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Hey CFOs - Are you seeing the right stuff?

31 Aug 2017


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CFOs - are you seeing the right stuff?

Insights from Oliver Wight’s Robert Hirschey and Dan Spatz

Before you answer that, let us answer for you … “Probably not!”

Our experience, both as financial practitioners and consultants, is that most CFOs’ eyes are focused on financial “operations” – being the “Financial Custodian.” Monthly closing. Last month’s performance. Variance analysis to explain it. Maybe a look forward to the rest of the quarter. And depending on the company, a review of current cash position, financing, debt covenants, capital allocations, etc.

Most CFOs pay almost all their attention – month after month – to the income statement, balance sheet, and cash position.

Then wham! It’s “planning season.”

With it comes the typical multi-month fire drill of setting goals and targets for next year and developing the associated budgets.

Easy, right?

Just stretch this year by some arbitrary percentage to get next year’s targets. Oh, and reduce functional budgets as well. What part of “do more with less” doesn’t everyone in the company understand?

Have you ever considered another “view”?

How about being the “Financial Copilot” for your company? Along with the other “Co Pilots” from product development, marketing and sales, operations, supply chain, etc. Like any copilot, you help develop the flight plan for the trip, monitor progress, and make needed adjustments to unforeseen events to stay on track.

Copiloting is collaborative problem solving along the way of executing the business strategy and goals.

Good news! Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is a process that does just that.

And a good IBP process has a “Financial Copilot” as part of the flight crew. As Financial Copilot for the executive team, the CFO helps in reaching consensus on a believable, feasible, and doable plan.

Along the way, the role of Finance transforms from being a “results cop” to a “results enabler.” Finance is sought out and respected for the value it adds rather than avoided as a watch dog.

This is what the IBP environment creates, the opportunity for Finance to constructively help the operating functions and leadership team shape the business going forward.

We’ve done this and seen it done. It works.

By opening their eyes to being a “Financial Co-Pilot” in addition to a “Financial Custodian,” the CFO plays a pivotal role in transforming the Finance organization from watch dog to trusted advisor.

Learn more about our experiences and observations of financial organizations transforming their role through Integrated Business Planning. Download our white paper on “Functional Transformation: Integrated Business Planning Through the Eyes of the CFO.”

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