It wasn’t until I attended the Los Angeles CFO Executive Summit on November 7 that I finally better understood finance. Up until then, the finance function had always been the most mysterious part of an organization—I would imagine finance teams working their dark magic by collecting data, running reports, and spinning out projections.
However, while I mingled among leaders of the largest companies in SoCal, what was most interesting to me was that CFOs and their teams share in the same heartaches as their C-suite counterparts. They struggle to attract and retain talent, reduce the administrative burden, migrate to modern processes, and understand the threats and opportunities of emerging digital disruptions—all while managing the ever-changing macro, micro, and political headwinds that can significantly impact business performance.
Treating the symptoms, not the illness
In the closing keynote address, Malcolm Harkins, Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cylance, explored how a lack of proactive planning has resulted in a “chronic disruption of business efficiency in corporations around the world.” He shared that when organizations don’t plan for desirable outcomes, it results in unnecessary headaches such as inefficient and labor-intensive strategic processes. He likened it to treating the symptoms rather than finding a cure.
Finance’s affliction could, in part, be a result of their limited access to a complete view of the business. For instance, while the office of the CFO is critical to the healthy operation of the business, they are often left out in the cold without the access they need to information and data across the broader business. But why is that? According to Harkins, one popular excuse heard across the board seems to be “We can fix it with Excel®.”
The prescription might be simpler than you think
What causes finance teams to continue struggling with the usual symptoms of financial planning pain points? Why not seek out a new way of treating the root cause of financial challenges with today’s state-of-the art remedies?
The treatment might not be as complicated as one might think. The ability to look across each department while maintaining the flexibility needed to plan for the entire business is at the root of more efficient financial planning technologies. This is also one of the ways the Anaplan platform makes analyzing financial and operational data a breeze. Its self-service modeling and drill-down capabilities into multiple dimensions and time periods provide FP&A teams with instant access to the clear insights they need to make strategic business decisions.
In fact, the Anaplan platform not only alleviates their common headaches, but it also can be the remedy needed to start building holistic finance-led cultures from the roots up. See how United Airlines cured their spreadsheet nightmare and discovered true multidimensional planning with the Anaplan platform.
United Airlines discovers true multi-dimensional planning with the Anaplan platform