University buildings for higher education budgeting and planning

How Higher Education Institutions Get Top Grades in Finance

The annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) last week in Montreal, Canada provided a great opportunity to gain face-time with leading higher education institutions. Representing chief business and financial officers from more than 2,100 colleges and universities across the country, the association annually pulls together the largest gathering of college and university business officers in one place.

But while face-time is most definitely a plus for us, the true value of this conference is in giving our customers the opportunity to discuss best practices in higher education budgeting and planning, particularly in a market experiencing growing budget pressure and financial scrutiny. Continue reading

Image of chain links reflecting benefits of CPM software and interlinked scenarios.

Interlinked Scenarios and the Strategic CFO

Now more than ever, strategically minded CFOs are turning to corporate performance management (CPM) software to collect, validate, and store planning data in a single, central location.

By moving away from disjointed spreadsheets, companies can better focus on critical questions such as: How are we planning to hit particular targets? Who is accountable for achieving those particular results? And ultimately, why did we achieve different results than we expected?

With the benefits of CPM firmly established, forward-thinking CFOs are envisioning the next evolution of CPM—where the focus is on maximizing enterprise value by setting targets, screening for new business opportunities, and managing risk.

To achieve this, however, CFOs have to take a top-down view of the business. In this environment, the importance of individual silos gives way to more agile and aggregate views of the business that are rooted in the evaluation of cash flow and discounted cash flow as a common metric. Continue reading

Data Analysis Emerges as Key Strategic Role for Modern CFOs

Adaptive Insights infographic showcasing the strategic value of data analysis for CFOs. What are the CFO initiatives that can bring the most strategic value to your organization?

This is one of the questions we asked 377 global CFOs in our CFO Indicator Q1 2016 report, “Big Data, Better Vision: The Agile CFO“. The results, as captured in this second in our series of three infographics, reveal a future marked by data analytics.

Seventy-eight percent of CFOs said that using financial data analysis to achieve profitability and growth is the most important strategic value they can deliver. In the multiple choice question, using data analysis to derive new operating models was cited by 75% of CFOs as another source of strategic value.

In short, the survey indicates that priorities are shifting for CFOs across the globe. As they look ahead to 2019, CFOs predict that a focus on talent management, transforming financial data into intelligence, and leveraging IT will top their lists. Many are also heavily investing in tech and predicting a software as a service infrastructure future.

Read the first infographic here.

Many Light Bulbs Hanging - Depicting Adaptive Insights as the bright Alternative to Microsoft Forecaster

Alternative to Discontinued Microsoft Forecaster: Cloud FP&A Software

When it comes to Microsoft, change can often bring challenges—and headaches.

Case in point: As Microsoft continues to evolve its Dynamics GP and AX offerings, some key features that have been staples for many finance pros are being forced into retirement.

As you may already know, Microsoft is pulling the plug on supporting Forecaster, its solution for organizational budgeting and planning. The company also announced in May plans to discontinue any further development of Management Reporter, another budget planning platform. While Microsoft said it will continue to offer tech support to Management Reporter, the discontinuation of upgrades and enhancements puts the solution on life support. It also forces customers to find an alternative solution.

Forecaster and Management Reporter now join Microsoft FRx—a tool for financial reporting and analysis geared toward small to mid-sized organizations—as products that Microsoft is sending off into the sunset. Continue reading

Big Data and Analytics Transforming the CFO Role

Infogrpahic Big Data and Analytics Transforming the CFO RoleAgainst a backdrop of changing regulatory requirements and economic uncertainty, many CFOs are asking themselves, How do I navigate the path ahead?

According to our CFO Indicator Q1 2016 report, “Big Data, Better Vision: The Agile CFO”, the answer lies in the ability to be agile, visionary, and future-minded.

As we set out to create this survey, our goal was to identify top-of-mind issues facing finance leaders around the world. We wanted to know how they think the CFO role itself is being
shaped by increasing market instability and macroeconomic change.

In this first in a series of three infographics, CFOs predict that big data and analytics will wield the most influence on their role in the future, followed closely by breaking down silos and embedding the finance function across the business unit.

And what of those CFOs who wish to make the leap to CEO? We asked respondents what the major perceptions were that CFOs needed to overcome to achieve CEO readiness. The responses suggest that CFOs must stop being seen as safeguards and instead take on the role of visionaries in their institutions.

Download the Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator Q1 2016 report here.

cloud-based finance software - Change Improvement Development Adjust Transform Concept

Navigating Economic Uncertainty: Three Strategies for 2016 and Beyond

We all know that constant change is a business reality. But can it be a career booster, too?

In our recent report, “CFO Indicator Q1 2016: Big Data, Better Vision: The Agile CFO,” we found that CFOs who can use big data to drive business strategy and forecasting in these uncertain times are poised to take on greater influence in their organization. It’s an opportunity tied to an overall expansion of the CFO’s job description, or what Morris Treadway—KPMG global head of financial management and global lead for EPM Center of Excellence—calls the “renaissance of the CFO.”

Here are three ways to make change work for you: Continue reading

Adaptive Insights in Action: How Selecta United Its Sprawling Territories

Adaptive Insights in Action: How Selecta United Its Sprawling Territories

Snack food companies, rejoice: How we eat is radically shifting, from three square meals a day to more frequent grazing—and the trend toward around-the-clock snacking only seems to accelerate. A recent survey from research firm Technomic shows that 83 percent of consumers now snack on a daily basis, compared with 73 percent in 2014.

With greater consumer demand comes greater business opportunity. But before packaged food companies can seize more market share or better their profit margins, they may first have to streamline their financial planning.

That’s the realization that set Selecta on a path to finance transformation. It’s Europe’s largest vending machine company, feeding more than 6 million consumers at 140,000 locations every day. So if you ever pushed the button on a guilty pleasure while in Europe, you’re probably already a Selecta customer. Continue reading

Closeup shot of one presidential election button in focus in between many other buttons in a box. Selective focus with shallow depth of field.

How to Plan Now for the November Election

Last week’s Brexit vote sent speculation soaring about what it would mean for the future. Yet while the decision to leave the EU may have taken pundits by surprise, forward-thinking CFOs know that the current business landscape demands considering all future scenarios.

In a climate marked by flux and volatility, the CFO role is evolving to better help companies seize new opportunities and tackle new challenges. Agile planning, sophisticated forecasting capabilities, and scenario planning have moved front and center, as CFOs consider the uncertain political climate and the possible tumult ahead.

In fact, strategic-minded CFOs are already casting an eye to the November calendar and proactively modeling what the U.S. election might mean for their businesses. Continue reading

Scenario planning concept image with road sign pointing to plan a, plan b, plan c, and plan d

Prepare for Minimum Wage Hikes with Scenario Planning

Minimum wage momentum continues to surge across the country. Last week, Washington, D.C. joined San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle in raising its rates to $15 an hour. That’s huge news if you’re a CFO, because the impact could resonate across the country. And trying to prepare for the future with forecasting alone won’t cut it.

That’s where scenario planning enters the picture. With scenario planning, you can proactively model for the future and see the business environment with more clarity. It helps you make better strategic choices and prepare for uncertainties—like wage hikes. Continue reading

Highway road with money leading to city

The CFO 411: The New Cash Management Landscape

For CFOs, managing liquidity can often feel like a tightrope act: Having too little cash on hand might cost you an opportunity. But having too much can rob you of higher yields from long-term investments. Now finance leaders are staring down a radically different cash management landscape, in the wake of new regulations. Elsewhere, the IRS is making nice with small businesses that had their assets seized on slim suspicions. And IT spending will inch up just 2% this year, which means CFOs overseeing those budgets will have to flex some creativity to meet expanding needs. Continue reading