Diving Into the Gap Between HR and Finance Leaders: Part 1

July 1, 2016 Zuman

People often look at a company, be it an air conditioning manufacturer or a juicer, as one collective organism. Each department works in tandem to meet several functions, like engaging customers or performing market research. While the success, financial or otherwise, relies on this collaboration, that doesn't mean there aren't some disharmonious elements.

Not every department always gets along, and it's not always due to outright disagreements. Rather, some departments can't get on the same page thanks to different worldviews. That's especially true for the human resource and finance departments, who often approach business and operations differently.

The human element

The typical  HR department focuses predominantly on the "human" side of a company. These specialists are concerned most with the people that make up each department, and how they can properly develop or support relationships between individuals and groups. On one level, that can involve more generalized tasks, like helping with recruitment of new staff members, enforcing company policies and assisting with retention efforts.

More advanced HR, meanwhile, can serve as a bride between departments, whether to find new ways to work together more effectively or simply to address intra-departmental issues or concerns. A truly robust HR department recognizes opportunities for growth and the best ways to connect people. HR departments are often considered the emotional "heart" of a company where the resource of human innovation is fostered.

Facts and figures

Your average finance department, meanwhile, may not be  initially preoccupied with  the human elements of a given company. That's because working with people involves more nebulous topics like emotional well-being. Finances focus more on the concrete facts of a business, as well as the coming and going of  financial transactions. That includes receiving and distributing funds, regular audits and planning for a company's financial future.

That's not to say that the finance department isn't concerned with the people that compromise a company. It's more that the finance department makes decisions and gathers information to prepare executives in making the right decisions for a company's long-term success. For the average finance department, information and data are vital, and these are the tools in which a business is often built.

Finding common ground

But wouldn't a collaboration between HR and finances only help to improve a business? By uniting together under one banner, these departments can enhance one another's abilities and thus create more beneficial outcomes. It's with that goal in mind that we launched our latest report exploring the relation between these two departments.

"Aligning HR and Finance to Improve Business Outcomes" takes a comprehensive look at this larger issue. The report explores the depth of the disconnect between HR and finance, with valuable data into how these departments think. From there, the report looks at what lessons both HR and finances can learn from one another. Finally, the report dives into possible solutions to effectively align these two pillars.

Through this extensive exploration of common goals and intersections, a company's HR and finance departments can achieve lasting results and redefine how business is conducted in their respective industries.

Stay tuned each week as we discuss a different segment of the report. 


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Zuman is the premium solution for HR, payroll, benefits administration delivering superior control, lower risk, and enhanced employee engagement for growing companies.

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