A Look Ahead to APQC’s 2019 Financial Management Research

Rachele Collins's picture

Each year APQC strives to offer our members and customers actionable research across the breadth of transactional and strategic processes to help them optimize and improve their finance process performance. My colleague Lochlyn Morgan recently blogged to provide a recap of our 2018 research efforts.

The Top Characteristics of Best-in-Class Finance Functions

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Top finance functions are embarking on substantive changes to their processes and their organizational role. APQC conducted a case study research project throughout 2018 seeking best practices from organizations transforming their finance and accounting functions, and found some common themes shared among the organizations that we studied. Organizations on the journey to building a best-in-class finance function exhibited the following characteristics:

1) Align finance with business and organizational strategy.

Why Try to Improve What You Can Eliminate in Finance?

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APQC is engaged in current and ongoing research on planning, budgeting, and forecasting through our Open Standards Benchmarking Survey on Planning and Management Accounting.

The Benefits of Automating your Invoicing and Accounts Receivable Processes

Rachele Collins's picture

Invoicing and accounts receivable (AR) are core finance transactional processes that lie at the heart of an organization’s liquidity and working capital management. These two processes are flip sides of the same coin, with invoicing encompassing the activities involved in billing customers for goods and services received, and AR including the activities for processing and applying customer remittances and associated policies and accounting.

Three Keys to Successful Finance Process Management at Cargill

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Business process management is a proven operating model to help organizations reduce variability, increase standardization, and improve process performance. APQC recently interviewed the Global Credit-to-Cash Process Owner at Minnesota-based Cargill Inc., a multinational food, agriculture, nutrition, and risk management company. Prompted by a major reorganization, the finance function at Cargill centralized its operations to leverage a process focus and redesigned its service model in terms of people, processes, data, and technology.

5 Ways To Improve Accounts Receivable

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Accounts receivable (AR) is a core finance transactional process that lies at the heart of an organization’s liquidity and working capital management. APQC takes a process-based view in order to facilitate benchmarking and process improvement, and defines the AR process as all of the important activities to receive and apply cash from customers for goods and services, including establishing AR policies, receiving and depositing customer payments, applying cash remittances, preparing AR reports, and posting AR activity to the general ledger.

How to Develop Critical New Finance Competencies

Rachele Collins's picture

More and more, APQC is hearing talk of “the rise of the analytics competency” and the importance of finance professionals to develop knowledge, skills, and competencies not only in their operational finance areas (accounting, planning, auditing, internal controls, etc.), but also in analytics and data science.

5 Collections Techniques to Keep Your Costs Down and Have A Customer Focus

Rachele Collins's picture

While no organization likes to admit that a certain percentage of their customer receivables may at some time become overdue, and some even become uncollectible, the reality is that it happens to most organizations. In fact, according to APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking (OSB) Database on Accounts Receivable and Collections, the percentage of active customers that are delinquent at any time during the year ranges from 12 percent (top performers) to 20 percent (bottom performers).

4 KPIs Set Good Accounts Payable Organizations Apart

Rachele Collins's picture

A core finance process, accounts payable (AP) involves all of the essential activities of an organization to pay its suppliers. As one of the primary organizational candidates for early automation, AP is ripe for innovation through process improvement and automation. These improvements can liberate AP professionals from transactional tasks in order to best make use of their valuable time.

5 Things Best-in-class Finance Organizations Do That You Need to Borrow

Rachele Collins's picture

As many of the readers may be aware, APQC was foundational in the establishment of the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), and helped to develop the concept, criteria, funds, and ultimately secure Congressional approval for this award in 1985. Since that award’s establishment, more than 100 companies have won this prestigious award.