CFO expectations for 2019

Over the past 5-10 years, the CFO’s responsibilities have evolved significantly. Having started as a manager of the organization’s finances, over the last several years we’ve watched new roles get added to their list of responsibilities as the CFO has now become the trusted advisor to the CEO. They are now more than experienced accountants reporting on the health of the organization, they are actually involved in the overall strategy of the company.

 

Today, most organizations look at their CFOs for guidance on strategy; revenue growth, cost cutting, risk management, compliance and increased control. Furthermore, the need to pass this guidance through the company has become increasingly more important. CEOs expect CFOs to be more business focused, not just finance focused, and to provide insights rather than just number dump.

 

To support these new roles, most mid-market and large organizations have already moved from an Excel based approach to a system based approach to support the office of the CFO for budgeting, planning, forecasting, consolidations and disclosure management. These systems were traditionally either very complex to implement, including the need to customize code to accomplish simple tasks, or too basic and prescriptive, not allowing for scalability over time.

 

Today, many of these legacy implementations by these organizations have become cumbersome to work with, slow at processing large amounts of data or complex calculations, and inflexible in conforming to their changing business needs. Data is predominantly internal, structured “important” data without the ability to drill down and access more details. Furthermore, since this new wave of financial applications surfaced years ago, CFOs have been mapping their data to different applications (for example one app for budget, another for allocations and another for consolidations).

 

In 2019, the CFO will continue to empower their teams to provide clear and accessible information-centric data, in real-time and in meaningful formats. They will look to become business partners with their employees in the field and continue moving away from crunching numbers in a corner office. They will no longer map their data into multiple applications. Instead, they’ll map all of their data from various systems into one application, performing all of the financial processes needed by the office of the CFO.

In a study conducted by PWC, they list the top 4 priorities for CFOs of mid-market and large organizations in 2019, 2020 and 2021 as

1) Performance Management
2) Growth Strategy
3) Organization & Human Capital
4) Risk Management

 

Today, most CFOs will be managing these priorities using 3+ financial systems along with Microsoft Excel. With performance management being the top priority for the Office of Finance, the suggestion above is supported with the need for the CFO to provide added value to the organization. The need to automate processes using technology and eliminate manual data manipulation and processing is critical in ensuring consistency and accuracy between Finance and Operations.

 

As an extension of performance management, growth strategy is the second highest priority for the Office of the CFO for the next 3 years and continues to support the idea that the CEO needs the CFO to be strategically involved in the business from day 1, and not just when a major financial investment is taking place.

 

Organization & Human Capital and Risk Management are also top priorities for CFOs because, “70% of Large Companies have at least one SSC (Shared Services Center)” and “79% of CFOs are concerned with fraud risk” according to the PWC study. Managing both of these goals will be increasingly difficult to achieve as organizations continue to manage multiple systems across multiple regions.

 

Managing these multiple systems without the flexibility of being able to view all the data in one area has increasingly become a challenge for many offices of the CFO. Having one unified platform, with the flexibility of pulling data from any number of ERPs, manipulating it and reporting it for your end user’s needs is critical in allowing the CFO to provide valuable and timely information to the organization. As the first application in the Enterprise/Corporate Performance Management space to provide a unified platform, CCH Tagetik’s Finance Transformation Platform allows for the office of the CFO to accomplish all of their needs in a single unified platform.

 

CCH Tagetik is an evolving software, focused on their customers’ needs, and is an ideal fit for mid-market and large organizations who are looking to take their office of the CFO to the next level. It allows for a fully configurable system, from the planning process to the reporting formats/needs, is ideal for an organization’s needs today and moving forward as it grows. With built in calculation engines such as the cash flow planning engine, allocation engine and consolidation engines to name a few, the configuration based approach to CCH Tagetik’s unified platform makes it easy to maintain and manage both internal and external data over time.

 

Along with being the first to market with a unified platform, CCH Tagetik was also the first to market (aside from SAP, who developed the technology) in leveraging the newest, fastest database available to applications. SAP’s new database technology HANA is an example of new technologies that can be leveraged to shorten the time it takes to process large amounts of data or complex calculations, providing faster access and ultimately REAL-time data. CCH Tagetik powered by SAP HANA has the ability to store immense amounts of transactional data coming from multiple systems and run processes in-memory at a new standard of speed.


CCH Tagetik’s partnership with SAP allows for a marriage between CCH Tagetik’s Finance Transformation Platform and today’s fastest and most efficient database, SAP HANA. With this combination, the office of the CFO will continue to be supported for their new roles using the most efficient software on the most efficient database. Improved data accessibility and ability to distribute this data across the organization to ensure all levels are strategically aligned will help the CFO in 2019 and beyond.

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