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The Future of Business Finance

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If you’ve played any of those candy-colored smartphone
games, you know how addictive they can be. There’s
something deeply satisfying about planning ahead and lining
things up to score a game-beating combo.

Published in: Technology
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The Future of Business Finance

  1. 1. Get Ready to Crush It! If you’ve played any of those candy-colored smartphone games, you know how addictive they can be. There’s something deeply satisfying about planning ahead and lining things up to score a game-beating combo. Are you getting the same satisfaction with your financial planning, analysis, and forecasting? If your department is focused on reporting what happened last quarter, beware: the future of finance is a whole new game. It’s time to look to the future, plan high-scoring moves, and help your organization crush it in 2018. We asked 15 FP&A experts how the finance department can optimize their processes, technology, and personnel to adapt to this new game. Keep reading for their thoughts on data management, real-time scenario analysis, strategy, and more.
  2. 2. Your Finance Team Level 1: Data-Driven Decision Making Level 2: Overcoming Data Analysis Challenges Level 3: Real-Time Scenario Analysis Level 4: Developing a Strategic Approach Level Up
  3. 3. Leigh Tucker, CPA Magnus Lind Kenneth Fick Jim Marous Darryl Bannon Gabrielle Luoma Robert D. Kugel, CFA Tom Hood Jack Sweeney David Worrell Shawn DuBravac Ranica Arrowsmith David Chase Peter Chisambara April Rudin INTRODUCING THE PLAYERS: 15 Finance Experts
  4. 4. Data-Driven Decision Making Most finance departments don’t have a quantity problem when it comes to data. The challenge is finding the quality data, verifying it, and turning it into actionable intelligence. FINANCE EXPERTS
  5. 5. The days of finance being the ‘guardian of every dollar spent’ are gone; prudent allocation of resources and the ability to see the big picture is the new norm.”Leigh Tucker, CPA Principal, Managing Director Nonprofit Client Practice, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP FINANCE EXPERTS
  6. 6. There is no single source of a ‘data truth’. We need to assemble the data sources and conduct the advanced analysis based on the information we have, then test the accuracy (and usability) of this view, improving it through a test- and-learn process.” Jim Marous Co-publisher of The Financial Brand FINANCE EXPERTS
  7. 7. Finance departments should have a data repository able to handle financial and non- financial data. To ensure that data is accurate and up-to-date, it should avoid storing data in individual spreadsheets.” Robert D. Kugel, CFA SVP & Research Director of CFO and Business Research Ventana Research FINANCE EXPERTS
  8. 8. Overcoming Data Analysis Challenges Faster, more relevant data analysis requires organizational changes in the finance department. Better communication and smarter automation are key. FINANCE EXPERTS
  9. 9. When business owners have to cover the roles of CEO, CFO and Controller, they rarely find a good balance between driving accurate reporting and implementing change. It’s critical to slash unnecessary processes, be willing to sacrifice a certain level of detail, and automate as much accounting and reporting as possible.” David Worrell Founding Partner Fuse Financial Partners, LLC FINANCE EXPERTS
  10. 10. Even though many finance personnel feel driven to move past report generation and into value-added insight, many aren’t sure exactly how to do so. And paradoxically, the convergence of finance, data visualization and data science - the very movement that will provide the tools necessary - leaves many feeling threatened.” David Chase Managing Partner & CEO Advanced CFO FINANCE EXPERTS
  11. 11. Currently, we chop up the financial chain into silos. Businesses need to align the Office of Finance to the overall business goal. Otherwise, we cannot take the next step to make all the independent links into a full chain and move on to the next level of efficiency and competitiveness.” Magnus Lind CEO Skanör Group and Author ‘FINANCE UNLEASHED’ Skanor Group FINANCE EXPERTS
  12. 12. If you want any change you need to get your people involved. Start small to get the quick wins. How can I simplify a process? Do I need all the reports I run? Ask those who receive outputs from your department- do you still need them?” Darryl Bannon Director Darryl Bannon Consulting Ltd FINANCE EXPERTS
  13. 13. Real-Time Scenario Analysis To truly be strategic advisers, finance leaders need to provide scenario analysis in the moment, not after weeks (or months) of number crunching. It’s important to align people, processes and technology to make rapid-response analysis possible. FINANCE EXPERTS
  14. 14. Tom Hood President & CEO Maryland Association of CPA’s & The Business Learning Institute To enable quick on-the-fly analysis, finance pros need to get their data in one place. Identify major sources & link them or store data in a data warehouse.” FINANCE EXPERTS
  15. 15. Shawn DuBravac President Astra Insights Organizations need to move to an environment with reporting, assessment, and decision- making happening in a robust, continuous cycle.” FINANCE EXPERTS
  16. 16. Peter Chisambara Founder & Principal Consultant ERPM Insights CFOs need to leverage modern digital solutions, automate routine processes and create more time for strategic analysis and insightful finance decision support.” FINANCE EXPERTS
  17. 17. Kenneth Fick Senior Manager MorganFranklin Consulting Executives need to weigh the informational priorities of accuracy and timely and relevant information to make the best decisions. Audited, historical financial information may be very accurate but how timely and relevant is it if it takes nearly three-months or more after an accounting close to get it?” FINANCE EXPERTS
  18. 18. Strategic Approach Finance leaders may need to step out of their comfort zone to innovate for the future. More transparency, open communication, and investment in new technology will help equip the finance department to be more strategic. FINANCE EXPERTS
  19. 19. Gabrielle Luoma Founder & CEO GMLCPA Accounting and Finance must work together to create systems that will help Accounting deliver relevant and accurate information, and Finance will need to communicate what information is needed. Communication is key.” FINANCE EXPERTS
  20. 20. Jack Sweeney Host of CFO Thought Leader CFOs must share more data to educate employees. Transparent leadership can inspire workers who, in return, will identify pools of strategic data that can be converted by the finance team into competitive advantage.” FINANCE EXPERTS
  21. 21. Ranica Arrowsmith Technology Editor Accounting Today Be open to hearing what new technology can do that you hadn’t previously considered. Place an emphasis on efficiency and time-saving tools.” FINANCE EXPERTS
  22. 22. April Rudin President/Founder The Rudin Group Finance professionals need to understand that investing in technology can be a revenue generator, not an expense item. Investing in technology will bring better data quality, give better insight into clients wants and needs, and help build business with future clients.” FINANCE EXPERTS
  23. 23. Are You Ready to Crush It? The finance department has never been better positioned or equipped to become leaders in the organization. Taking on this new role — expanding beyond the traditional boundaries of the finance function — will require new ways of thinking about people, processes, and technology. Are you ready to lead the digital transformation in your finance department? Visit our “Power Up Your FP&A with Data” webpage. You’ll find even more expert advice and analysis from our high- scoring team. You can get in the game yourself with our interactive quiz, The Future of Business Finance: How to Crush It in 2018. Answer questions, get new insights, and aim for the high score! Click to Power Up! FINANCE EXPERTS

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