Hello and welcome back to my website. If you have read some of my previous blogs you would see that I am deeply involved in the finance industry and love to learn about current happenings with the industry. I know the year is not over just yet but 2016 is just around the corner and people need to be prepared for start of the next year. This article is intended for the education of any reader interested in learning more about what financial professionals will be focusing on in 2016. I hope you enjoy the article and feel free to share it.
The following information is based on a study provided by Protiviti and taken by more than 600 finance professionals including CFOs, Vice Presidents, Presidents, corporate controllers, and more. For those of you that are not familiar with Protiviti, they are a global consulting firm that aids organizations in solving any problems associated with finance, operations, technology, risk, and audit. The survey ultimately found that the financial professionals continued to focus on the strategic value of the finance function, instead of accounting operations.
In 2014 there were 3 areas of financial analysis that ranked 7.0 or higher that were viewed as extremely important by financial professionals. These 3 areas were strategic planning, budgeting, and profitability analysis. The data for the 2016 study indicated that 7 key areas were shown to be top priority. These 7 areas include strategic planning, budgeting, performance management, business intelligence, periodic forecasting, profitability analysis, and risk management.
Please view the chart below for more information on business area priority for financial executives.
CFOs and other top level financial executives will be diligently focused on those 7 areas with the intention and motivation to positively affect margin and earnings performance. Immediately following margin and earnings performance is cybersecurity risks, strategic planning, periodic forecasting, and budgeting.
Ryan Senter is a managing director at Protiviti said in a recent interview, “With the modest economic recovery of the past few years, finance functions are preparing the enterprise for challenges that could materialize at any time by working to preserve margins and by sustaining a strong focus on working capital management.”
The report went on to say the following quote, “Finance functions are working … to equip business partners throughout the organization with more precise and real-time information on performance, cash positions, and profitability drivers to strengthen strategic decision-making.”