Finance function: A new strategic game player

Since last November when Dana Energy revisited its corporate parenting strategy, the board of directors has been working on a plan to transform the Finance function.

The decision is in line with a macro policy, which would enhance the company’s competitiveness in the Oil & Gas sector and strengthen its business organization to allow for more efficiency and effectiveness, according to Sadegh Shirazi, company’s Finance Director.

Shirazi said the transformation would include a unique financial “Shared-Service Center” (SSC) providing the operational support and “Finance Business Partners” to each business segment providing a strategic role to improve business performance through better decision making achieving their intended impact. “The transformation has been designed in accordance with global best practice benchmarks,” he added.

According to the transformation design, Finance must first identify its stakeholders’ requirements and then design the infrastructure for offering quality services.

“We also try to achieve cost efficiency while reorganizing our financial organization,” the Finance Director said, referring to a variety of parameters that could affect oil and gas companies’ financial performance. One of these major parameters is global oil prices, which has been weak in the past few years, he noted. Despite plunging prices, Dana Energy has been successful in taking cost-effective measures thanks to its flexibility and swift strategic shifts it has made.

The new plan is expected to be implemented in the coming months, according to Shirazi, who believes it would significantly impact the company’s “competitiveness” in the market in a positive way.

Under the new financial organization, the company will also comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which is a single set of accounting standards, developed and maintained by the International Accounting Standards. The standards would provide those involved in business with Dana Energy with the ability to compare the company’s financial performance with the international peers.

“We eventually intend to turn the Finance function from a functional body to a strategic one, which will improve decision-making,” Shirazi concluded.

Interviewee:
Sadegh Shirazi
Finance Director