The journey of the Finance function toward full strategic
corporate partnership remains slow. The question is, why? For their
part, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) continue to promote the value
of a Finance function that transcends the traditional roles of
bookkeeper and data gatherer. Moreover, top-performing companies
understand the value this type of predictive reporting can
provide—to track trends and opportunities, support
financial and business decision making and, ultimately, drive
business performance. A Finance function that delivers
business-aligned information and analysis that effectively
contributes to executive strategy is becoming increasingly
critical. Businesses should be able to derive that value from
within rather than spending time and resources on outside
analytical support. In fact, in a recent survey of 443 senior
Finance executives worldwide, the majority of Canadian
respondents—even more than their global
counterparts—said their Finance group can best contribute
to performance by better supporting business growth. From cost
management to process improvement to IT conversion and integration,
respondents cited multiple potential benefits that make the value
of a strategically-focused Finance function clear.
But, if this is true—if the understanding and will are
there to configure Finance as a true strategic corporate
partner—why is it taking so long to realize this step in
Conducted during September and October of 2010, a global survey
by CFO Research solicited opinion on the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and barriers within today's corporate Finance
function. Incorporating good Canadian representation, the survey
provides a cross-section of opinion from companies of various sizes
and industry sectors.
Several positions clearly emerge: CFOs and Finance executives
want an expanded strategic role; they are frustrated by a number of
barriers to this evolution; and they have a clear, benefit specific
sense of the value they can potentially provide. But while progress
has been slow, it persists, and there's reason for optimism.
Drawing on Canadian responses to the global survey, this report
outlines the current landscape, what the future may hold and what
companies can do to help enable and leverage impending
transformations within the Finance function.
To read more about the survey and its latest findings, please
click here to view the report.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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