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Finance Essentials for Business Leaders

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  1. Module 1: Introduction to Finance
    5 Lessons
  2. Module 2: Financial Concepts and Principles
    5 Lessons
  3. Module 3: Financial Planning and Cash Flow Management
    5 Lessons
  4. Module 4: Building Your Financial Model
    5 Lessons
  5. Module 5: The Financial Implications of Business Decisions
    5 Lessons
  6. Module 6: Interpreting Financial Data and Analyzing Performance
    5 Lessons
  7. Module 7: Managing Finance Through Your Business Life Cycle
    5 Lessons
  8. Module 8: The Requirements of a Modern-Day Finance Function
    5 Lessons
  9. Module 9: Positioning Your Finance Team for Growth and Expansion
    5 Lessons
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A financial culture exists when every employee is aligned to the commercial goals of your business and seeks to deliver them across all their activities.

However, many people who work outside of finance either do not properly understand your company’s financial needs or are not committed to them.

Key benefits

Embedding finance across your company to create a strong financial culture is essential towards delivering your strategic plan and elevating the role of finance within both ongoing activities and decision-making.

There are many benefits, including the following:

  • Creating the financial basis from which a company can grow and become profitable;
  • Helping finance to be seen as the go to people when support is required;
  • Getting finance more involved in the company’s activities;
  • Elevating the level of influence that finance can exert across the business; and
  • Providing more opportunities for finance to add value to each department.

A strong financial culture will elevate the status of your finance team across the business.  It allows finance to have a stronger voice that people will listen to and respond accordingly.

A CFO’s perspective

During the following video, experienced CFO and professional mentor Helene Brichet shares thoughts on how business leaders can embed finance across a business:

Embedding the culture

Our GrowCFO survey of finance leaders shows that there is one essential component towards achieving a strong financial culture – the tone from the top.

Your leadership team needs to regularly communicate the importance of this to your management team and the wider business.

Your finance leader needs to work closely with your management team to obtain their buy-in.  Once obtained, your management team must be consistent within your communications across each team.

Here are some suggestions towards how finance teams can help to improve your financial culture:

  1. Strengthening their relationships with each department.
  2. Improving their understanding of each team’s activities, objectives and biggest challenges.
  3. Suggesting improvements to help solve their problems and to deliver their priorities.
  4. Getting finance involved at the start of a process rather than at the end.
  5. Promoting finance to be seen as a business partner rather than a financial burden.
  6. Providing regular consistent communications and meeting expectations.
  7. Capturing and reporting relevant data in a user-friendly format.
  8. Organizing seminars to educate people about the role of finance and how they can help.
  9. Holding one-to-one discussions with team members across the business.
  10. Showcasing positive behaviours and rewarding success to motivate others to do the same.

It is essential you start by obtaining proper buy-in from your management team.  Otherwise, finance is likely to have a limited impact across your business.

Key challenges: Finance team

Embedding a financial culture across your business can be difficult and takes time.  Finance teams typically struggle with the following internal challenges:

  1. It can be very challenging to obtain a management team’s buy-in and to consistently communicate the tone from the top across your wider business.
  2. Most finance teams have limited experience of creating a financial culture across the business and have never receiving any relevant training.
  3. Finance leaders struggle to determine what best practice looks like, identify your key objectives and measure success.

Key challenges: Wider business

There are many inherent challenges from the wider business towards embedding a financial culture across your company:

  1. Most people do not have any financial background and struggle to understand the role of finance or how to work together effectively.
  2. Different departments often have varying cultures and individual teams may work in silos.
  3. Finance often has a poor reputation amongst different departments and people may be worried about being told off or getting things wrong.


Embedding finance across your company is a challenging but essential task for any business leader. You should start by fully obtaining your management team’s buy-in and ensuring that this is consistently communicated to your wider business, in particular by the business owners and CEO.

Assess your current status

How would you rate the financial culture across your business on a scale of 1 to 10?

What are the biggest finance team challenges towards improving this culture?

What are the biggest challenges across the wider business towards improving this culture?

Who is most likely to resist any improvements towards your financial culture and why?

How could your management team help you?