“Jack be nimble. Jack be quick.” That line from the old nursery rhyme encapsulates the demands on today’s CFO. In a world where agility is crucial for organizations to survive and thrive, old-school practices are quickly falling by the wayside, replaced with instantaneous facts, figures, and findings.
Turning live insights into action makes CFOs much-needed strategic partners
Digitization, or what we at SAP call “live insights to action,” is fast transforming finance’s ability to analyze, report, and respond with unprecedented transparency and agility. It is upping the ante on how finance can serve as a strategic partner to the business. For a look at how CFOs are accomplishing this, and spending less time closing the books and more time growing the business, watch this video.
Here are just a few examples of the power of “live insight to action” capabilities for CFOs and their top teams:
- Analytics – Digitization offers real-time contextual information and ad hoc analysis. It pulls together information across all lines of business and operations to provide, in one place, a complete, real-time view of critical business metrics. CFOs and top decision-makers can quickly and easily explore predefined metrics down to the line-item level to more fully understand business performance and more readily address vital risks and opportunities.
- Boardroom presentations and steering meetings – Digitization transforms high-level CFO presentations into easy-to-compile, easy-to-deliver sources of reliable, actionable information. “Live insights to action” capabilities allow the presenter to answer questions on the spot, adapt information to handle meeting-based scenarios, and immediately make available simulations and updates based on what is presently transpiring. The digital meeting saves valuable time in both preparation and presentation, while enabling top-level participants to assess, analyze, and decide with clarity and confidence.
- Inter-departmental cooperation and transparency – Business leaders across the board need to be able to seize opportunities and address issues more rapidly. CFOs in leading organizations who have embraced radical process automation and real-time analytics have successfully enabled their fellow executives to quickly and accurately assess the viability of opportunities and the danger of threats. Additionally, digitization opens the door to new collaborative processes between finance and the rest of the business in key areas such as cash collection patterns, mergers and acquisitions, and profit and loss simulations.
- Strategic decision-making – In a world where risks and opportunities often appear from nowhere and unfold at breakneck speed, accelerated decision-making is a necessity, not a nicety. It is clear that decision-making can not only be fast-tracked, but also significantly improved when all key players are focused on the same business drivers and on a single source of truth. Finance is often the foundation from which those decisions are made. With digitization, the speed and accuracy of information is dramatically accelerated, ending the days of the month-end closings. No longer does finance need to think in terms of weeks or months, but rather can often respond in hours or even minutes with far superior information.
In short, by harnessing the benefits of “live insights to action,” CFOs become the power players who provide a real-time financial perspective—from the boardroom to the front lines. It’s the exact insight needed across the organization for both fact-based strategic decision-making and effective management of day-to-day operations.