Product Tips: Tracking the Evolution of a Budget from Start to Finish

The budget cycle is often like the old game ‘telephone’ - you start at one point, but what comes out the other end is completely different. In the budgeting version of this you are asked at the beginning of the budget process to submit the budget for your center or department, only to see a completely different number at the end of the cycle.


How Can Advanced Financial Management Systems Make You A More Strategic CFO

For decades, financial managers have pieced together and manipulated spreadsheets in order to report on past data and maintain the financial integrity of their businesses. Sure, if they had time, they could use these primitive tools to attempt to identify trends and offer insights. But this effort was ridden with information silos, dirty data and outdated numbers.

Fortunately, times are changing.


The Crisis of Competency in Accounting and Finance

The roles of today’s accounting professionals are being reinvented, requiring new skills far beyond audit, tax and compliance competencies.

The finance function is a key part of business strategy, but many professionals don’t learn the skills needed to develop strategy, inform decision making, or communicate with influence. “Accountant” remains one of the hardest jobs for employers to fill, and 50 percent of finance executives can’t find staff with the right skills. This talent gap is, in fact, a crisis.

This “Competency Crisis” has gone unsolved for decades, and it’s affecting businesses’ operations potential for future growth. The problem has been studied at length by academics and professional accounting organizations. A variety of factors, including a narrowly focused accounting curriculum and lack of on-the-job training, are part of the problem, but clearly, there is no silver bullet that will make accounting and finance professionals excel at a global level.


Seven Essential Qualities of FP&A

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams are responsible for testing the viability of big ideas coming out of the C-suite. These professionals are being asked to understand key business drivers and perform predictive analysis. To enable innovation and smart decisions, they must focus on modeling and predicting options for resource allocation, growth investments, and risk management. Advanced financial analysts are already building, testing, and perfecting collaboration tools that enable scenario planning and what-if analysis that focus on forward-looking choices. So, what does it take to excel as an FP&A professional?


The Role of Planning

We live in an unpredictable world where the future is uncertain. If it was then we would all make a fortune by making strategic ‘bets’ on certain outcomes – we would know what products and services to back, what level of stock and staffing to have, and when and where to market our capabilities for maximum effect.

But the world is not like that.


EPM View: An Interview with John O’Rourke, Vice President of Product Marketing, Oracle Corporation

John O’Rourke, one of the most seasoned veterans of the EPM industry, offers his perspective in this candid interview with Susan Serven. John shares his views on the future of EPM, the merger of Hyperion and Oracle, the most common misconceptions of EPM, his advice for a company just starting to consider implementing a performance management system, why Balanced Scorecard may have fallen out of favor, and many other insights.


CFO at 28: Career Advice from a Seasoned Professional

President and CEO of the Institute of Management Accounts and CFO Insights contributor Jeff Thomson spoke recently with Ben Mulling, CMA, CPA, CITP, CFO at TENTE Casters Inc. and member of the IMA Global Board of Directors.

Ben earned his title of CFO at age 28.

They discussed the increasingly strategic role accounting and finance professionals are asked to perform and the skills necessary to advance in the profession.

For more advice on how to succeed in today’s marketplace, watch the extended video interview below.