Bringing Together HR & Finance

At Willow Oak, we realize there are many opportunities for Finance & HR to come together in businesses of all sizes. Effective partnership between these two functions can truly propel businesses forward through effective and strategic goal setting processes, more balanced support in company growth, and through alleviating administrative burdens from business owners and managers. 

Photo : Bianca Akermann

Today, we wanted to break down what that looks like on all fronts and how having the two functions operate together can yield better business results. Click through the following sections to see how they work together in some critical business scenarios.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is a critical component to any business – it keeps you focused on where you’re going and gives you something to work towards. It allows you to dream big, while setting you out on a path to achieve those dreams. But Goal Setting, and follow through, is a skill in and of itself – and doing it right will keep you on track and take you to the mountain top. 

Finance Goal Setting

Naturally, there is much overlap between the role HR and finance plays in goal setting. At Willow Oak, the finance aspect of goal setting includes: 

  • Creating projections on multiple scenarios (realistic, risky, and huge goals) 
  • Understanding the number of products & services you might need to achieve your financial goals 
  • Understanding your cash flow before making major investment decisions (equipment, hiring employees, etc.)

Financial goals can vary from revenue, cash flow, salary/dividend, profit and gross margin. It’s everything from what the company makes, what you can bring home or what the company can have left over to grow. 

HR Goal Setting

From an HR perspective, the most critical role is ensuring your goals are both aspirational and clear enough to help you in driving towards them. One of our favourite quotes that illustrates the importance of this is: 

Hard goals drive specific performance more effective than easy goals. Specific hard goals produce a higher level of output than vaguely worded goals.

John Doerr, Measure What Matters

In addition, and also critical to an effective goal setting process, HR can help with 

  • Setting goals beyond the numbers (stronger social media presence? Employee Engagement? Recruiting goals?)
  • Ensuring goals are cascaded throughout your organization effectively 
  • Ongoing goal management and priority shifting
Strategic Partnership

In many organizations, Finance and HR don’t collaborate as much as they could. As a result, both teams are missing opportunities to be proactive and forward thinking, often playing within the role of ‘admin’. By having a strong HR & Finance partnership, HR understands financial implications, and finance has a better idea of the bigger vision. Together, they can help companies safely achieve big and exciting goals. 

Hiring Employees

Another area that yields better results when HR & Finance work together is in the process of building out a team. Whether you’re looking to bring on your first or 100th employee, HR and Finance can play critical roles in ensuring your business and your new hire are set up for success. 
From an HR perspective, we can help with 

  • Creating compelling job ads 
  • Ensuring all required paperwork is in order 
  • Providing and executing strong onboarding programs to ensure new hires can hit the ground running

From a Finance perspective, we can help with 

  • Cost and cash flow considerations, 
  • Required government account coordination
  • Government remittance planning
  • Payroll and/or payroll system set up 
  • Ensuring compliance with government regulations
Administrative Support

Beyond the benefit of providing more strategic support and guidance, frankly speaking, both of these functions come with their fair share of administrative tasks that business owners often feel bogged down by. Having a team to own these processes so that the business doesn’t have to worry about it can be a gamechanger in business owners getting to the next level. Above that, when the HR & Finance teams actually work together, patterns and processes can be streamlined for maximum efficiency.

We believe there is so much opportunity for HR & Finance to come together to yield incredible business results. We also recognize that as a rule, people don’t start a business to take care of the HR & Finance Perspectives. We are so excited to announce our upcoming offerings – if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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