Finance pace could threaten corporate agility


Finance teams aren’t meeting their CFOs’ speed goals. In fact, there appears to be a large speed gap to bridge when it comes to reporting and ad hoc analysis, according to Adaptive Insights, a USA based cloud corporate performance management company.

Unfortunately, this delay is taking its toll on decision-making, with over three-quarters of CFOs admitting that major business decisions have been delayed due to stakeholders not having timely access to data, it says on its blog.

The company has this week released its global CFO Indicator Q1 2017 report that highlights what is top of mind for CFOs, as well as unveils key attributes that define the strategic CFO.

The report explores the pace of finance, its impact on agility, and what CFOs need to do to shorten their organizations’ time to decisions. Alarmingly, 77% of CFOs admit that major business decisions have been delayed due to stakeholders not having timely access to data and report significant delays with respect to tasks like reporting and ad hoc analysis, it says in a press release.

As finance shifts its focus from historical reporting to a more forward-looking view, a large percentage intend to beef up their analytics capabilities, with 45% planning to invest in dashboard and analytics solutions by 2020, in addition to budgeting and forecasting (40%) technologies.

The report explores how finance leaders are addressing and planning for a faster, more agile finance organization to maximize business opportunities, stave off competition, and avoid flying into the danger zone. The report warns, however, that their success is dependent on their pace of change—something that may not be happening as quickly as they believed it would.

Key findings in the report show that:

The finance team is spending over half (53%) of its time on reporting and data gathering alone. This leaves many organizations looking back at history, rather than forecasting forward.

CFOs would like their teams to spend less time on report preparation and data collection (36%) and more time on forecasting and scenario analysis (40%). More and better analysis will lead to improved agility.

CFOs (49%) believe predictive analytics will most contribute to agility, followed closely by dashboards and analytics (45%). CFOs desire to transition away from historical reporting, and toward a more forward-looking approach.