How Intel Is Transforming Its Finance Function and the Customer Experience

By Andrew Graham, Finance Enterprise and Business Process Controller, Intel Corporation

Senior-level financial executives face complexity each day in sales, financial markets and products. Unfortunately, all the data being produced by these relationships are being poured into even more complex finance and accounting systems that need to be checked and reconciled.
The result: massive losses in productivity and strategic advantage as finance teams scramble to translate discordant information.
With its finance and accounting employees all over the globe who are using custom solutions, Intel Finance has confronted this challenge and is driving a business process, systems and culture change that will focus on a more standardized and a less complex environment.
At a recent FEI Committee on Finance & IT (CFIT) meeting, co-hosted by Nike, Inc. and Intel Corporation in Portland, Oregon, I shared our process and some of the lessons we learned along the way.
The Intel Transformation Journey
Our finance transformation journey began with the recognition that there are opportunities for improvement in several process areas. We confirmed this through benchmarking with peer companies. 
We then created a Finance Transformation Program committed to change how finance completes its work to become a leading class function.
The aim of the Finance Transformation Program was to develop a comprehensive framework of a systems and process roadmap that delivers complete cross-group, end-to-end enterprise solutions enabling a prioritized set of investments, experiences and business results.
In turn, that framework – called Intel Finance Enterprise Transformation approach – is built on several pillars.
Those pillars include:
  • Collaborative: Finance transformation needs seamless integration across finance, business and technology groups to meet and deliver business requirements.
  • Holistic: All-inclusive effort involving a cross disciplinary (finance, IT service owners, OPS stakeholders) identifying challenges and defining a set of common objectives against future state requirements.
  • Cross-Group: Cross disciplinary approach to define/synchronize the project’s vision, base needs/capabilities, and improvements needed across finance, business and IT, and for most efficient and effective approach,
  • Define Scope: End to end planning, budgeting and forecasting for the following processes: Hire to Retire; Order to Cash; Source to Pay (Requisition to Payable); Record to Report; Master Data.
  • Services: Business/Finance Functions: Close & Reporting, Financial Planning and Analysis, Capital, Cost & Inventory, Revenue Operations, Revenue Recognition, AP, AR, Tax, Trade, Treasury, Technical Accounting, External Reporting.
  • Continue:  Transformation is never completed.  It’s continuous. 
Our finance leadership sees the importance of investing in the transformation of the business processes, tools and systems, and people to take advantage of different opportunities and shift the way the company defines and delivers finance to the organization.
As the business model is shifting, Intel continues its transformation to a company with evolving and complex business models. We are also evolving processes that requires our finance organization to be differentiated in their agility and execution to respond to changing business requirements, market conditions and opportunities.
Overcoming the Challenges
Complex and evolving businesses have presented challenges within the Finance and Group environments to modernize for efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. Our M&A pipeline is becoming increasingly complex and drives their need to re-align & re-define application strategy, business processes and supporting systems architecture – where to invest in people, processes, and technology to meet current needs and future plans.
The challenge for the organization over the next several years and beyond requires better finance and adjacent enterprise tools and business processes with greater worldwide governance. It requires more dialogue and coordinated execution between finance, IT & business to define and deliver world class finance capabilities, business process and information technology solutions.
In today’s business world transformation is a buzzword, but true finance transformation is not so much a transition as it is an exercise in deep learning. With modern finance technology transformation, there is no finish line.