CFOs Responsibilities Don’t Change Because of the Cloud

The responsibilities and pressures on the CFO are great; the regulatory environment is high, as is scrutiny from investors who are looking for details that go beyond the numbers. The CFO has become a key strategic role – one that is often the coordinating point across departments. They are also very exposed - their signature confirms the integrity of the financials, and their reputation is on the line when it is time to communicate the performance of the business - both from an historical view – “how we did”, and from a future perspective – “where we are going”; and they need to confim to industry and government regulators that the company is in compliance. To do this, they need to be completely confident in the information they are presenting.

                    CFO Cloud

To have this level of confidence requires a CFO to have access to all the information he/she is presenting and to have it be ‘real-time’, meaning they need to have the most up to date information at all times. This can be a scary proposition given the many sources this information comes from, and forms it comes in. They need full access to historical, or “Actual”, information, the latest forecasts and the longer term strategic plans, needing it to be accurate, real-time and ready.

Given the size and scope of the needs of the CFO, and the potential ramifications, why do solutions for finance that are cloud-based focus exclusively or mostly on one piece - planning? Planning is a critical component of the mix. It involves multiple departments, often across geographies, and often advanced calculations. It is key to help see where the company is going and helps in understanding how they are going to get there. But on its own, it is just a piece of the solution. Managing regulatory reporting and ensuring timely disclosure is critical to the company, and a process that the CFO needs to ensure accuracy, but minimize the amount of time his/her team spends on it. The CFO also benefits from having actual data in the same system to see how the company is doing against plan, and adjust course as needed. This results in forecasts, which give a more accurate position going forward.

On top of the financial numbers, CFOs need more than ever to include narrative - the story behind the numbers. They need to pull together why things occurred, the competitive landscape and the potential risks. All of this needs to be included in the same system to ensure accuracy and timeliness.

A cloud application that provides the full compliment of functionality needed to support the CFO is the ultimate solution. It is deployed fast, normalizes spend and makes the data accessible 24x7, from any device. It reduces reliance on IT, and allows you to scale to meet your company's needs. But be sure the full functionality is there. Just because vendors decided to focus on planning in the cloud first, it does not mean you need to compromise. The responsibilities of the CFO have not changed. The solution you pick should reflect this fact.

If you are looking at how cloud can help your organization, you should read this White paper from Ventana Research “Cloud Financial Performance Management: Ready for the Large Enterprise”.


Tagetik Cloud for Finance 

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