The HRMS business case: Convincing the FD

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The key is to look at it from their point of view.

Budgets are tight and every penny counts; everyone knows that, right? Cost savings are the order of the day, the year in fact, and if you’re going to be spending our money it had better have a positive effect on the bottom line.

Well – luckily there ARE ways you can frame this spending as a net positive with your CFO or finance director.

Here are four tips for how to convince your finance department to invest in a new HR tech system that makes good sense for everyone, regardless of their business unit.

Use the data at your disposal

An HR system with punchy reporting and analytics is what every business needs. Use your people stats to come up with a compelling narrative and business case for a new HRMS. Including cost per hire, time to hire, absenteeism, presenteeism even, there are ways to tell the story of your workforce through numbers that will make it difficult for your FD to resist.

Or maybe your data can’t currently give you those answers. What could you do with access to reliable reporting and analytics? How much more effective might engagement and performance initiatives become with data-backed insight? What strategic impact?

Talk the right language

If you want to win the heart of your CFO, you need to think like your CFO, and that means talking like her. She wants to hear what difference a new HR system will make to the bottom line.

What the return on investment is going to be, what the percentage uplift in productivity is going to be and how it’ll realistically affect the balance sheets for H2 of the coming year.

Link the value of your people to the cost of your solution, but talk about the long term as well. Opportunity cost is a real thing and a consideration for anyone in finance.

Lean into digital transformation

We’re already talking the right language, and while we’re there, we can’t let digital transformation go amiss can we? It’s true that increasingly, CFOs are becoming more involved in digital transformation programmes in their business.

What are your finance leader’s objectives for digital transformation? This is critical when it comes to the way you present your business case. Recognise the input of finance to these projects and explain how new HR software can help achieve those goals across the business.

Upskilling >> talent acquisition

One of the big themes to come out of the middle latter stages of the pandemic is that CHROs have realised how valuable the workforce they already have is, as opposed to the one they think they want.

It’s more cost effective to upskill and reskill your staff, and it engenders loyalty too. Important values for a good company culture, that also prevents costly staff churn.

There’s a place for talent acquisition, sure, but the point where your CHRO’s interests can really dovetail with your finance department’s is where you demonstrate how an HRMS upgrade will unlock insights that enable the organisation to retain talented employees.


To tie it all together:

  • Use data you have, or highlight data you don’t have
  • Frame the decisions in CFO terminology
  • Bring it back to the bottom line
  • Lean into digital transformation and the organisation’s digital objectives
  • And if you’re looking for a great new solution, why not start here?