Harnessing Cash Flow and Business Intelligence Among Top Priorities for Financial Leaders, According to New Survey from

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 /CNW/ - 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 
Protiviti (www.protiviti.com). 
(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090115/AQTH541LOGO) 
"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 
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: 
1. Cash forecasting
  2. Period-end close
  3. Account reconciliations
  4. Working capital management
  5. Banking relationships 
"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 
Financial Analysis: 
1. Strategic planning
  2. Periodic forecasting
  3. Budgeting
  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 
Emerging Issues 
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
  2. Sustainability
  3. Globalization
  4. Workforce mobility 
"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: 
Benchmarking Tool 
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. 
About Protiviti 
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 

SOURCE  Protiviti 
Kathy Keller, +1-650-234-6252, kathy.keller@protiviti.com 
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com 
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