July 2016

Unusual use cases for products like Excel are just a good reminder of why users gravitate to real-time data collection and analysis.

There are all kinds of reasons a company’s financial close might run a bit late – too many competing priorities, outdated processes, inadequate technology – but hopefully it’s not because the finance department is too busy playing Pokemon Go. Continue reading If Spreadsheets Can Help Win Pokemon Go, They Can Help Finance Teams Win Too

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It’s still best known as the foundation for Bitcoin, but experts suggest CFOs and their teams should start preparing now.

There was a time not so long ago when the word “cloud” would not have the same meaning it does for CFOs today. The same goes for “wearable,” “app” and more convoluted terms like the Internet of Things. Just when you might have thought you were up on all the jargon, however, comes a new one that’s sure to crop up in senior business leadership meetings before long: blockchain. Continue reading What Blockchain Might Mean For Finance Departments

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Technology is opening a lot of doors for finance professionals, but the question is how many other parts of the business are trying to walk through them, too.

In an ideal world, the budget should represent a moment of truth. Too often it feels more like a leap of faith.

When companies treat budgeting as little more than a guesstimate, it provides few mechanisms for senior leaders to meet business challenges. Just ask Kevin Held. The CFO for TradingScreen, which provides products to help hedge funds and other financial institutions, recently wrote an article for CIOReview called “Demystifying Budgeting and Forecasting Solutions,” that reflected both on how challenging it can be but also how advancements in business intelligence (BI) and related technology are greatly increasing what it’s possible to do. Continue reading Whose Budget Is It Anyway? Technology Has the Answer

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In the words of management guru Peter Drucker, “the greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” 

For a textbook example of acting with yesterday’s logic in Finance, you need look no further than the persistent, almost addictive reliance among most companies on the static, annual budget. This continues today in spite of almost 30 years of financial innovators and prominent business leaders – former GE CEO Jack Welch and Drucker among them – criticizing the budget in favor of driver-based rolling forecasts. Continue reading Why Human Nature Might be Getting in the Way of Rolling Forecasts

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Excel power users at different stages of their professional lives tend to sound much the same about their goals and approaches.

It may be a little early to say for sure, but Michael Kelly sounds a lot like the next generation of finance professionals who could one day get the CFO’s job. He’s just proven he’s got one of the role’s most essential skills. Continue reading This is What Defines Excel Champions

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