John Head, Vice President of Sales – East & International at Host Analytics, examined the impact of enterprise performance management (EPM) on chief financial officers during his presentation to Argyle’s CFO membership at the 2018 Financial Leadership Forum: Strategy & Innovation in the Digital Era in Chicago on May 9. In his presentation, “The Changing Landscape of Finance,” Head examined the past, present and future of the global finance landscape and offered tips to help CFOs keep pace with finance patterns and trends.
According to Head, today’s CFOs now have a major opportunity to capitalize on EPM. Although EPM has been used by CFOs in the past, now data, technology and assorted tools and resources can all be integrated to drive unparalleled performance improvements across each respective business. Using EPM, a CFO can track meaningful performance improvements day after day across all aspects of a company’s everyday operations. Then, this allows the CFO to allocate the company’s time and resources accordingly.
“Enterprise performance management is about a process, strategy and approach to take advantage of the performance opportunities you have in your organization,” Head noted. “You’re able to understand where you’ve been and take advantage of this perspective in terms of planning for your organization.”
CFOs can also leverage EPM to foster a performance-centric culture within any business. This culture will require employees to track their day-to-day performance and how they help a company achieve its goals. Plus, a performance-centric culture may enable a business to boost its productivity and efficiency, as well as discover innovative ways to differentiate itself from the competition.
“You want to have a culture of performance and capability to drive change and drive performance across an organization,” Head pointed out.
By working across multiple departments and businesses, the CFO gains insights into how different functions operate and can then help to identify new growth opportunities within the organization. Additionally, collaboration with different business departments enables a CFO to gain new skills and capabilities to further increase his or her value within a company.
Data plays a pivotal role in an organization’s success, too. CFOs can access a wide assortment of data from both structured and unstructured sources. Yet analyzing this information and transforming it into meaningful insights often is difficult, particularly for CFOs with limited time and resources at their disposal.
Data collection and analysis technologies drive informed decision-making. These technologies frequently empower CFOs to automate data collection and analysis. Therefore, CFOs can use data collection and analysis technologies to accelerate their decision-making processes and reap the benefits of performance improvements without delay.
“The CFO has really been more about reporting on business results, understand what is happening in an organization and report it to internal and external shareholders,” Head stated. “But the reality is that the CFO today is much more involved in the strategic decision-making processes of an organization.”
CFOs must maintain open communication with other leaders within a company as well. By doing so, CFOs can work with different business leaders to help a company optimize its performance.
“The CFO has become more than just a financial steward. Instead, the CFO is a business leader in front of the organization who leverages technology and is the right hand to the CEO,” Head said.
As the role of the CFO continues to change, finance leaders will be tasked with helping their respective companies drive performance improvements faster and more efficiently than ever before. To keep pace with rising expectations, CFOs must work with departments across a company. If CFOs can foster positive relationships with employees at all levels, they may be able to help a company achieve the best-possible results both now and in the future.
“The role of the CFO has changed, and that’s exciting,” Head noted. “The finance organization now offers the CFO … the ability to align different operational groups together and get the right [results].”