Supply chains are a fundamental part of the modern business environment. The management of these chains often presents entities with challenges and opportunities. The disruptions during the time of the pandemic have focused attention on this area. Technological advancements are changing the ways in which organisations manage their supply chains and the environmental, social and governance lens is requiring entities to develop a deeper understanding of their networks. The strong relationship between finance and supply chain teams is becoming ever more important to an entity’s success.

"Finance professionals will have to take a greater interest and greater involvement in supply chain management."

CFO participant in a roundtable

Importance of supply chains

Supply chain disruption has featured strongly as a topic of conversation across many organisations and locations in 2021. Whilst there have clearly been challenges for many organisations, most key supply chains have held up to the credit of those involved in them.

The factors that have led to the disruption are not solely related to the pandemic, although some of the fault lines may have been exposed to a greater extent by it. How organisations seek to manage these disruptions is closely related to the financial planning and reporting cycles.

These cycles increasingly focus on the ethical and sustainable nature of an organisation’s activities and supply chains are no exception. Understanding the activities across the value chain, or network, is no longer a nice to have – it can be a regulatory and reporting requirement. Yet many organisations still struggle with this.

In the connected world data flows offer a solution to some of these challenges and the ability to use analytics and forecasting are essential in helping organisations have a clear view of their risks and opportunities.

The report, developed jointly by ACCA, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®) and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), explores these areas to provide the context for why this area increasingly matters to finance teams into the future. The report has been developed from the insights of both finance and supply chain professionals across the world and from many sectors.

Areas of common interest for finance and supply chains

As organisations continue to need to respond to changing business models so there is a greater need to collaboration and cooperation across many areas. The importance of collaboration between finance and supply chain teams is essential to support future growth.

"In the current complex environment of global pandemic combined with change in domestic and international policies, economy, and technology, finance and supply chain teams should work together to cope with changes!"

CFO participant in a roundtable

The areas of collaboration are explored in the report. At the heart is the role of the effective finance business partner in being the catalyst for all the activities.

Areas of collaboration (Strategic goals; Planning and forecasting; Acquisition and disposal of entities; Supplier due diligence; Product profitability; ESG agenda; Payment terms; Treasury; supply chain finance;)

The report provides a charter of 10 key areas for collaboration between finance and supply chain teams.

Charter of 10 key collaboration areas (vision; trusted FBP; planning and forecasting; data and technology; ESG agenda; managing disruption; collaborative mindset; visibility; ethical lens; risk and due diligence;)

These can be explored either in the report or in the charter summary document, both of which can be downloaded on this page.