The times they are a-changin' for CFOs. The next generation of finance leaders will need to quarterback teams with a wide variety of backgrounds and skill-sets, in order to create a future-ready organization which will continue to thrive as the face of business changes.
Cleveland, Ohio-based Dealer Tire manages replacement tire and parts programs for more than 20 automotive OEMs in the U.S. and China. In this guest blog post, Mary Hayat, Dealer Tire’s director of accounting, explains how the company lets business flow by building an integrated card and expense program.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System is a diverse research and clinical care organization that includes four hospitals, two regional medical centers and a multitude of clinical care providers. In this guest blog post, Steve Kelly, UPHS’ director of disbursements, outlines how the organization lets business flow by delivering a mobile, highly-automated integrated expense and invoice automation solution.
Every company has unique requirements for its expense management solution, be it industry-specific regulations that need to be followed or complex business rules for approval routing. However, few organizations have as specific and complex needs for their expense management system as those with a significant global presence.
There are countless nuances of international business regulations that organizations need to follow. In particular, how can companies ensure that they stay compliant with global statutory requirements for expense reimbursement?
How can organizations ensure that their software investments bear fruit for years into the future? They need to be sure that as they evolve and grow with the market and the economy, the software solutions that are used to support them can accommodate these changes.
A company that provides its employees with manual or cumbersome expense reporting solutions may be hurting itself in many ways. One which is often overlooked is that employees who procrastinate over submitting their expenses could jeopardize the accuracy of the quarter-close, which could have serious ramifications.
The end of the traditional corporate card era is looming. The way that organizations source, pay for, and reimburse business travel has changed more in the past five years than the previous several decades combined.
Companies know how much their employees spend on hotels, flights and meals. While this information may help the travel manager, it doesn't help finance or sales leaders to measure how T&E spend impacts revenue generation.
While there's no denying that automating end-user processes and enabling hassle-free mobile submission of expense reports provides major ease-of-use and time-saving benefits for business travelers, the ROI that these benefits deliver is often dwarfed by the impact that expense automation has on the finance function.
Every organization’s finance team knows that controlling supplier costs is critical. However, one area that many organizations have yet to address is the actual cost of the invoice management and processing function.
If your CFO or controller asked you to provide the organization’s total travel spend over the past year, how would you get that data? The obvious (and traditional) answer is to ask for reports from your travel agency, breaking down hotel, flight and rental car costs. That should give you a pretty accurate figure, right? Well – not really.
For mid-size and large companies, best-of-breed travel and expense or all-in-on isn’t the only decision to be made when it comes to expense software. Many ERP providers also offer expense management capabilities as part of their broader suite of financial and HR tools. How do you decide which works best for you?
Gartner has just released its 2017 Market Guide for Travel Expense Management (TEM) Software. The guide is essential reading for any organization that’s thinking of investing in an expense management solution in the coming year, or is considering upgrading its existing solution.
Combining expense reimbursement with the payroll slows your process to a crawl, making your employees wait weeks for payment. Decouple the two and see how much happier you make employees AND finance.
Organizations who are looking for a full-featured, enterprise-grade expense management solution often find that the choice comes down to Chrome River and Concur. Once the shortlist has been created, how can finance, IT and procurement teams work out which solution works best for their team?
While a streamlined expense management system can make life easier for your business travelers and travel managers, it can also do amazing things for your finance and accounting departments. Not every expense management system will have the power to perk up accounting and finance, however. You need a platform that can integrate into the finance and accounting systems your departments already know and use.
One of the most critical questions when choosing an enterprise technology provider is “will we be a good match?” This isn’t just in terms of the vendor’s solution, and how its solution integrates with your infrastructure, but also if the two organizations mesh well together. Your decision needs to address a wide variety of factors beyond “can it do what we need it to do?” and “does it offer good value?” You also need to consider factors ranging from cultural fit to where you are size-wise on your vendor’s customer roster.
The Global Business Travel Association recently announced the results of its Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report. The report assesses the overall happiness with several aspects of travelers’ overall experience, from making travel arrangements through to getting through airport security and taking various forms of ground and air transport.
One of the most common discussions in business software procurement has been that of one-stop-shop versus best-of-breed. Choose a single vendor for all aspects of a particular function, they say, and your organization will see wide-ranging benefits, from lower costs, to smoother integration, more straightforward support resolution, and so on.
Ah, here we are, the ever-popular debate on the pros vs the cons of corporate card programs! Why should businesses allow employees to have corporate cards? Some feel that they have the potential to increase the organization’s financial exposure, risk employees racking up large bills, and are potentially tricky for finance teams to both implement and manage on an ongoing basis. Done right, however, corporate credit and payment cards can offer wide-ranging financial, operational and security benefits.
Anyone who has looked at some of the perks that companies offer will understand that any forward-thinking organization places a premium on attracting and retaining the best talent. When you factor that it costs an average of 6-9 months’ salary to replace an employee, spending a little extra to keep your team happy is a sound investment. The hard cost of employee turnover is, of course, just one issue here. Companies’ ability to thrive is reliant upon attracting and retaining the best talent. Being unable to keep and hire staff can have a seriously detrimental impact on an organization’s overall health.
Big data continues to be a big deal, but the results are often a big disaster. In fact, Forbes contributor Bernard Marr predicts that a full 50 percent of all big data projects are destined to fall substantially short of expectations. He says the underlying cause is always lack of proper planning, and it rears its ugly head in five different ways.
Meeting with business partners and colleagues across the globe is vital for business. But how you go about it is rapidly changing. Innovation management researcher Paul Levy predicts physical business travel may be on its way out, replaced by virtual business travel that lets you meet, greet and collaborate without the need to leave your office.
Whether you’re a CFO or CEO, IT is likely a foundation of your business. And whether it’s for order management or expense management infrastructure or software, you’ll need a continued focus on IT in 2015. Here are 3 certainties in the IT landscape that you will need to address with your IT department.
Not the same thing you would wear when traveling with your boss—that’s for sure! So, is there actually such a thing as etiquette when traveling with your boss— and guidelines on what to wear? Indeed! One man taking his first ever business trip found out the hard way. Here are some tips to follow that will keep you in the comfort zone and make you shine like the professional that you are when traveling with the Big Kahuna!
2014 was the year that talk of Big Data seemed to be everywhere. From office water coolers to dinner parties, conversation included talk of data, predictive analytics, and the cloud.
A new report this week indicates that over half (53%) of large enterprises are either already moving Big Data within their organization to the public cloud or are considering a move to the cloud for analytical processing. Further, only 13% of enterprises say they would only use private data centers for processing all analytics. Clearly, there is a concerted push to the shared public cloud.
It’s natural for most of us to want to do things better. We want to be better managers, better co-workers, better employees and, in general, better people. Unfortunately, it’s also just as easy for us to get lost in the hassle of daily life and simply waste time. As any executive knows - time is money. The less your department or team procrastinates, the more productive your organization will be and the more it will benefit. Whether it’s making sure each employee enters data accurately into your expense management software or delivers the weekly report your client needs - here are some surefire ways to curb procrastination and increase efficiency.
With the convergence of Big Data, the Internet of Things and the quest for analytics from different departments, CIOs are being forced into the additional role of coordinating the various data experiments occurring at any given time in an organization.
Mobile solutions have become critical in integrating business and technology. If designed and executed effectively, they have the ability to speed productivity, simplify the user experience, and offer added convenience to end users. However, just adding mobile isn't going to do much by itself. You need to develop a mobile mindset, thinking about how innovative mobile solutions will enhance your business model at every level of your organization without causing disruptions and distractions.
Let’s face it; even though the concept of company-wide financial transparency was introduced more than two decades ago, not all executives are ready to open the books for all employees. More forward-thinking executives, ones who embrace data, feel an open-book management strategy boosts employee engagement and can generate higher profits.
What keeps a CFO awake at night and prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep? Certainly, CFOs have a lot of issues and stresses to deal with. A recent study compiled a list of the biggest issues facing today's CFO. Addressing these issues appropriately can help propel a company into a higher earnings bracket and relieve upper management stresses.
The buzzword floating around companies and their IT departments today is Big Data. The predominant thinking is that there is value in ‘data’ and companies should store as much data as possible. Accordingly, many firms now save almost all their data for data mining purposes. Frankly, this approach is at the least unnecessary and at the most overkill.
Predictive analytics, or the sifting through of company data in order to highlight important patterns to make predictions and better decisions, is currently a hot topic in the business world. Advocates believe this approach holds great potential especially with a recent report from Nucleus Research suggesting that predictive analytics helped Mueller Inc.obtain a 248 percent ROI on new packaging equipment after investing in and using IBM's SPSS Modeler technology.
Massive data breaches affecting global companies like Sony, Neiman-Marcus and Target have solidified the unsettling fact that even huge mega companies cannot always prevent compromises in customer and company data.
Too often, CFOs spend so much time focusing on the daily requirements of their specific employment activities that they lose sight of their long-term career goals. Although they definitely need to devote time and energy to their current employer, they also need to invest in their own personal future career. They do not want to be caught suddenly looking for another job when they have not prepared for that eventuality.
Our world is producing data at an unprecedented rate. More impressive than the simple generation of data is the fact that the data can be stored, accessed, manipulated, analyzed, and applied. With this proliferation of big data comes the ability to use it; any business that fails to take advantage of the plethora of available data is setting itself up to lose out on valuable insights.
Carrying out an impeccable job as CFO is crucial to the well-being of your company. As CFO, your main duties include managing risk and analyzing your company’s finances. Your analyses and recommendations guide the company, and inappropriate suggestions based on analysis of inaccurate or delayed data can be disastrous for your company, and could lead to taking on undue risk or making poor budgeting decisions. Timely and correct data are essential for your job, but you may need to take some steps to ensure that you get the data you need whether you are analyzing the numbers from within your division or from a different or remote department or partner company.
Is visualization the key to proper use of big data? Bar charts, treemaps, scatter plots – these are all visualization tools that put data into perspective, but do they drive the point home for those looking to extract meaningful information? The answer is to create a multidimensional view of the data that is more intuitive. This approach is Interactive Visualization.
Traditionally, CFOs and their finance teams stayed narrowly in the arena of management. They strategically employed data-driven analytics to manage the business from the upper levels. As the ability to collect and analyze data has exponentially expanded, CFOs are increasingly in a position to aid their organizations in improving profitability and efficiency and more granular levels.
Cloud technology has revolutionized nearly every industry - from technology to healthcare to hospitality to food service to telecommunications. Small and large businesses, the government and educational institutions depend on cloud-based software applications for many organizational functions. Cloud-based applications enable or enhance activities like more robust data storage, collaborative projects, automated marketing and more streamlined billing.
When it comes to survival of the midsize firm, you have two choices. You can be ruthless. Or you can die. Time is your biggest resource and the one most often abused. Because of the precarious spot in which midsize companies are wedged, inefficient use of time will kill you every time.
When it comes to hiring finance staff members, the traditional hiring process may not be enough to ensure you’re getting the best candidate for the job. Candidates may shine at the interviews, ace your proficiency tests and amaze with their litany of technical skills, but you won’t really know what they're all about unless you throw a real-world financial dilemma into their lap.
There's an evolution (or maybe a revolution) of sorts taking place as CIOs look to enhance the value of their already critical organizational role. In many ways, CIOs are poised to become internal “venture capitalists.” This actually makes complete sense when the functions of a typical CIO are considered.
In a recent comprehensive study conducted by the Independent Expert Group on Expenses, one out of every five charities answering survey questions posed by IEG stated that they "did not have an expense policy established.“ Response comments provided by IEG indicated that the Group considered "expense management part of basic internal controls and good governance" and further stated that "charities need to be encouraged to rectify this matter.”
Analytics platforms are essential tools in today’s organizations. Business leaders rely on them to facilitate fast, effective decision-making, while operations managers use such tools to deliver smooth execution of day-to-day processes. But it’s a mistake to think of analytics software as some kind of magic bullet.
From evolving audit standards to the future of new technologies, a recent Accounting Today article solicits insights from five industry experts addressing the latest trends in accounting. Today’s regulatory environment is rapidly changing and growing more complex. But such new technologies as cloud-based AP automation and expense management software are helping accounting departments keep pace and improve performance.
If you or your employee spends as little as a day working in another state, you could be violating state tax laws if you don’t file a tax return there, according to a recent article on the CNNMoney blog. Each state has its own rules for reporting income, and frequent business travelers could be responsible for filing dozens of different state tax returns. For organizations whose employees travel regularly for business, travel expense management tools are essential.
Armed with a calculator and a pencil, you compare an employee’s expense report to her receipts and find a mathematical error. Congratulations: You’ve just saved the company $35. The only problem is that auditing these business expense reports can easily end up costing more than it saves, especially if you manually process the reports.
The right expense management software can help reduce compliance risks and improve operational efficiency by using automation, electronic payments and analytics to increase transparency.
When it comes to understanding how to survive an audit, you’ll discover it really isn’t all that difficult. Granted, not many people out there enjoy being audited, but more and more businesses are adopting audits as a way to keep costs down and to make sure there is compliance with various regulations, both local and federal.
Back in the olden days, spreadsheets were considered the finance team’s dream data structure. Many accountants developed complex algorithms to turn a spreadsheet into a full blown application and fully managed their finances through their spreadsheets. In 2004, CFO.com found that out of 14 technologies discussed with finance executives, spreadsheets were one of the two most widely used tools for running their departments.
Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.