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CFO 2017 Goals

The results are in! The annual Kaufman Hall CFO survey demonstrates the changing and expanding role of data in financial management. This survey asked almost 400 finance executives to share their goals and top concerns for the coming year – Here is what they found:

CFOs want to make a big impact on their corporate operations. More than 70% of the executives surveyed said supporting decision-making is their top goal; which is a break from the usual accounting roles. More than 90% said they need to better leverage financial and operations information to support executive decision making.

The overwhelming majority of data being sought is management-level (75%) and operational (67%). This focus on data driven decision-making is a departure from more traditional CFO concerns relating only to financial management.

“CFOs want to make a bigger impact on operations across the board,” said Abe Cohen, vice president of marketing at Kaufman Hall. “The data is supporting the notion that CFOs are transforming into business advisers.”

Agility is another top 2017 priority. Less than 23% of respondents were very confident about their company’s ability to maneuver past unforeseen business obstacles. The main reason for their lack of confidence -- outdated financial planning and analysis tools and processes.

The move to rolling forecasts has mitigated some risk. According to the survey, thirty-eight percent of respondents say their company now uses rolling forecasts, up from 33% at this same period last year, and 25% in 2014.

CFOs said they need the ability to pull data from multiple sources into a single report, which would greatly increase productivity. They also want better processes to mine data and improve dashboards and visualizations.

Data-driven decisions and overall management support from CFOs is clearly a growing trend. Data can help optimize business performance through visibility into operations, more insightful analysis, and more rigorous fact-based decision making.

CFO 2017 Goals

Creating Your Professional New Year’s Resolutions

As we look ahead to the New Year, let’s make some resolutions we can actually keep. I’m not talking losing weight and eating clean – let’s talk about creating some professional goals you can really work toward and accomplish.

  • Think about it.
  • Write it down.
  • Create a plan.
  • Put in the work.
  • Revisit those goals.
  • Assess.

For resolutions to have any chance of making it beyond New Year’s Day they need to be meaningful. Take some time to actually think about your long-term professional goals. Hey, they don’t all have to be lofty. Not everyone wants to be the president of their corporation, but everyone does want job satisfaction, so take time to figure out personally relevant goals that truly motivate and inspire you.

Now, actually write those goals down on a piece of paper, in your journal, save them to your phone, your mobile device, whatever works for you. Have you heard the phrase, “Goals that are not written down are just wishes”? Make these resolutions into goals by putting them down in a way you can see, evaluate, and work toward accomplishing.

Focus your attention on the goals. Evaluate your assets and your liabilities. You may need to create some additional to-do lists; like take some needed classes, finish a major project at work, expand your responsibilities at your current job, etc… to close the gap between where you are today and where you need to be to achieve your next step.

Now, it’s time to put in the work. You’ve thought about some pertinent and meaningful things you want to accomplish, you’ve set the goals, and created a plan – now comes the actual work. Put your plan into action! Goals are not achieved overnight, and this may be a long road or a quick success – either way you are on your way!

As you hit milestones along the way, take time to revisit your goals. You may add to your list or you may reassess some goals. Maybe your life has changed with a new addition to your family, maybe you have moved to a new city… things change – your goals can change too.

Monitor your progress, stick to your plan, make some adjustments as needed, and see all you have accomplished along the way!

Creating Your Professional New Year’s Resolutions

You’re Late!

Last week I wrote about creating some professional resolutions and how to work toward obtaining those goals. Now a week later, the New Year is literally right around the corner! It’s time to put together your list of general New Year’s resolutions. Are you resolving to be on time?

For this last blog of the year, let’s take a look at some funny and bizarre excuses employees have used for being late. A survey conducted by CareerBuilder lays them out:

  • A zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic (this excuse actually turned out to be true)

  • Woke up on the front lawn of a house two blocks away from home

  • Cat got stuck in the toilet

  • Couldn’t eat breakfast –ran out of milk for cereal and had to buy some before getting ready for work

  • Was late to work because fell asleep in the car when arrived at work

  • Accidentally put superglue in eye instead of contact lens solution and had to go to the emergency room

  • Thought Halloween was a work holiday

  • Said a hole in the roof caused rain to fall on the alarm clock and it didn’t go off

  • Was watching something on TV and really wanted to see the end

  • Forgot that the company had changed locations

  • Got a hairbrush stuck in hair

  • Was scared by a nightmare

  • Was sprayed by a skunk

  • Tripped over dog and was knocked unconscious

  • Bus broke down and was held up by robbers

  • Was arrested as a result of mistaken identity

  • Forgot to come back to work after lunch

  • Couldn't find shoes

  • Hurt-self bowling

  • Was spit on by a venomous snake

  • Totaled spouse’s jeep in a collision with a cow

  • Hitman was looking for the employee

  • Curlers burned hair, and had to go to the hairdresser

  • Eloped

  • Brain went to sleep, and couldn't wake it up

  • Cat unplugged alarm clock

  • Had to be there for spouse’s grand jury trial

  • Had to ship grandmother's bones to India. (she passed away 20 years ago)

  • Forgot what day of the week it was

  • Drugs had been slipped in drink last night

  • A tree fell on car

  • Pet monkey died

Honesty is always the best policy. Everyone is late once in a while, and it can happen to any of us when circumstances beyond our control take hold. Just as a friendly reminder, if you know you are going to be late ahead of time – or something comes up and you are at a location where you can safely get a message to someone –let them know as soon as possible.

You’re Late!