In a recent gathering of CFOs one brave individual shared their pain. It was a familiar theme I have seen played out many times. The issue they faced was the relentless number of requests for a business forecast.
Across all areas of business, finance professionals are among the most sophisticated users of IT tools. The applications they build perform highly sophisticated data extraction and modelling as well as highly aggregated dashboard views; all using Excel!
If you’re a typical finance professional, only about 30% of your productive work is carried out using your accounting software. This means there are a lot of emails, phone calls, spreadsheet work and other tasks that are taking up most of your time and energy. Not great.
Will spending more on improving your system’s processing efficiency be a major factor in improving your decision making?
I’ve been a close observer of the role of the CFO in organisations. I work daily with CFOs and I enjoy the various published reports of the future of the role.
Recently I went to a great workshop run by Les Barnett on ‘The real measures of corporate performance’ at the Institute of Chartered Accountants event. The theme of the day was business planning and the use of drivers to set up an integrated performance management framework.
Cost of ownership as a term is often bandied around. I believe that the cost part is not the real issue for businesses wishing to implement a new business system. It is the ownership that is the key element. Cost of ownership is not just a cost proposition.