These CHRO partners want to see finance and HR collaborating more

Seven companies have thrown their weight behind the FinanceMeetsHR summit.

With just days to go before the annual finance meets HR summit, there are four companies that deserve an honourable mention. Workday, Skillogical, SAP Concur, Sanlam, ClarkHouse Human Capital, Momentum Consultants and Actuaries and Compliance Online have thrown their weight behind the CHRO community as partners for all the upcoming events, the first of which will take place on 18 February at the Equinox Leadership & Innovation Centre. 

Executives will leave the HRmeetsFinance event with a better understanding of the future and what it holds for their respective organisations. It also allows for more synergy between the finance and HR functions, setting the tone for a fruitful and collaborative year.

For decades, the relationship between HR and finance has been a great challenge because, with HR focusing on people and finance focussing on financial performance, it is easy to overlap or even overstep the ‘boundaries’.

“The good news is, however, that there has been a huge change of focus in more recent times, and technology has been one of the contributing factors. With technology playing a bigger role as an enabler to enhance people’s performance, it has also attributed to the fact that performance can be measured in monetary terms,” says Skillogical director Kuben Naicker. “This has led to HR and finance collaborating even more, and sharing the same outcomes and objectives. The question is thus no longer whether HR and finance can collaborate, but what the extent of such collaboration will be on the organisational performance.”

Momentum Consultants and Actuaries executive director Blessing Utete says HR and finance departments should collaborate to ensure that employees are optimally productive by engaging with, rewarding, and ultimately retaining them.   

“While finance is needed to fund such initiatives, HR should identify the leading solutions that will positively impact the business’ bottom-line,” he says. 

Principal partner Workday’s country MD Zuko Mdwaba says that although finance and HR represent different disciplines and skillsets, they’re responsible for what’s at the heart of any successful company, namely financial performance and talent. 

“Traditionally, the relationship between finance and HR has ranged from tense to ambivalent,” he says. “For most of the last 100 years of business, things (assets, inventory, goods) were the cost driver and the value store, while labour was just one more cost to be minimised. As finance cared about cost and HR cared about people, the two functions were natural adversaries.” 

Zuko adds that it couldn’t be more different today. “Businesses increasingly recognise that talent drives business performance. Talent costs, supply, assignment, development, and optimization are now top-level business discussions upon which the success or failure of ventures and whole companies depend. Human output is no longer a commodity to be minimized, it is a resource to be optimized, and this puts HR and finance on the same side of the table.”

Compliance Online managing director Dr Minette Smit says operationalising compliance in any business can only be effective and drive positive outcomes when HR and finance align their respective strategies around the management of people and revenue generation. 

“In particular the technology and analytics used by these functions should rely on common controls, a common database and reporting tools in order to simplify compliance, reduce risk and rationalise cost,” says Minette. 

Meanwhile, Viresh Maharaj, managing executive for corporate sales and marketing at Sanlam, believes F=finance and HR represent symbiotic communities within businesses that depend on each other to create shared value for stakeholders. 

Viresh adds: “The opportunity facilitated by CHRO to structure conversations between these respective disciplines allows for meaningful dialogue with the shared intent of unlocking the potential of organisations and the individuals within them.”