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Published: 4 january 2021 15:19

Head of finance management and accounting firm: Attitude of business towards finance management has changed significantly this year

Simona Matiukienė
Simona Matiukienė

Simona Matiukienė, head of one of the largest accounting services providers in Lithuania BNM Finance, notes the increased focus on financial analytics and the competencies of finance managers when sharing her views on the current market trends within the financial services sector

According to Matiukienė, this year witnessed companies actively seeking solutions, which would help optimise their cash flow and operations. All this demands both insight and professionals with higher competence levels. The CEO of BNM Finance points out that the pandemic and the instability which came with it, has definitely contributed to the changing business needs.

This trend is also reflected in the company’s operational results. BNM Finance estimates that the firm’s revenue from analytics and finance manager outsourcing services grew the most in 2020. According to Matiukienė, with the emerging uncertainty in the market, one in four of her clients has approached the firm with questions on strategic finance management.

“We are glad we could meet the sudden demand and had included these services in our portfolio beforehand. During the time of such unexpected changes in the market, we have created meaningful added value for our clients and ensured the competitiveness of our company,” S. Matiukienė says. Based on preliminary evaluations, BNM Finance grew by 65% this year.

Having purchased eight accounting companies over the last decade, today BNM Finance is ranked among the top ten largest accounting services companies in Lithuania with a team of more than 60 experts. The services which contributed to the growth of the business this year were introduced in 2019 when the expanded portfolio of services was based on an increasingly mature approach to business finance management.

Analysts prioritised

When talking about the current business needs, Simona Matiukienė points out that the way companies view their finance management has changed during the last few years. The focus is not only on the timely presentation of financial reports and accurate data entry but also on the analysts behind it all and the insights they provide. This calls for different competencies, which an experienced accountant, who is simply doing orderly bookkeeping, would rarely possess.

“When expanding our business back in 2019, our team was supplemented by financial managers, analysts, we also launched a project on improving digital literacy competence internally. Accountants are requalifying as analysts and learning to examine various indicators - something that was previously viewed as the responsibility of a finance manager. All these processes were accelerated by the pandemic and so, we are continuing the implementation of changes so that most of our clients could benefit from standardised analytical reports from next year,” explains Matiukienė.

Pandemic contributes to changing needs

The CEO of BNM Finance notes that due to the pandemic and the resulting fears around an unstable economic situation, companies tend to review their cost strategies and decide to outsource their internal accounting or part of its function.

“For businesses, especially during a time of such significant market transformations, we are witnessing the demand for experts who can see the wider context and are able to obtain all the necessary answers from a single source. These services include a finance manager, analytical, legal and debt monitoring, as well as others. Meanwhile, the regions are faced with a different challenge, making the outsourcing of financial management inevitable. In these areas even the larger companies lack competent accountants with high technological literacy, which is currently inseparable from advanced accounting,” says Matiukienė, who also adds that several stages of change have taken place in the financial services market over the last decade.

Ever higher requirements for experts

“Ten years ago, an important factor ensuring competitiveness, was the availability of the human resource, followed by the automation of services. However, with automated processes being a natural part of the present-day accounting, being familiar with taxation law and universal accounting standards is no longer enough. By entrusting their accounting processes to partners, company leaders expect not only for their declarations to state institutions to be submitted on time, but also professional consulting, insights in business management and process optimisation,” explains Matiukienė.

With the accounting automation allowing work to be conducted faster and more effectively, the greatest added value for businesses comes from highly competent individuals, who can analyse the law and apply it appropriately as per specific circumstances of a company. They can also monitor and evaluate the company’s financial metrics and seek means to improve them.

BNM Finance looks to continue developing in the same direction in 2021. “We will strengthen our focus on analytics even more because we see that it is the service that offers the most added value for businesses. It can also be completely automated and obtained from accounting data. We will seek to ensure that all our clients have standardised analytical reports tailored to their needs and that business processes are managed productively. I believe that these priorities, having contributed to our competitiveness so far, will help us become the largest and most innovative Lithuanian capital accounting firm in the country,” says S. Matiukienė.

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