The beginning of a new year always signals a time for trend spotting Which financial opportunities, challenges and changes should companies prepare for now? Below are six soon-to-be realities that you should consider for 2019. .
CFOs take on more
The role of the CFO has merged with that of the COO to
assume strategy and operations functions. This calls for greater collaboration
in business areas such as marketing, procurement, sales and design/R&D in
order for CFOs to build sound budget strategies and operational processes.
demands disrupt industries.
Think of it as forced evolution. Millennials and Gen Z crowd
are making their wishes known – pushing for greater transparency, asking for more
sustainable products, embracing technical conveniences. Business has no choice
but to respond – re-evolving business models, selling on social media, adopting
finance smarter and faster.
Automation and new technologies are making finance software
programs do more with less. This leaves more time for focusing on the
organization’s strategic vision.
We’re grappling with uncertainty
From foreign policy to data regulation, businesses are
operating under the strain of uncertainty. Expect another year of having to
navigate a turbulent, highly politicized environment.
Even the workforce is
2019 will introduce a diverse generation of employees with
new expectations and wants. For accounting, the skills gap widens, re-training requirements
grow, and a higher level of contract employees emerges.
New data risks are
Companies will need to have a deeper understanding of General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), because there will be a higher level of
concern about data security as more info is created, collected, and stored online
which allows for the possibility of hacking.
As these developments proceed, the role of
finance becomes more important and extensive. Many companies are turning to service providers to help them make the
transformation. This may entail consulting services, augmenting current staff
or even outsourcing the financial and accounting function.
Outsourced Accounting or Accounting as a Service (AaaS) provider can be the catalyst to take your organization to the next level. For some SMBs, accounting is not looked at as a strategic function of the organization, but it should be. It also shouldn’t take focus away from growing your core business. Lots of SMBs don’t consider Outsourcing. Here are 5 main reasons why.
1) They think it is too expensive
By using Accounting as a Service, you have access to shared service center. Providers have put a lot of investment, thought, and execution into their model and have staffed accordingly. With an AaaS provider you now have access to a full accounting department that often is less expensive than one full-time FTE. This doesn’t even figure in technology costs that come with the service.
2) It is the same as bookkeeping services
Bookkeepers are responsible for recording daily financial transactions. Controllers are responsible for financial reporting, internal audit and internal controls. CFO are responsible for financial planning, financial data analysis and strategic planning. By relying only upon a bookkeeper you are stuck looking in the past and cannot see into the future to effectively make critical decisions for your business. AaaS providers ensure daily transactions are done correctly but also greatly reduce risks and provide necessary forward-thinking strategy to help growth your business.
3) We can just do the same in-house
For most SMBs it is hard to justify the expense of having a bookkeeper, controller, VP of finance and CFO. All positions have importance. You don’t want to pay a senior level person to do daily transactions and you definitely don’t want to ask an entry level person to manage financial risks.
4) We cannot have any finance staff in-house
Often AaaS providers work with internal staff to fill voids. Yes, providers can function as the entire finance department but often work with existing staff to help maximize their production.
5) We have more control and stability by utilizing in-house staff
Employees turnover and training are always on the minds of companies. If you don’t have a defined professional develop plan for each employee, you are at risk of losing your top talent to other opportunities. By using an AaaS provider you eliminate the risk of employee turnover. You also will not miss a beat when people people are out sick, on vacation, or on leave.
The data-driven approach is gaining popularity as the amount of available data increases with market pressures. The success of the data-driven approach relies on the quality of the data, its analysis and interpretation. However; errors can creep into data analytics processes at any stage and serious issues can result when they do. Therefore, it is important to have the right tools and procedures in place to lessen the risk of errors.
The following points from a recent Adaptive’s Insights research study provide insight into how CFOs value and use data to set strategic direction.
84% feel the most important skill they have is to think and act strategically
69% want to leverage data to make more insightful analytics-based decisions in 2015
40% consider the ability to leverage analytics to make data-driven decisions as one of their most required skills
47% want their analysis to be based on predictive data, and 48 percent based on historical data
76% are facing an increase in KPI demand from the executive team
Financial KPIs are the most effective types for management decision making
It wasn’t long ago that only large enterprises had the budget and resources to be able to utilize data-driven tools. However, as companies are leaning more towards the data-driven approaches, companies of all sizes are now using dashboards and other visualization tools to track KPIs, metrics, and other key data points relevant to their business. Data visualizations, most noteworthy, simplify complex data sets to provide users with at a glance awareness of current performance.
To learn more about how finance leaders are addressing and planner for quicker and more agile finance, check out the CFO Indicator Report: Q1 2017from our partner Adaptive Insights below.