With constant pressure at the executive level to drive Sales and top-line revenue in increasingly competitive markets, the CFO is often put into the difficult position of reconciling the seemingly conflicting priorities of revenue vs. margins. In an effort to better understand and put into perspective top CFO priorities from the CFO’s themselves, the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) and Protiviti’s annual Finance Priorities Survey polled CFOs at some of the world’s leading organizations.
According to the 2016 Finance Priorities Survey, margins, not market share, and earnings performance rank as the top senior Finance executive priority with the highest ‘Significant Impact’ rating by CFOs/Finance Executives at 82%. Margin management is crucial, especially with regard to governing strategic goal setting activities, and thus it is not necessarily surprising to find it at the top of the list.
Another top CFO priority, according to the survey, was finding alignment across all sectors: “To help strengthen overall business performance and strategic planning, and to drive value from the financial data within an organization, finance functions want to develop better, more accurate and timelier data collection, data analysis, reporting, budgeting and forecasting capabilities.”
Want to view the survey results in their entirety? Find it here: https://www.protiviti.com/US-en/insights/finance-priorities-survey.
This alignment is particularly relevant for organizations using Excel as the corporate budgeting and forecasting tool. With the overwhelming number of planning and budgeting spreadsheets floating around and daily revisions by multiple employees in multiple divisions, it can be incredibly difficult for CFOs to consolidate and merge the budgeting data. A practical cost- and time-saving solution – incorporate a corporate performance management solution into the mix, one that can significantly reduce that number of spreadsheets, minimize the budgeting cycle by up to 50%, merge data in real time and eliminate the need to manually review and revise page after page of data.
How does this relate to strategic corporate margin management? Such a solution enables budgeting and forecasting in real time instead of relying on weeks- or months-old data, enabling time for the CFO to analyze the data, perform unlimited what-if modeling and arrive at an accurate margin forecast that supports market share and top-line revenue budgets instead of fighting them.
This alignment has typically been a rather utopian ideal. However, with technology development such a solution has become a reality. Now you can easily arrive at an accurate timely version of both the Margin and the Revenue Truth, using a process automation tool that does the grunt work for you.
At True Sky, we can appreciate prioritization. Our goal is to help you better align your data. To find out more about how we can help you streamline your processes to save time and money, please contact us today by calling 1 855 878 3759.