Value Add vs Non-Value Add Finance Work


Here in lies the problem with the term value add?  What is the definition?  For one person a gap identified by the finance team that leads to increased or recovered revenue may be value add if it is beyond the regular scope of their duties.  For another person this is something finance should identify even though it is a plus, it is considered within regular duties.

What I have seen with most finance teams in corporate North America is that they are working their butts off.  As an employee there is nothing worse than putting in excess hours every week just to be told that the work you are doing is not adding value.

Unless you are sitting in your cubicle all day pumping out reports that nobody is reading just because it was always done that way, you are likely providing value.  When your customer within the business is engaged in your reports, using your reports to drive decisions and asking you for, about and regarding your information, it should tell you that you are providing value.

When you sit down in your position with finance and are asked to start producing reports, don’t be afraid to ask what they are for.  Find out what the purpose of the report is, how the report is utilized and the benefits driven from the report.  If nobody can answer these questions than it is likely the reports are not value add.

Value add is building relationships with your customers, understanding their needs from a customer perspective, understanding what they are trying to achieve and then delivering it with data and analytics.  If you are doing these few things, you can feel rest assured that you are providing data.



Ken Lane