Are you a finance executive at a for-profit company thinking about making the leap to a nonprofit organization? As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, some readjustment may be in order.
Reporting requirements are much stricter, and you’ll need to manage the expectations of major donors and your board. But the biggest difference between nonprofits and for-profits may be a lack of resources. Don’t expect the luxury of a large staff. Employees at nonprofits end up wearing many hats and playing numerous roles because there simply aren’t enough people.
The role of financial controller has moved way beyond number crunching. Increasingly, controllers are taking on the job of financial operating officer. They are becoming the CFO’s go-to source to ensure that finance runs smoothly and there are no surprises at quarter end.
But leading a smoothly running finance department is a given. Today’s financial controllers must do more. They must be forward-looking. They must always be searching for ways to improve productivity, reduce costs, and streamline processes—including consolidation, the month-end close, management, and financial reporting. They must also scale these processes to handle high growth. Continue reading
Corporate performance management (CPM) solutions are becoming pervasive at organizations of all sizes. But to really gain true value from your CPM investment, the software must be easy to use. A simple, intuitive interface is what gets people to see value in an application. When business software is user-friendly, adoption increases dramatically as employees can quickly take advantage of key functionality.
The experts agree: Usability is key
According to the recently released Gartner Critical Capabilities for Strategic Corporate Performance Management Solutions* report, “the ability for each solution to support complex financial budgeting, planning and modeling is highly important, but usability and product satisfaction have a major impact on determining the business value each solution provides.”
Fairy tales and finance rarely mix. Yet Jeff Epstein of Bessemer Venture Partners clearly has found an exception.
Epstein, an operating partner at Bessemer and former CFO of Oracle, has honed a practice he calls the Goldilocks Budget, a probabilities-based approach that has helped scores of organizations vastly improve their budgeting process.
Recently, Epstein partnered with Adaptive Insights to produce a webinar and eBook that dives deeply into the benefits of the Goldilocks Budget. We caught up with Jeff a few days before the webinar to get his perspective on how Goldilocks can be a CFO’s trusted friend.
Can we let you in on a little secret? There’s a proven, scientific reason that the numbers in your annual budget aren’t all that different from the original proposal—even if your finance team pushes back on every figure and tests every assumption. It’s the same reason this year’s budget hews pretty closely to last year’s, though those numbers might not make the most sense.
The culprit that makes it so hard to shake free of your budget’s starting point is called anchoring. Anchoring is a psychological bias in which one piece of information sticks in your mind and influences future information. In other words, the number you start with becomes a reference point that can dramatically shape the number you end with—even when that starting number is absurd.
HireVue’s video technology software has changed the way hundreds of companies hire and train employees.
Yet the Salt Lake City-based company has also experienced a game changer internally when it comes to its sales planning. By adopting a new approach to financial planning and forecasting, HireVue has produced this eye-popping statistic: Forecast variances dropped from 20% to 2%.
HireVue’s Team Acceleration software allows managers and recruiters to screen job candidates through internet video interviews and predictive analytics—and now the company can do rolling 12-month sales forecasts. This gives them a clearer picture of revenue and sales projections thanks to a cloud-based FP&A solution from Adaptive Insights.
The purpose of your annual budget is pretty straightforward: Provide a foundation for the upcoming fiscal year, and as the year progresses, track corporate performance against it.
No big deal for a finance pro like yourself, right? The challenge is, traditional budgets are often unresponsive to market changes. That means targets are not consistently aligned to strategy, long-range plans don’t support overall objectives, and accountability is unclear.
Forrester’s latest report—The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Performance Management, Q4 2016—is hot off the presses and it’s big news for us.
Adaptive Insights was among the leaders in this report. We received the highest scores possible in usability and integration and data quality. On the heels of being named a Leader in the 2016 Gartner Strategic CPM Magic Quadrant report, Adaptive Insights is now the only cloud-only company to be named a Leader in both Forrester and Gartner reports.
The talent crunch has hit the FP&A field, and many CFOs are worried that recruitment woes will make it harder to reach strategic goals. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. CFOs report that they’re offering new employees higher starting salaries compared with two years ago, in an effort to woo top talent through the door, according to a survey by global staffing firm Robert Half. The average pay increase was 10%, CFOs said. But throwing money at a tight talent market won’t always solve the problem.
“Today’s changing world demands that we change our strategy,” Craig Rucker, VP of finance at Active Interest Media, told the Adaptive Insights audience at a recent live webinar. “We have to look beyond the obvious.” To keep your FP&A department well-staffed with a rock star team, consider these less-expected strategies.
Millennials are about 80 million strong and soon to become two-thirds of the workforce. Their relationship with technology is different; unlike previous generations, they grew up in a time when the widespread adoption of technology has accelerated from years to minutes. According to Christine Hollinden, founder of Hollinden Consulting, that fact has impacted how they communicate, as well as how they want to do business. “They’ve been exposed to more of everything—information, options, advancements, technology, and cultures,” she said. This means they are hungry to try out new tools and are not satisfied with the status quo. Continue reading