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Finance function effectiveness

Our selection of books, articles, links and guides can help you identify best practices, techniques and tools to apply to your finance function.

What's on this page?

  • eBooks
  • Online articles
  • Useful links
  • Articles and books in the Library collection

Featured article

Maintaining relevance in the digital age
The article discusses the need for the management accounting profession to refocus on providing actionable cost information to support internal decision making, or risk becoming obsolete, in the face of technological change.

You will need to be logged-in to the website to access the full range of articles available online.

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Featured link

Finance Direction
Thought leadership resources from the ICAEW's Finance Direction programme, including case studies and reports on the role of finance departments in organisations.


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Understanding business accounting for dummies - UK

An overview of UK business accounting for non-accountants who need to understand accounting information and financial reports. It covers accounting basics, how to understand financial statements, using accounting in managing a business, and how financial reports are used by investors and auditors.

Reach the top in finance: the ambitious accountant's guide to career success

A career development guide for finance professionals who want to know how they can succeed as trusted advisors, business partners, senior leaders and innovators, regardless of whether they work in industry, not-for-profit or public practice.

Business accounting: volume 1 (13th edition)

A textbook for students on bookkeeping and accounting. The text is fully compliant with International GAAP. Part 1 of a 2 part set.

Showing 3 of 17 items

Online articles

The library provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. Access to articles is provided to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Cyber CFO: The next top finance job?

The article focuses on the new role the chief financial officer (CFO) can play in this new age of digital disruptions, constant hacking and other major corporate risks.

Maintaining relevance in the digital age

The article discusses the need for the management accounting profession to refocus on providing actionable cost information to support internal decision making, or risk becoming obsolete, in the face of technological change.

Value through Robotic Process Automation

Replacing labor- and transaction-intensive processes with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can reduce costs while improving efficiency and quality. Article ooks at questions that CFOs are asking and 4 basic steps for to follow.

Showing 3 of 55 items

Useful links


How to nurture the financial leaders of tomorrow
ICAEW's Rick Payne proposes three ways financial officers can lead change to enhance organisational performance.

Finance business partnering case studies
Case studies demonstrating how finance departments can play a broader business role in organisations.

Finance direction 
Thought leadership initiative from the ICAEW Business and Management Faculty, which carries out research and publishes reports on the role of the finance function in an organisation.

Getting more from the finance function: the art of the possible
A ICAEW Business and Management Faculty recording and slides from a 2013 talk by Adrian Ryan, Head of Finance Transformation at Imperial Tobacco, on how finance functions can contribute more to business performance.


Improving your finance function effectiveness
EY report from April 2016, setting out the advantages of a Centre of Expertise (CoE) for your finance function.

Getting back to growth
Deloitte's Finance Benchmark survey, conducted with 216 organisations in 2015. The survey identifies important opportunities for the finance function and highlights examples of current good practice.

Finance function of the future
PWC paper from 2013 considering how to prepare financial teams for the future. The paper examines existing trends in the sector and and looks foward to 2030.

Talent and capability in global finance functions
This April 2013 ACCA report uses detailed case studies to present insights from leading organisations on the challenges, solutions and opportunities for talent management in today’s global finance function.

Breaking away
A 2015 benchmarking report from PWC, based on data from more than 400 companies.

Finance transformation: a missed opportunity for SMEs?
This report, published by CIMA in October 2011, shows how finance functions are changing in leading organisations. It provides examples how SMEs can learn from large companies when transforming their finance function to help them make better decisions to improve their performance.

Articles and books in the Library collection

Right action
Finance and Management, May 2015
Recent research from Deloitte suggests that although the finance function can support decision-making in business, senior stakeholders are not always applying their analyses effectively. This article comments on the findings of the research, which also highlighted shortcomings on the part of finance functions' approach to analysis.

Bean soup- beyond bean counting: steps for lifting a finance function skill set towards "adding value"
(Finance Mechanics, 2013)
This book uses an extended case study that "provides valuable yet logical steps for lifting a finance function skill set towards adding value."

Essential documents for accountants
(Indicator FL Memo, 2013)
A collection of documents to help manage financial functions. Each document comes with detailed advice on how to use it.

Find more articles and books

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

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