop for all contributors

Mapping of data maturity and potential

Kapacity will base the mapping on a well-proven method, where the existing tasks are evaluated on the process itself, data competencies, data, data quality, technology and not least governance of the company’s processes and data. As a result of the analysis, we obtain an overview of the company’s current data maturity, general observations and a roadmap with recommended priorities for the short, medium and long term. A communication plan in addition to a roadmap ensures a controlled process with the right information for relevant stakeholders.

Read about process optimization in the finance department.

Want to more about Maturity Assessment?

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Stig Thougaard
Senior Commercial Advisor, Digital Strategy
+45 31 63 29 21
sth@kapacity.dk