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 →
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.
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.
Love them or hate them, KPIs are the backbone of your business.
KPIs, or key performance indicators, can help you understand if your company is on the right track for success—and if it’s not, where to focus your attention. No matter what it measures, the aim of any KPI is to bring about improvement.
In addition, today’s finance leaders want to spend more time thinking about frameworks for measuring results in the form of KPIs and using these KPIs to guide course correction to drive business performance.
There’s no time like the present to invest in modern technology. The longer you wait, the more entrenched your company will become in clunky tools that are out of touch with today’s business needs.
As it relates to financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting, old-world processes can lead to costly errors, leaving the finance team scrambling to fix spreadsheet mistakes and sucking up time gathering data rather than analyzing it and providing valuable insights to decision-makers.
So how do you know if it’s time to switch to a modern finance system? Here are three of the most telling signs:
Are you a purposeful data collector—someone who uses data to glean insights and act upon them?
Or, are you a data hoarder—someone who keeps data piled high, unshared, and kept away from visitors?
As we close out another calendar year, it’s a good time to reflect on opportunities for improvement and transforming your finance organization in 2016. Ponder how you make use of data—one of your most valuable assets—and decide if either epithet describes your current finance team. Regardless of which camp you fall in, and whether you’re situated in a Fortune 500 organization or a 100-person start-up, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to delivering and leading with insight. In fact, without insights driven by curated data collections—used to create “metrics that matter” and made actionable through visualization and ongoing monitoring—teams will struggle to improve decision-making acumen. Simply put: Finance teams should resolve to more purposefully collect, analyze, and share data insights in the new year in order to improve decision-making across the company.
As finance professionals’ workloads continue to expand, so too, does their role within the organization. But how can they be expected to be strategic when the majority of their time continues to be consumed with day-to-day accounting tasks? A new study provides a breakdown of how the finance team’s time is spent and suggests that organizations probably need to do some assessments of their own. While investing in new systems and processes can also help unencumber the team, dashboards and analytics can provide better insights into the business. With these tools, finance professionals can uncover hidden opportunities and recognize potential threats early on, allowing them to make more strategic decisions. That is perhaps why the value of digital platforms continues to be recognized. When asked for their 2016 predictions, finance leaders expect the use of digital platforms to expand in the coming year. This week’s stories address all of these topics and more. Continue reading →
The business world has changed, and the CFO role is evolving too, as Adaptive Insights Founder and Chairman (and veteran CFO) Robert S. Hull often shares. In fact, perhaps no CXO role has changed more within this new business landscape than that of the CFO. On top of the traditional responsibilities of closing the books and producing financial reports, today’s CFOs are increasingly called upon to provide deeper analytical insight into the business. This new charter means finance needs new tools and a new focus to not only view, but also efficiently gather and analyze data from across the company—at a faster clip.
In this new world, CFOs:
Spend less time looking in the rear view mirror and more time looking toward the future
Drive their organizations toward a single source of truth to reduce data debates
Engage their formidable analytical skills to support business decisions in real time
This week we read about the continued changes we see for the modern CFO and their finance teams—from the increased use of technology to their growing strategic roles and a great read about key CFO concerns by region. Continuing to give our readers an easy way of staying current on the latest information, we’ve compiled the following list of 5 “CFO Must-Reads” from the week of August 17, 2015. These are gathered from a variety of resources such as CFO.com, McKinsey, and The Washington Post.
Staying current on the latest finance industry news, updates, and opinions is a critical part of being an adaptive, modern finance leader.
And to give you an easy way to stay abreast of all the happenings in the world of business and finance, we’ve compiled the following list of modern CFO must-reads from the past week. So enjoy this week’s top five finance stories, and leave a comment if you’ve read an article that you consider a CFO must-read!