Maintaining Margins While Staying Vigilant – Highlights from the FERF/Protiviti 2016 Finance Priorities Survey

The Protiviti View,

Finance functions were historically busy last year. But they
cannot afford to Infographic-2016-Finance-Priorities-Survey-FERF-Protivitiback off. In the coming year, between maintaining margins, forecasting cash flow, complying with new regulations and combatting cyberthreats, finance functions will have much to monitor on their radars and need to be incredibly vigilant.

The results of the 2016 Finance Priorities Survey from the Financial Executives Research Foundation and Protiviti indicate that CFOs and finance professionals remain alert to intensifying volatility while continuing to address a large and growing set of priorities.

Our key findings:

  1. “Margins, not market share” – That’s what General Motors Company CEO Mary Barra communicated to her senior leadership about how they should govern their strategic goalsetting activities. On this count, GM is hardly alone. Margin and earnings performance ranks as the top priority across all groups of respondents in our survey.
  2. CFOs see more significant priorities on the horizon – Whereas the overall survey response shows some priority index levels are trending down, suggesting perceptions of a less-intensive year ahead, CFOs have a different view – in many cases, their priority levels have increased compared to last year.
  3. Cybersecurity concerns permeate the finance function – There is little doubt that IT security and privacy is far more than just an IT issue today – it represents a strategic organizational risk, and not surprisingly, one that ranks near the very top of finance functions’ priority lists.
  4. Wanted: a single, real-time version of the truth – Finance functions want to develop better, more accurate and timelier data collection, data analysis, reporting, budgeting and forecasting capabilities.

Check out our video below, and visit www.protiviti.com/financesurvey to obtain our full report.

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