Harnessing Cash Flow and Business Intelligence Among Top Priorities for
Financial Leaders, According to New Survey from Protiviti
Protiviti benchmarking tool gives finance executives the opportunity to
compare their company's priorities to survey results
MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 28, 2013
MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --CFOs and financial
executives are concerned about their organizations' ability to efficiently and
effectively manage cash flow and working capital due to the growing need to
address economic volatility with greater precision, speed and flexibility.
These and other survey findings are in the latest Finance Priorities Report
(www.protiviti.com/financesurvey) released today by global consulting firm
"Organizations are facing tremendous change and new cost pressures, and they
struggle to know whether or not they are prepared to adjust and manage
sufficiently the impact of various upcoming changes," said Jim Pajakowski,
executive vice president of global services for Protiviti. "The Affordable
Care Act is front-and-center for a lot of companies, given the many questions
that remain open related to the Act, from compliance to short- and long-term
Protiviti's 2014 Finance Priorities Report is based on a survey of more than
220 finance professionals – consisting of CFOs, vice presidents and directors
of finance, and controllers. The survey included more than 100 questions about
primary concerns and priorities in five categories: Process Capabilities for
Financial Transactions; Process Capabilities for Financial Analysis; Emerging
Issues; Technical Capabilities; and Organizational Capabilities.
The top survey results in the Process Capabilities for Financial Transactions
category demonstrate the respondents' continued focus on streamlining the
financial close ‑ from improving account reconciliation and financial
consolidation processes to the period-end close, finance functions want to
achieve greater efficiency in:
4.Working capital management
"Given so much uncertainty, organizations are seeking to manage and understand
as clearly as possible all aspects of their cash flows," said Ryan Senter,
managing director in Protiviti's Business Process Improvement practice.
"Bridging the gaps in knowledge by strengthening relationships with banks is
another approach that many finance departments are re-emphasizing."
Profitability analysis and reporting – specifically related to products and
segments – along with performance management and business intelligence rank
among the top priorities in the survey category of Process Capabilities for
4.Performance management/executive dashboards/balanced scorecards
5.Profitability analysis (product, customer, channel, etc.)
"Without question, more and more companies are looking to harness business
intelligence and big data for strategic planning, forecasting, budgeting and
profitability analysis," said Jay Thompson, also a Protiviti managing director
with the Business Process Improvement practice. "They also want to analyze
their data to gain an in-depth understanding of their customers, products and
other business areas in order to identify the best opportunities for
When asked to rank their priorities in the Emerging Issues category, financial
executives selected issues that pose new risks, challenges and opportunities
for finance functions:
1.Changes to U.S. healthcare regulations
"Healthcare is a key emerging issue for financial executives, but not the only
one. For example, rather than treating sustainability as strictly an
environmental issue, organizations are embracing a more expansive approach to
managing and measuring sustainability, and finance functions figure
prominently," said Pajakowski. "Finance leaders also see globalization ‑
largely driven by the potential impact on supply chain management processes
and costs ‑ and workforce mobility, which promises numerous business benefits
yet also gives rise to new IT and data privacy risks, as areas of concern."
Protiviti's Finance Priorities Report, conducted during the second and third
quarters of 2013, includes insights from finance executives at companies with
annual revenues ranging from greater than $20 billion to less than $100
million. The survey is available for download at:
Companies can also use Protiviti's complimentary online benchmarking tool to
compare their organizations' priorities to other finance executives who have
taken the survey, and see the comparative data in a downloadable report. Learn
more at www.protiviti.com/financesurvey.
Webinar and Podcast
Key insights from the report, including emerging risks and how to mitigate
their impact, will be discussed in a complimentary one-hour webinar on
November 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Protiviti's Thompson and Senter will be
joined by Bill Sinnett, senior director of research, Financial Executives
Research Foundation, for the session. Please register at
www.protiviti.com/webinars. Additionally, a two-part podcast series exploring
the survey results is available at www.protiviti.com/podcasts.
Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global consulting firm that helps companies
solve problems in finance, technology, operations, governance, risk and
internal audit. Through its network of more than 70 offices in over 20
countries, Protiviti has served more than 35 percent of FORTUNE® 1000 and
Global 500 companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies,
including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies.
Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI). Founded in
1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.
Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does
not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.
Editor's note: Infographic of selected survey results available in JPEG or
Contact: Kathy Keller, +1-650-234-6252, firstname.lastname@example.org
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