December 2015

As we get closer to the year-end, CFOs and their teams are probably reaching a point where it seems nearly impossible to fit everything in before Jan. 1. Looking out over the next 12 months, on the other hand, the possibilities for being more strategic and effective feel almost limitless. CFO-Priorities

This is reflected in The 2016 Finance Priorities Survey, an annual research report produced by financial consulting firm Protiviti, based on responses from more than 600 CFOs and senior-level executives. The 30-page document touches on a range of important issues, from variance analysis and activity-based costing to budgeting and margin management.

What’s great about the numbers is that they confirm what we’ve often discussed on this blog and show how many financial executives are increasingly focused on a core group of critical areas. These include strategic planning, budgeting and profitability analysis, all of which were ranked at 7.0 or higher in terms of importance among the sample group. Continue reading The 2016 Priorities from CFOs Around the World: Focus on Financial Close, Information Sharing and More

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Originally published on the Certent Insider blog. 

With the increasing complexity of regulatory compliance, it’s becoming more challenging for companies to comply with SEC requirements and, at the same time, provide clear and concise information to their shareholders. The good news is that existing public disclosures provide a wealth of relevant information, and if used in a systematic way, can significantly improve disclosure management processes and reduce compliance risks. Continue reading Improve the Quality of your Filings with Better Research

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Much like their counterparts in the CIO community, a growing number of financial executives are deciding that, rather than devote themselves full-time or on a permanent basis to a single organization, they will take on a sort of chief financial officer consulting role. Canada’s Financial Post recently profiled a number of leaders diving head-first into the so-called “gig” economy, as well as a placement agency called the CFO Centre which is connecting such professionals to small and medium-sized businesses that need them.

“Virtual CFOs can also choose to work seasonally, and will often flex their hours up and down to suit their lifestyle,” the Post article said. “Virtual CFOs also have the opportunity to diversify their clients to gain new experiences, and many enjoy the satisfaction of having a direct effect on a company or organization.” Virtual CFOs

On the flip side, organizations that hire virtual CFOs (or those who decide to take on such work) should be prepared for major differences. Adam Shay, a CPA based in Wilmington, N.C. who specializes in working with entrepreneurs, says the model works best for firms in the sub-$15M revenue range. Virtual CFOs main value lies in formulating strategies, ensuring accurate reporting and improving business processes.

Continue reading Why “Virtual CFO” is an Emerging Career Opportunity

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Enlightened CFOs can bring about a rebirth in how the boardroom and executive suite view the strategic value of the finance department

To call someone “well-rounded” implies they know and pursue several different interests. A “jack of all trades,” suggests they are driven to take on many – often too many – different responsibilities.

But what about the so-called “renaissance CFO,” a term that’s increasingly making headlines in finance circles as a new model of financial leadership? Even for the most experienced finance executives, the notion of a “renaissance CFO” can be more than a little difficult to define.

According to consulting firm KPMG, however, more financial leaders need to not only start thinking of themselves as renaissance CFOs, but also to help get across the idea in subtle ways to their CEOs. That’s because, based on a recent KPMG survey of more than 500 senior executives, it’s clear that too many heads of companies aren’t recognizing their potential. Consider these stats among CEOs surveyed by KPMG: Continue reading What the “Renaissance CFO” Will Do Differently

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Exponential growth and powerful solutions add to Vena’s important competitive differentiators.

A recent report on Vena Solutions by tech analyst firm 451 Research highlights how embracing Excel, an exponential growth rate and powerful solutions help Vena stand out from the competition in the enterprise or corporate performance management (EPM/CPM) sector.

Embrace, Don’t Replace Excel

Because of Excel’s overwhelming popularity in the finance world, “Vena’s ability to provide native Excel functionality is a differentiator and important [for people] who want to keep using the skills and familiarity they have built up using Excel,” writes Krishna Roy, Senior Analyst, Data Platforms and Analytics with 451 and author of the report.

“Vena’s multi-tenant cloud service was designed from the outset to natively work with Excel, providing a secure and controlled environment for Excel-based tasks,” said Roy. “Which is the central growth driver behind the company’s business and the main reason it wins deals.” Continue reading 451 Research: Vena’s Excel Approach Stands Out in Corporate Performance Management

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