CFO Research Study Shows Finance Executives Are Moving Beyond Cost Control Toward Growth in a Fiercely Competitive Market

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Performance management technology seen as key enabler to improve corporate agility

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Finance executives are shifting their focus to performance management activities—decision support, business analysis, forecasting, and financial planning—to plan their growth strategies and measure the results of those efforts.

Longview Solutions, a leading provider of corporate performance management and tax provisioning software, announced today the release of a new research study which highlights many of the challenges and opportunities finance executives in North America are grappling with in the midst of a struggling economic recovery and how technology will play a key role. The research report titled "Finance's Changing Mandate: Moving Beyond Cost Control to True Performance Management" was prepared by CFO Research Services and underwritten by Longview Solutions. The report is based on a survey of 162 senior finance executives at U.S. based companies with annual revenues ranging from US$100 million to more than $5 billion and examines their views on growth opportunities, strategic priorities, and the role performance management will play.

Performance management is an established set of business activities that CFO Research defines as the "set of processes, metrics, methodologies, and technology systems and infrastructure that allow organizations to forecast, measure and react to business drivers and performance indicators in the service of business strategy."

Key findings of the research include:

  •     70% of respondents expect decision support and business analysis will be a higher priority over the next two years than they are today and 60% say they expect planning, budgeting and forecasting to continue to dominate
  •     Nearly half of the survey respondents (47%) say it will be very important for their companies to improve their ability to produce information used for planning, budgeting, and forecasting
  •     Respondents using CPM Suites are much more likely to recognize the contribution their technology systems have made to their efforts to manage performance than those relying on ERP systems and spreadsheets

"Performance management isn't new—companies have always worked hard to anticipate and respond to changes in business conditions, and to measure the results of those efforts," said Celina Rogers, Director of Research at CFO Research Services. "In the course of the downturn, companies’ attention understandably turned sharply to cost control. Managing the bottom line certainly served many companies well throughout the downturn, but as economic conditions ease, the pressure to return to growth is increasing. The challenge that companies face now is how to grow in what’s proving to be an uncertain and fragile recovery. As this research shows, finance executives are shifting their focus to performance management activities—decision support, business analysis, forecasting, and financial planning—to plan their growth strategies and measure the results of those efforts."

"As a thought leader in the area of corporate performance management, we believe it is critical to invest in independent third party research to better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by corporate finance – particularly in this challenging economic climate," said John Power, President, Longview Solutions. "What is particularly interesting in this report is how finance executives using performance management systems have created an agile corporate culture that is enabling them to focus on growth and gaining market share from competitors rather than just managing the P&L."

The CFO Research report is available to download for free at http://www.longview.com/CFO/CPM.        

About CFO Research Services
CFO Research Services is the sponsored research group within CFO Publishing LLC, which publishes CFO magazine.

About Longview Solutions
Longview Solutions provides corporate performance management (CPM) and tax provisioning software that leading companies such as Trustmark, Time Warner, Home Depot, Eaton, Welch’s, and Integrys use to drive performance with speed, visibility and financial integrity. Since 1994, many of the world's most respected companies have been using Longview to create a single repository of financial truth from which all, or any one of the following key financial processes can be performed: Financial Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting, Modeling, Statutory and XBRL Reporting, Financial Consolidation, Management Reporting and Tax Provisioning. Longview is an Exact company headquartered in Toronto, Canada with regional offices in Philadelphia, Chicago (USA) and London (UK).

For more information, visit http://www.longview.com or contact:

Longview Solutions
Jennifer Bentley
905-513-5210
jbentley(at)longview(dot)com

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