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1 Financial Management Institute (FMI) Being an FMA – Areas to Pay Attention To Nathalie Deslauriers, CPA, CGA Financial Management Advisor – Policy Group, Transport Canada February 27, 2014 Annex C XXXXX
2 Overview My Environment Key Activities Stakeholders Challenges Managing Relationships Opportunity Questions
3 My Environment At TC, there are four financial Management Advisors (FMAs) that report to the Director, Resource Management under the Financial Planning and Resource Management Directorate. Each FMA serves as an advisor to an assigned headquarters ADM client group. There are also 5 regional offices, each with a Financial Management (FM) unit, who report directly to a Regional Director General. They have a functional reporting relationship to the Financial Planning and Resource Management Directorate. My client, Policy Group, has 10 directorates. The Group has an Operating budget of $41M and G&C budget of $16M. The FMA Policy unit consists of 6 FIs Prior to implementation of standardized service delivery model 5 FIs and 1 CR.
4 Key Activities Budget management services: –Development of the initial budget delegation; –Monitoring and analysis of forecasts, expenditures and revenues; –Variance analysis; –Financial management strategies and funding proposals. Challenge and analysis function for input to: –Financial exercises, such as monthly forecasts, ARLU, Supps; –Funding proposals (MCs, TB Subs., investment projects); –Integrated Business Planning process; and –Other financial reporting (Public Accounts, RPP, DPR). Provide advice and guidance to senior management on: –Financial planning and funding strategies; –Financial policy and legislative interpretations; and –Cost and impact assessment. Other...
5 Stakeholders - Finance As part of the CFO Organization, we interact regularly with our colleagues in the corporate finance functions, as well as others in Corporate Services: CFO – the Department’s comptroller, money manager, strategic planner and advisor; Corporate Financial Management – both Resource Management and Financial Planning branches; Other FMA units; Accounting Services and Financial Policy and Systems; and Corporate Planning and Reporting, HR and IM/IT. The CFO expects FMAs to be strategic business partners to their client groups, that provide value-added services and support the foundation of a strong financial management framework in the department.
6 Stakeholders - Client We are invited to their management tables, to provide a horizontal overview of financial issues while ensuring a consistent message. Our advice and guidance is sought on financial matters. We will brief, advise, support and interact regularly with: ADM; ADM’s management team (DGs and directors); RC/Program managers; Group business planners / Strategic Outcome Management Boards; and Administrative support staff. Historically, we have been viewed as “Finance”, the keeper of the numbers, expert of “financial rules” and the liaison with “Corporate Finance”. Our role is evolving to becoming seen as strategic advisors and partners.
7 Stakeholders - Challenges Being seen by clients as a strategic partner, a collaborator, their advocate to Corporate; we are there to help them achieve their objectives / deliver their program; Overcoming the perception that we are gate keepers and accountants; rather than the providers of expert financial advice; Building strong relationships and trust with our stakeholders; and Getting client buy-in; we are all on the same team and ultimately report to the same boss, the DM.
8 Managing Relationship with Stakeholders To build strong relationships with stakeholders, we must: Understand their expectations, their needs, interests and programs o Ask questions and consult regularly; o Listen actively and effectively, and keep note of issues of interest; and o Understand their concerns. Communicate effectively o Understand what they need to know, and don’t; and o Make it short and to the point. Plan ahead o Identify what you need from the discussion (decision, direction, agreement,...); o Know who the audience will be, and tailor the message/presentation; o Avoid excessive detail, focus on what they need to know; and o Keep it simple
9 Opportunity – Becoming a Strategic Partner There is an opportunity for the financial management community to become a strategic partner. We get there by: Understanding the changing environment – we are in a time of economic restraint and efficiencies, scrutiny by Central Agencies with a focus towards centralization and standardization; Understanding the context we are in – Post-DRAP, balanced budget by 2015, less than 2 years from the next federal election; Helping our clients avoid “predictable surprises”; Understanding and taking interest in their business; and Knowing what’s relevant to the stakeholder, what they need know and take action on, and explaining why they should care.
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