The role of the CFO has steadily evolved due to several factors, such as the advent of new technology and the accelerated pace of modern businesses that have transformed growth trajectories. To remain competitive in such a landscape, today’s corporate leaders are turning to the CFO for better financial insight to help them make more well-informed decisions. In order to deliver that insight and embrace their new leadership role, an increasing number of CFOs are deploying modern financial technology to create a culture of analytics.
Leveraging modern tools is just one of the things that today’s best CFOs do better than the rest across all industries, from manufacturing, to retail, to higher education. Here’s a quick look at 10 specific strategies that today’s top finance chiefs have mastered, according to several of today’s top-performing CFOs. Continue reading →
We all know the methods used to create favorable departmental budgets and forecasts: Managers ask for more than what’s required with the hope of agreeing on the budget they actually want; junior managers promise unprecedented results in exchange for executive support and an investment in their new ideas; and of course, the seasoned, senior managers warn of significant consequences to the company if their specific budget is cut.
This negotiation process is nothing new to the business world. It’s been going on for decades. This is not strategic management. But the best-run organizations have learned that there’s a much better way to do it — one that completely removes the politics and horse trading from the process: Using rolling forecasts with a strategic management tool.
Make no mistake: Decades-old spreadsheets are not built to handle the complexities of modern, fast-paced businesses. They’re great personal productivity tools, but can present major accuracy issues when shared across multiple users and locations.
So for all of you spreadsheet jockeys out there, here are three ways that Excel-based processes could be slowing you down, and what to do instead.
There’s a lot of talk these days about how to drive deeper engagement between finance and business teams. So here’s our tip of the week: Dashboards.
Dashboards open the door for a more collaborative environment in which easy-to-interpret data is more readily shared and can be accessed by anyone with permission to view the dashboard. This is an essential benefit, considering the challenges CFOs and their finance teams face now and in the near future.
Remember “Who Moved My Cheese?” the classic business book that used some mice to exemplify the challenges and opportunities presented by change in the workplace?
Well, when it comes to FP&A in recent years, the cheese has not only moved. You could make a sound argument that it’s been eaten as well.
Put another way, CFOs and finance pros are dealing with a double-whammy spawned by swift and unprecedented change. For starters, the amount and complexity of data to be managed and analyzed has grown exponentially. Yet beyond that lies another seismic shift in the expectations of FP&A—the increasing demand to effectively collaborate with internal partners on an ongoing basis to improve planning and decision making, and, ultimately, drive better business results.
Key to that effort is moving away from static approaches to planning and toward an active planning model. Active planning involves generating broad and deep engagement of the planning process across the organization.
Here are five actions that can help you get started on the path to better collaboration.
What’s inefficient, hinders corporate progress, and stifles productivity? You guessed it—the financial budgeting process.
In an era where the modern CFO is steadily emerging as a strategic force—armed with real-time data and game changing insights—it’s clear that old-school, static budgeting procedures just don’t make the cut. An active budgeting process, on the other hand, is collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous—and can increase buy-in and accountability throughout the organization.
As the leading cloud and SaaS venture capital firm, Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) knows a thing or two about cloud computing. So people took note when Bessemer published its 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS several years ago.
The goal was to point out that, in order to run on-demand businesses, business leaders must abandon many of their legacy “best practices” in favor of new principles suited for a new type of market.
A lot has changed since the original presentation went viral. A few years back the cloud industry reached $100 billion in net worth. Bessemer’s cloud investment portfolio has grown with the industry and includes many of the fastest-growing cloud companies today (including yours truly). Meanwhile, just about every business process is being cloudified and those startups that hit it big are scaling faster than ever before. 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 →
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.”
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 →