7 Cyber Security Questions CFOs Need Answers For

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The growing sophistication of cyber-attacks has made it clear that even corporations with savvy prevention and protection systems are vulnerable. Cyber security is not just an IT issue but instead a cross-functional concern for the digital enterprise that requires attentive executive- and board-level surveillance. It also requires the involvement of key functions, particularly finance and enterprise risk management (ERM).

4 Tips for Using Financial Management Benchmarks Wisely

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Finance professionals naturally understand the rationale of measuring managerial and operating progress, so wielding those measures’ corresponding benchmarks should be a straightforward exercise. But a word of caution is due. The impulse to act quickly with benchmarks can take a finance group in the wrong direction. Slow down, step back, and carefully consider your next steps.

How Is Paper Still a Thing?

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It’s almost 2017. The accounts payable (AP) manager has an abundance of technology innovations from which to choose to make the process run faster, better, and cheaper. For example, there are workflow automation solutions that help to reduce duplicate payments, late payments, strengthen internal controls, and support audit efficiency.

The Finance Mission—A Good Time for Reflection

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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.

Finance Needs New Skills to Stay Relevant

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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.

Finance Transformation in 2016: Raising the Bar on Business Analysis

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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.

Finance Process Efficiency: the Hunt Continues

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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?

Get Serious about Finance Training

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The current fascination with using big data to sharpen business decision making is not lost on finance and accounting leaders. They know it is imperative that finance get up-to-speed with this powerful trend and learn how best to apply big data concepts in the realm of financial planning and analysis (FP&A). Unsurprisingly, recent APQC research shows that there is strong enthusiasm for enhancing FP&A; in tandem with that, a growing number of CFOs are sanctioning a closer look at cloud-based applications for planning and reporting.

Three Reasons Why Finance Transformation is Back in Vogue

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Finance process improvement is back in full swing—or is it? Some would argue that it’s not back, per se; they’d say it never left. Surely they are thinking of companies run by CEOs with the will to make process excellence a cornerstone of competitive strategy. But what about those without such support? Preliminary APQC research says finance process improvement is a compelling issue for most. Three reasons stand out.

Analytics Maturity: Getting the Intersections Right

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In any organization, during the early stages of building analytical muscle, there will be competing views on what the maturity ladder looks like. To sort out what’s what, start with a common language for describing how analytics will serve strategic aims of the enterprise as a whole. Avoid being fenced in by groups of skunk works going after radical but narrow innovations. Beware as well that some people speak only in the dialects favored by the IT profession.