Gone are the days when CFOs were seen as corporate naysayers, stamping out ambitious plans. As the pace of business change accelerates, modern CFOs know that leaning into the right risks can mean the difference between a company that thrives and one that’s merely treading water. But just because embracing risks has moved to center stage at many companies doesn’t mean that all risks are created equal.
Everything from Brexit and the U.S. presidential election to uneven global demand and shifting consumer preferences has tamped down risk appetites at many companies. A recent survey of more than 100 North American CFOs found that expectations for revenue, earnings, capital spending, and domestic hiring all declined—with some expectations now at or near six-year lows. Continue reading
Call it the runaway hit of the summer: Within a month of arriving on U.S. smartphones, Nintendo’s Pokemon Go seems to be everywhere. The location-based mobile game, which encourages users to capture and battle virtual creatures, has been downloaded more than 75 million times, according to market-research firm Sensor Tower. And the ascent has shattered records: Apple says Pokemon Go is now the all-time top app release for first-week downloads. Continue reading
Cash flow—it’s the lifeblood of any business.
When managed effectively, it can be a source of stability and a catalyst to drive future investment and growth. Conversely, uneven cash flow can put significant stress on your business and make it extremely difficult to develop and execute strategic plans.
For new businesses, healthy cash flow is especially critical—and particularly challenging. Case in point: A survey conducted this year by Consero Group found that 75% of startup founders reported cash flow as their top challenge. Their fears are founded. According to CB Insights’ analysis of more than 100 startup failures, running out of cash is the second-most-prevalent reason startups fail. Continue reading
I recently gave a talk to a group of new hires here at Adaptive Insights, and one topic we discussed is how much of the original thinking and design behind our software has held up over time. While this is a testament to strong design in our early days by a group of seasoned engineers, the driving force was primarily the foresight and perseverance of our founder (and chairman), Rob Hull.
Thirteen years ago, he sat down with our engineering team to talk about the crazy challenges that companies face during a typical chaotic budgeting process. We were all ears. Rob had a vision for a product that could simplify and streamline budgeting, and that would make it easier for colleagues to collaborate. Continue reading
Not long ago, the majority of enterprise organizations weren’t just reluctant to put their data in the cloud, they insisted such a thing would never happen. Our founder, Rob Hull, remembers those days well. It was a time when he went against the grain and established Adaptive Insights, the first company to take corporate performance management (CPM) to the cloud and beyond. Since then, organizations of all sizes have indeed adopted cloud CPM software—and 3,000 of them use Adaptive Insights.
Gartner estimates that 30% of organizations have already moved financial components to the cloud or will do so in 2016. According to an article in TechTarget, Gartner analyst Chris Iervolino believes that “organizations see the value of the agility and flexibility provided by the cloud. They are taking advantage of cloud capabilities—faster time to value, painless upgrades, more intuitive interfaces, ease of use, new functionalities, and better analytics.”
It was Dr. Seuss who said, “Only you can control your future.” No doubt the good doctor was prone to a bit of hyperbole, yet those words carry relevance for today’s finance teams.
While controlling the future is clearly a stretch, Adaptive Insights users increasingly have the opportunity to present a clearer picture of what the future might hold for their business, and what to do about it. Case in point: ZAGG, the manufacturer of mobile phone accessories. A few years back, the company experienced a quarter in which it missed its guidance estimates of net sales by 33%.
“We were over $100 million off in our estimates,” said Jason Bingham, manager of FP&A for ZAGG. “So it was decided finance should take over forecasting and create standard financial processes.” Continue reading
As a CFO, do you ever have that sinking feeling that your CEO doesn’t get you? Well, it turns out, he or she just might not.
Recent research from KPMG and Adaptive Insights finds that CFOs and CEOs differ markedly on how they view the role and expectations of the CFO. To borrow loosely from the legendary relationship book, there’s clearly a Mars-Venus dynamic in play in many C-suites.
And much like with any relationship, this disconnect can lead to trouble. In the near term, the lack of aligned thinking can short-circuit day-to-day effectiveness and stand in the way of developing and executing the best strategy to move your organization forward. From a longer-range perspective, the disconnect can hamper your career aspirations—particularly if you harbor ambitions to advance to the CEO role. Continue reading
When it comes to your company’s chart of accounts, you can’t find a more elemental accounting function. Important? Yes. Sexy? No.
A chart of accounts provides a snapshot of your company’s financial health—how much money it has, owes, and spends. The most general categories are assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. More detailed business functions, projects, divisions, or locations are listed within those categories.
Your chart of accounts will be as complex and detailed as your company needs dictate. A small bookshop may have 50 accounts. A national healthcare company with many divisions and locations will have thousands of categories. Continue reading
There are headaches familiar to any finance pro: how can you get teams across the organization to understand your company’s financial performance? And how can you cut down on lengthy planning cycles, to better project where the company is headed?
Some execs might see those pain points only as problems. Not Adaptive Insights founder and chairman Rob Hull. He saw them as potential—an opportunity to build the tools that could revolutionize how finance departments operate and how companies are able to more swiftly and strategically lean into the future. Continue reading
Mention the words “finance” and “creativity” in the same breath, and you’ll likely be greeted with a skeptical squint, a doleful eye-roll, or a blank stare. Let’s face it—the finance department does not typically carry a reputation of innovation, daring, or creativity. But for any business that wants to compete and thrive in today’s economy, that has to change.
Simply put, CFOs and the people who report to them need to start thinking and acting like visionaries—the way many artists, entrepreneurs, and inventors do. They need to take more risks, engage in more bold thinking, and try a more creative, innovative approach to managing finance.
Today’s nonstop, manic, unpredictable business climate simply won’t tolerate a finance function stuck in the 20th century. Tasked with growing the business in different ways, finance professionals should think differently. Continue reading