It’s no secret that CFOs want to be more strategic. So what’s holding finance back? It’s the old-world tools they’re using for routine tasks, such as the financial close and reporting, which add risk and drain time and resources.
Take financial consolidation as an example. Many companies use spreadsheets to manage intercompany eliminations and allocations, which is time-consuming and error-prone—and this manual work slows down the entire close. According to Ventana Research, only 38% of companies can close their quarterly books in six days or less.
So how can you improve your process to execute faster and provide critical financial information sooner? Here’s a three-step guide.
As 2016 approaches, it’s only natural to start planning for the year ahead. Key considerations at this time often include annual financial and investment planning, corporate strategy, and career development. This week’s stories provide food for thought on the best way to approach these activities. For example, companies may want to abandon annual financial planning and engage in a more regular process that uses rolling forecasts and ongoing communication on budgeting and finances. Also, if cost cutting is on the list this year, it might be a good idea to consider whether an expense is truly a cost—or something that should instead be viewed as an investment in the future. Continue reading →
Happy Friday the 13th! Despite the date, we’re working to make today your lucky day, with lots of tips and ideas for how finance leaders can transform their role, and the role of finance, within the organization.
While some of you may be change-averse, becoming more strategic and data-driven may not be as difficult as you think. There are two key things that finance leaders need to effectively analyze and gain insights into their organizations: Access to data, and strong collaboration with departments outside of finance. At the same time, though, the importance of speed and agility can’t be underestimated.
What does an agile analytics operating model look like? Our first story describes the elements of this model, and how it can be used to help CFOs transform their entire organizations. With agile analytics, finance can provide valuable insights on sales and marketing resource allocation, pricing strategy, and even make recommendations on how to approach human resources. When CFOs transform their roles, become data-driven, and gain insights into the organization, they can quickly align the finance strategy to the corporate strategy.
Our articles also provide tips for CFOs on how they can start to get involved in aspects of the organization outside of the traditional finance world, with collaboration as a central theme.
Building great software companies is hard work. But the end result – the satisfaction that comes from building something relevant and changing the way businesses use technology and access data – is what all of us in the software industry strive for.
There is no universal definition of “relevance” for a successful software technology company. We build our own definitions based on personal experience. And having had the opportunity to be a part of some incredibly successful and impactful technology companies during my career – from Rational Software, to Apptio, to Citrix – I’ve developed my own idea of what a relevant company looks like, and what it takes to build one.
I believe that uniquely relevant companies are founded on great products and amazing teams. Other elements of the business may change over time, but these two elements are essential to companies that have a lasting influence on customers, partners, employees, and investors. Such companies continually earn the right to exist by doing a superior job for all of their stakeholders. Leaders within these organizations know that exceptional financial performance, great returns, and high revenue are all byproducts of that superior performance. They understand that, ultimately, their long-term relevance will be measured by their importance, endurance, and level of customer success.
It’s about 8 pm and I just landed in Las Vegas to attend Eloqua’s Modern Marketing Conference. The lights are flashing, slot machine bells are ringing, and joyful screams are coming from the craps table. It dawns on me. Do not get distracted (very easy to do in Las Vegas) ! I rushed up to my suite and immediately sat down to figure out how I can get the most out of this conference.
Why? The data tidal wave is crashing upon us and the stakes are extremely high. Not only do I need to help Adaptive Insights surf the wave, my own career depends on it. I needed to understand how organizations are now adopting modern marketing practices. Finance professionals today are no doubt feeling this same sense of immediacy.
Click on the banner to register for the Adaptive Insights Nov. 20 event, featuring “5 Powerful Lessons for CFOs” from former Oracle CFO Jeff Epstein.
Jeff Epstein knows finance and technology. Though he’s widely known as the former CFO of Oracle, Jeff’s experience with Oracle is only the tip of iceberg. He had a combined decade of CFO experience before then, both as CFO of King World Productions and later DoubleClick.
Today, Jeff is on the Board of Directors of several industry-leading businesses, such as Bessemer Venture Partners, an Adaptive Insights investor, and Priceline.com. Using that career-long experience as a corporate finance leader, Jeff has developed his five pillars of success for today’s finance professionals. And on Nov. 20, at the Rosewood San Hill in Menlo Park, CA., you’ll have the chance to meet Jeff & hear him detail his finance leadership advice for today’s CFOs.
In addition to his Keynote, Jeff will also lead a live CFO panel discussion covering some of today’s most pressing topics for business finance leaders, including:
How CFOs can help fast-growth companies scale internal processes as they grow
Valuable strategies to use when dealing with public investors
Best practices for using financial dashboards and measuring key metrics
Before Rob Hull became founder & Chairman of Adaptive Insights, he was a CFO like so many of Adaptive’s worldwide customers. His path to becoming a CFO was an nontraditional one, having come from a managerial background rather than an accounting one.
Throughout the various roles in his career, from coder to analytical services management, Rob’s process management acumen helped ease his transition into a finance leadership position.
Guest blog by Daniel Caringi, National Solutions Manager, BDO Canada LLP Solutions
More than simply managing numbers, today’s CFOs are playing a pivotal role in the strategic decision-making process for their businesses.
To help illustrate the above statement, FEI Canada released a survey in May, 2014, titled “Branding the CFO“. In this survey, finance leaders across Canada share their views and priorities in helping to manage the business.
Of particular interest in the report is the impact technology is making when it comes to helping finance leaders gain visibility into overall business performance. It’s clear that today’s CFOs need to understand how technology, specifically Corporate Performance Management (CPM) technology, can help them excel in their new, strategic roles.
Every successful entrepreneur has at least one best practice in common: They’re resourceful. They learn quickly that it is absolutely critical to maximize scare resources and to appropriately allocate capital and employees to focus on business projects that will generate the highest return.
The challenge is to be resourceful without stifling growth. The most successful entrepreneurs are able to stay within the boundaries of limited resources and still create that foundation that allows the business to effectively scale. Fortunately, you are running your business in an age of incredible technological advances that can help you to accomplish these competing goals. Cloud applications, mobile accessibility, and a wealth of valuable data bring together the best of both worlds for your business.
IPO Expert Ron Codd (Above) is the newest member of the Adaptive Insights Board of Advisors.
Looking for a list of today’s fastest-growing, most successful tech companies? Simple. Just follow the career path of Ron Codd, the former CFO of PeopleSoft and new Senior Advisor to Adaptive Insights who has left a remarkable trail of revenue growth and IPO success everywhere he’s been.
From advisor to IPO expert, Ron’s keen eye for market opportunities has helped four different companies go public, and he’s not done yet. He is currently working with several of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley – including Rocket Fuel and FireEye – as a member of each company’s Board of Directors, and now as a Senior Advisor to Adaptive.
I had the chance to speak with Ron shortly after he came on board. We covered everything from his Silicon Valley experience, to why he chose to join Adaptive, to advice he has for business leaders eyeing an IPO, all of which are detailed in this exclusive Q&A.