December 2015

The advancement of digital technology has forced many companies to think more deeply about what kind of business they really are in, but it’s only now that finance departments are being given a better definition of what the word “business” really means.

Late last month, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released a call for comments on its proposal to clarify the definition of “business”, focusing on the difference between a business and an asset. Continue reading Why The FASB’s Redefinition of ‘Business’ Vs. ‘Assets’ Is Critical

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A recent article published by the Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business described “an on-going transformation that shows the finance function becoming more of strategic business partner within their organizations”. This is critical for an organization to remain competitive.

Controllers are not only expected to provide financial data, but to be able to more effectively interpret data and contribute to making decisions for their organizations.

The Disparity in Perception

What is interesting about this article is that it highlights a disparity that has been with us for decades:  The old school perception that the finance team is solely an administrative function vs. today’s profit-making value of the finance department.

As a result, controllers and finance professionals are left wondering just how important they are in the grand scheme of things.  In reality, in most organizations management has already learned the growing importance of finance groups in their organizations. They aren’t just bookkeepers or “number-crunchers” anymore. Continue reading Is There a Perceived Lack of Respect for the Finance Department?

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As this year comes to an end, finance leaders around the world are rushing to prepare and gather all the information they need to successfully close their books for 2015. But before they head home to a well-deserved Christmas dinner, we know CFOs are wondering: how did this happen again? Is there a better way to do things? What can I do to avoid all the pain that usually comes with year-end close?

These often stressed and overworked executives aren’t without hope though. In fact, they’re always looking for ways to make processes more efficient, smoother – and, arguably the most important, more cost effective.

Based on discussions with our clients and partners, and combing through analyst research reports, here’s what we’ve found to be the top 5 things on today’s CFOs’ Christmas wish lists. Continue reading CFOs: What’s on YOUR Christmas Wish List?

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Outdated tools and silos lead to widespread dissatisfaction with financial technology

You don’t have to work in a finance department to do this kind of math: if you’re spending nearly $600 billion on an initiative that’s providing $200 billion in actual value, it’s time to reconsider your investment strategy.

And yet, according to a study from the Genpact Research Institute, the vast majority of companies’ digital transformation projects fail to deliver on expectations. Not all of these are finance department projects, of course, but in a recent post on FEI Daily, researchers from Genpact suggest that’s where the real need for new approaches to innovation is most dire:

While digital transformation can impact business outcomes significantly, finance teams can find it especially challenging due to their legacy siloed and fragmented operating models, process definitions and technology architecture. For example, in the order-to-cash value cycle, much of the traditional focus goes into the efficiency parameters of cost optimization, cash reconciliation and “brute force” undifferentiated collection strategies. 

Continue reading The Waste-Not, Want-Not Priority for Finance Departments in 2016

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Finance leaders question the hurry to do away with popular, familiar Excel spreadsheets.

LinkedIn has come a long way since its days as an electronic resume and personal networking tool. As highlighted by a recent discussion on the service about Excel, LinkedIn is playing an increasingly pivotal role in shaping perceptions among corporate decision makers on everything from leadership styles to financial software.

In this example, it all started with an innocuous question posed by a financial business controller based in France, on LinkedIn’s CFO Network Group (which boasts nearly 300,000 members).

“Can you do without Excel?” he wondered. “Let’s talk about the tools to get this process more efficient and useful for both finance and the business.”

Suffice it to say, his peers were more than ready to talk. And the answer, in short, was a decisive “No”. Continue reading This LinkedIn Discussion Explains All the Reasons Why CFOs Love Excel

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