CFOs Now Waking Up to Cyber Crime in AP

Mary Driscoll's picture

A new report on corporate payments fraud carries some stunning facts. The Association for Financial Professionals has released its 2017 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey. Seventy four percent of finance professionals reported that their organizations experienced “attempted or actual payments fraud” last year.

Finance Needs More Know-How

Mary Driscoll's picture

APQC recently conducted a survey of financial management professionals’ improvement goals and priorities. The results reveal vexing challenges in financial process standardization, labor cost reduction, and better decision support. These issues intersect—and not in a good way for many finance teams. In short, unless you have process standardization and strict process governance, you’ll never find labor-cost reduction opportunities.

7 Cyber Security Questions CFOs Need Answers For

Mary Driscoll's picture

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?

Mary Driscoll's picture

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

Get Serious about Finance Training

Mary Driscoll's picture

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.