The finance function is a strategic one because it helps drive organisations to higher levels of performance by delivering information that enables key strategic decisions to be made. In addition to strategic planning, a well-run finance department supports sound financial management, organisational performance reporting, treasury-related activities, and financial reporting (among numerous other things). It tells you how many dollars are coming and going, and where they’re coming from and going to. Without that information, people are driving blindfolded, and the organisation will have a difficult time building and then sustaining long-term value.
Finance, however, is more than just keeping track of the dollars; it’s also about ensuring that sources of funds are adequate and sustainable to fund the organisation’s operational requirements and allow the organisation to expand to meet the needs of the surrounding community. The Finance role and importance in many respects is truly exploding, e.g. enterprise risk management, financial forecasting and management of the balance sheet, tax, mergers and acquisitions, IT investment management, encouraging adoption of new technologies, and on and on.