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.
Meanwhile, businesses engaged in corporate strategy planning may have a merger or acquisition in their future, which requires thoughtful planning before, during, and after a deal is done. Since CFOs will be called upon as the key people responsible for financial integration, it’s critical to think about how that process will be handled post-merger. Finally, just as roles are changing for CFOs, the career path to becoming a CFO may also need to take on some added twists and turns. We’ve provided a resource with insights into how companies can develop strategic finance leaders in their organizations.
If Annual Planning Feels Like Groundhog Day …
It might be time to take a different approach to budgeting and planning. While some businesses continue to approach planning on an annual basis, a lot can be gained from a more regular cadence. However, the financial planning process must first begin with a clearly defined corporate strategy and then include ongoing coordination and communication throughout the organization. (via Adaptive Insights blog)
Is it a cost or an investment?
Setting up a company for growth may require a change in how companies view spending. Is it considered a cost or an investment? When companies engage in cost transformation—as opposed to cost reduction—they can avoid the pitfalls associated with cutting spending that inadvertently inhibits growth. Learn the 10 keys to moving your organization toward cost transformation. (via Forbes.com)
M&As and Successful Financial Integration
CFOs stand to gain tremendously when they guide the successful integration of two companies after a merger or acquisition. This complex undertaking touches all parts of the company, and when done well, can serve to elevate the CFOs strategic role. When given the right amount of time and attention, successful integration can be the marker for a good or bad deal. (via Wall Street Journal)
The Changing Career Path for Tomorrow’s CFO
Today’s CFOs are increasingly asked to provide insights into overall business strategy. This role transformation means that the path to the top finance spot may also need to change. What are the skill set challenges facing finance teams today, and how can CFOs provide opportunities that will help develop the CFOs of tomorrow? (via Wall Street Journal)
What do you like to read as a modern finance leader? Tweet your top picks to @AdaptiveInsight, and read next Friday’s edition to see if your story made our list of CFO Must-Reads!