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Better Use of the Intranet: The Finance Team's Role
By David Parmenter

April 2007The intranet is being used for competitive advantage. It is now too important to leave the intranet solely in the hands of the IT team. The intranet is simply the best business tool a company has. If used correctly, the intranet will enhance performance, job satisfaction, communication, and knowledge transfer between teams and individual employees.

In order to extract full value, your intranet needs to be driven and supported by all teams within a company, the place where everyone goes to find the information, tools, and resources necessary to carry out their jobs.

One child, I understand, described a home page as the center of a solar system with information revolving around it. That child will go far. That is exactly what it is for your organization even if you may not have a very big solar system yet.

The intranet is becoming the center of the organization. Some organizations are even going to the extent of placing links to most frequently visited internet sites (e.g. the traffic cams, weather cams, etc.). One organization in a crisis decided to set up "the rumor factory" where staff could ask any question and management had to answer within 24 hours. It became the must visit page which combined fact and humor!

All the reports, presentations, and images are available to staff to save time. All key business systems are accessed from the intranet as well as the latest company news and press releases.

Teams and business units will have their own pages setting out their services to staff and teams in the organization.

One thing you can do immediately as a member of the finance team is to set up your finance team's home page. The content on the finance function's section page should include:

  • Financial reports, at a company level, division level, and department level.
  • The accounting policies and procedures manual.
  • Financial delegations.
  • Accounts receivable information.
  • Accounts payable information.
  • Forecasting application so budget holders can enter budget information and it is automatically routed to their manager for approval.
  • Expense claim system so employees can complete and submit claims online, even from an airport lounge, and these can be automatically routed to their manager for approval.
  • Online access to the procurement system.
  • The finance team's success stories.

DAVID PARMENTER is the CEO and Managing Director of Waymark Solutions ( and author of Pareto's 80/20 Rule for Corporate Accountants, from which this excerpt is taken.

2007 John Wiley & Sons. Used with permission.

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