Adaptive Insights’ Global CFO Survey Warns that Current Pace of Finance Could Threaten Corporate Agility
CFOs Must Accelerate Reporting, Analysis to Become More Agile
Adaptive Insights, the only pure-play cloud vendor to be named a leader in strategic cloud corporate performance management (CPM), today released its global CFO Indicator report, which explores the pace of finance, its impact on agility, and what CFOs need to do to shorten their organizations’ time to decisions. Alarmingly, 77% of CFOs admit that major business decisions have been delayed due to stakeholders not having timely access to data and report significant delays with respect to tasks like reporting and ad hoc analysis.
“Corporate agility requires that organizations plan for multiple outcomes, particularly as economic conditions become increasingly uncertain, turbulent, and competitive,” said Robert. S. Hull, founder and Chairman at Adaptive Insights. “CFOs can improve their organizations’ agility by accelerating the speed of scenario planning and analysis. By giving key stakeholders more immediate access to data, finance can dramatically improve decision-making—the key to maximizing corporate performance.”
The report warns CFOs that the current pace of finance could threaten corporate agility and provides views on the practices that should be adopted to create a more forward-looking, agile environment.
Key findings in the report show that:
- The finance team is spending over half (53%) of its time on reporting and data gathering alone. This leaves many organizations looking back at history, rather than forecasting forward.
- CFOs would like their teams to spend less time on report preparation and data collection (36%) and more time on forecasting and scenario analysis (40%). More and better analysis will lead to improved agility.
- CFOs (49%) believe predictive analytics will most contribute to agility, followed closely by dashboards and analytics (45%). CFOs desire to transition away from historical reporting, and toward a more forward-looking approach.
The Need for Speed…In Reporting and Ad Hoc Analysis
This quarter’s report reveals that key decisions around such things as capital expenditures, resource allocations, and investments have been delayed because stakeholders don’t have timely access to data. With shrinking product and innovation cycles—not to mention ever-increasing global competition—these delays can mean the difference between the success or failure of the business.
CFOs (47%) report that it is taking 11+ days to get reports into the hands of stakeholders, yet they (56%) would like it to take no more than five days. Ad hoc analysis is also taking longer than desired, as CFOs (60%) say this task takes up to 5 days, yet they would like it to take no more than a day. Reporting and ad hoc analysis represent two key areas that can be improved to enable better agility.
The Impact of Technology on Agility
The desire to move toward a more analytics-driven organization appears to be impacting CFOs’ decisions when it comes to implementing technology. Dashboards and analytics top the list of future purchases, with 45% of CFOs saying they will invest in this type of solution by 2020, followed closely by budgeting and forecasting tools (40%).
Discouragingly, it appears that most organizations continue to depend on point solutions that do not provide the integrated access to data that SaaS solutions can provide. CFOs report that, on average, only 33% of their organizations’ infrastructure is SaaS today with a desire to get to 60% by 2020. This is virtually unchanged from the CFO Indicator Q1 2016 report.
About the Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator
The Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator is a quarterly report that highlights what is top of mind for CFOs, as well as unveils key attributes that define the strategic CFO. This quarter’s report surveyed 271 chief financial officers across the globe online over a period of 18 days ending April 18, 2017. For additional insights, see previous quarters’ CFO Indicator reports.