5 Biggest Benchmark Problems and How To Fix Them

Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland's picture

As you may have heard from us a few times, benchmarking is a top tool used by leadership teams to support decision making. So, to dig into that topic, APQC surveyed over 300 professionals—across functional boundaries—to understand their common benchmarking practices and the value derived from benchmarking. What we found is that benchmarking does indeed play a vital role in many organizations.

The Finance Mission—A Good Time for Reflection

Mary Driscoll's picture

As we head into the last quarter of the business year, financial analysts are surely keen to see how useful their forays into data analytics will look when the final buzzer goes off. Have these efforts to buoy business performance paid off? What are CFOs planning to do to balance investments in new analytical strength with the imperative to control the finance budget? These are just two examples of the professional soul-searching now underway among finance leaders.

How Process Management is Like Teenage Boys?

Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland's picture

As many of you know by now, I’m the proud parent of a high school student, with all the joys and frustrations that entails. I was recently struck with how much being a parent is like managing a business. Think about it. There are:

  • performance measures to monitor—grades and standardized tests,

  • workflows to manage—time management and study habits, and

  • employees to engage—celebrating successes, keeping morale high, and working with my son to embrace changes to study habits and prioritizing assignments over video games.

Finance Needs New Skills to Stay Relevant

Mary Driscoll's picture

Three quarters of finance executives who responded to a recent APQC survey are engaged in some form of finance function improvement. Unsurprisingly, CFOs want finance to push for greater cost-efficiency. That campaign will never end, especially as finance moves stridently toward robotics and various process innovations in the realm of transaction processing.

Why Finance Has No Incentives for Process Improvements and How To Change It

Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland's picture

APQC recently chatted with Gabriel Zubizarreta on the challenges of process improvement in finance departments and why leveraging change is about culture.
Gabe will be leading the breakout session, Leveraging Change for Process Improvement, at APQC’s 2016 Process improvement Conference Oct. 3-7

Finance Transformation in 2016: Raising the Bar on Business Analysis

Mary Driscoll's picture

According to new research conducted by APQC, finance leaders are keenly aware of the need to improve the finance function. What’s so new about that? A lot, actually.

Why Aren’t More Women in Leadership Positions?

Haley Carroll's picture

As I hear and read about women in business, the same question keeps resurfacing: Why aren’t more women in leadership positions? Organizations are striving to improve gender equity figures in the hopes that a more diverse workforce will appeal to an increasingly diverse customer base. In addition, it’s been proven that a more diverse workforce can increase financial returns, employee engagement, and innovation.

Is Attending Aspen Ideas Festival on Your Bucket List?

Carla O'Dell's picture

If attending the Aspen Ideas Festival isn’t on your bucket list, you might consider adding it.

Every summer, one thousand movers and shakers, CEOs, authors, politicians, pundits, and artists gather to share the biggest ideas of the day and seek solutions to the world’s pressing problems. I had the pleasure of attending this year in late June and wasn’t disappointed.

Finance Process Efficiency: the Hunt Continues

Mary Driscoll's picture

When an overwhelming majority of finance executives say they want to be sure their financial process costs are in line, I can’t help but wonder if I’ve stumbled into a time warp. APQC has been tracking these efficiency metrics for many years. CFOs and corporate controllers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia have been leading finance improvement initiatives for well over a decade. So, why are the world’s largest companies still hard at it?