Grant Thornton hosts a seminar at BAIC BJEV looking at how strategic financial management supports an organization’s successful transformation

On May 6, Grant Thornton and the CFO magazine hosted a seminar at the premises of BAIC BJEV as one of the celebration activities for Grant Thornton’s 35th anniversary in China. BAIC BJEV is a leading new energy vehicle manufacturer, a subsidiary of BAIC which is one of the five largest automobile manufacturers in China. This event invited more than 50 CFOs and executives , addressed the theme of “how strategic financial management supports an organization’s successful transformation”, focusing on business transformation and upgrading, enhancement of financial management efficacy and maximization of corporate values.

Prior to commencement of the seminar, the attendees were taken on a tour of BAIC BJEV ‘s exhibition hall, workshops and the monitoring center to gain an understanding of the company’s new technologies and new products.

Zhang Jianyong, vice president of BAIC, shared with the attendees how BAIC has formulated different financial strategies to support the organization’s 3-phased transformation. He talked about the establishment of group financial management and control when the organization moved towards to a more-centrally controlled group structure, the lean cost management center to support the strategy of entrepreneurship and innovation, and the overseas finance and assets management center for its globalization strategy. These financial strategies that helped BAIC transform into a world-class enterprise with core technologies, a global self-owned brand, and the foundation for sustainable growth.

Meanwhile, Feng Tao, CFO of Beijing Capital, introduced their practices in strategic financial management. In his view financial management as a sub-strategy supporting the overall strategy of an organization, should be closely linked with performance assessment and maximize the corporate value creation by means of streamlined processes and procedures, minimum costs and highest efficiency. Strategic financial management should aim to generate accurate and complete financial information, improve performance of each business unit, support strategic decision-making by giving insight through data, reduce financing costs while ensuring the company has enough liquidity, determine project value via due diligence and valuation, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of assets utilization, and perform risk management and standardized management.

Zheng Jianbiao, national head of security business of Grant Thornton, said, “As a professional service provider, Grant Thornton has observed a trend of an increasing number of companies gravitated towards the Lean financial management. Grant Thornton has been evolving together with our clients by advancing and transforming our service offerings in terms of service products, quality, industry expertise and experiences and even the way we work together with our clients, in order to accommodate the changing needs of our clients arising from their own transformation, as the cases with BAIC and Beijing Capital.”

Tian Maoyong, president of the CFO magazine, chaired a panel session with other panelists being Ye Xiaohua, head of the finance department of BAIC, Feng Tao and Zheng Jianbiao. The discussion focused on how to enhance the efficacy of financial management. They also commented that with increasing diversification of the market and services, many businesses are now pursuing a diversification strategy and are looking for service providers that are able to provide one-stop integrated solutions. This, in turn, will trigger a mind-set reform in some of the service providers leading to changes in their approach to serving clients. Win-win can only be achieved by keeping pace with the changing demands of clients.

As the seminar drew to an end, Zheng Jianbiao gave a wrap-up speech, saying it had been 35 years since Grant Thornton was founded back in 1981. Originally known as Beijing CPAs, it became Jingdu Tianhua and then was renamed as Grant Thornton (Zhi Tong) after a series of mergers. Over the past 35 years as a witness of China’s economic development, from the open-up reform, to introduction of market economy and capital market, and till today an era of globalization where Chinese businesses are becoming an increasingly important global player, Grant Thornton has been growing along with China, from a local accounting firm into a national firm in China with global reach, and achieving huge progress in terms of services, people, quality, market and brand. All these would not have been made possible without the support and trust of our clients and business partners who have also been growing through all the same changes and challenges along the way. Looking ahead Grant Thornton will continue to grow together with our clients and business partners by fulfilling the role of a trusted business advisor and providing value-added services to assist our clients in achieving strategic goals.