How Does Your Finance Team Stack Up? Benchmarks Can Help You Find Out.

The ‘day-to-day’ activities can lead us down the wrong path

Like most of us, I try to exercise as regularly and eat healthily. However, I’m also very good at rationalization. Skipping a workout today won’t matter much. I’ll run an extra mile tomorrow. Pizza for lunch? No problem. I’ll cut down at dinner. But unchecked that can lead me to a place I don’t want to be.


Benchmarking is a reality check

That’s why I make myself step on the scales every couple of weeks. It’s a reality check. I can check myself against the benchmark for how much a person of my size and age should weigh. The number in the scale window is a fact that I can’t deny, try as I might.  If I’m on the road too much or spend an extended period of time at our global HQ in Tuscany where my willpower to resist pasta and gelato takes a hiatus I find myself trending towards the high-end of the healthy range of benchmark and I know I need to take more serious action to reverse the trend. That is the value of benchmarks, keeping tabs on your performance, comparing it to others, and adjusting behavior to improve results.


Benchmarks for Finance
APQC*, a long-time leader in corporate benchmarking and best practice research, specializes in providing objective information for business reality checks. Its annual Cross Industry Benchmarking Report analyzes key business processes in major functional areas and provides metrics that companies can use to assess their own performance. One of the functional areas covered is finance.

The information is eye-opening. For example, in a $20 billion dollar company, the difference in the cost of the finance function between top performers and bottom performers can differ by as much as $233 million!

With APQC’s permission, we’ve created infographics that you can easily use to compare your company’s financial function with that of other companies similar in size. At a glance you’ll see where you fall in the range of top, average, or bottom performers. Each infographic contains data you can use to benchmark finance-related costs, cycle times, and staffing resources. We’ve seen that benchmarks vary based on company size so you can choose the infographic appropriate to your company’s annual revenues.

Its an interesting (and quick) exercise that can give you a reality check on how you compare to your peers on factors such as:

  • Number of days to produce monthly consolidated statements.
  • Cost of your financial systems and supporting technology.
  • Staffing resources required for financial reporting

Understanding how you stack up against your peers gives you a baseline on how your processes are performing, and the areas you should be focusing your financial performance improvement initiatives on. Knowing where you stand is the first step to getting where you want to be.

What are your thoughts? How do you stack up?


Tagetik CPM Software

* APQC is constantly updating their benchmarks and you can find the latest here (login required) or participate in their next survey.

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