As the final instalment of the results from our CFO survey on HR, (Read Part 1 and Part 2 here), I wanted to share with you some of the comments we received from CFOs about their relationship with Human Resources.
In some companies, there is no love lost between Finance & Human Resources.
Below are individual comments from CFOs about their relationship with HR based on their own experiences and backgrounds. These comments were curated from our survey to prove the point that Finance and HR don’t always see eye to eye.
Here are some of the more interesting comments we received:
Having HR report to the CFO has been good for our company. It offers a sounding board for HR on tough issues and a little more objectivity vs. operations who are more concerned about staffing than possibly dealing with a difficult personnel issue.
I’ve been CFO of three organizations and have always found a conflict between the CFO and HR. HR believes they should have a direct ear to the CEO – which they should on personnel issues. Often though, this bleeds over to cover financial decisions. If HR does not agree with CFO analysis on a benefits package or offering, often there is a private discussion between HR and the CEO where it “comes up.” This usually results in many extra processes and meetings with the end result being the more logical, CFO proposed issue.
A strong HR dept can add tremendous value to the organization and support to the CFO. However, it has to be balanced in the services they provide and not be just great in one or two areas – it needs to be strong in all areas otherwise it can effect the performance of the employees and the company, similar to the finance function. HR, like finance, is an internal service organization that needs to provide the best quality of service to be an effective dept that adds value to the organization and not a drain on it. I believe that HR and Finance can be very strategic if first they are operating effectively, aligned together and operate as a team.
My biggest headache is HR. They continuously enter pay rates, SSN, address, benefits, etc. incorrectly into payroll and the Accounting software. I have complained to the CEO, but he has not corrected the problems. Accounting often does not have time to take lunch, because we are fixing HR’s mistakes. HR however, manages to take long lunch breaks daily.
(The next one is my favorite)
I should mention that the Director of HR is very pretty and the CEO cannot say no to her or will he make her do her job. Accounting is left to complete many processes that should have been completed by HR so we can do our job. I have many friends in upper levels of Accounting. The biggest complaint I have heard from all of them are their biggest nightmare is HR.
As CFO, do you feel that your fellow CFOs are facing the same issues you are? What do you feel about the comments these CFOs have about HR?