Strategy Protiviti

5 Key Findings from the FERF/Protiviti 2015 Finance Priorities Survey

Sponsored by Protiviti

The results confirm that finance functions are beyond busy this year. The sheer number of priorities they are addressing are at an all-time high in our four-year study. The number of finance skills and capabilities our respondents view to be higher priorities compared to last year’s results has risen dramatically. Invitation to take the 2016 survey is now open.

InterestSo just how busy and inundated are today’s finance organizations? Extremely so, according to our 2015 study - Protiviti, in partnership with the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), released the results of our 2015 Finance Priorities Survey earlier this year. Top five key findings include:

  1. Cash remains king, as does cash clarity – Finance functions are striving to gain greater visibility toward the “cash” horizon by strengthening strategic planning, sharpening business and competitive intelligence, fortifying risk management, and honing forecasting. They’re also striving to ready themselves for challenges that may materialize, most notably by shoring up working capital management capabilities (especially cash forecasting) as a way to enhance organizational agility.
  1. More and improved analysis is paramount – Finance functions place more importance than ever on strategic planning, risk management, executive dashboards, profitability analysis and other strategic areas of financial analysis. At the same time, they continue to seek opportunities to improve the close process and transparency of the results to support financial analysis.
  1. There’s hunger for a more holistic approach – Rather than applying patchwork fixes to individual processes, finance functions want to manage and improve related processes in a comprehensive manner. Strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting rank among the highest priorities in the entire study, which demonstrates an intent to strengthen overall corporate performance management. A similar approach is evident in priorities related to working capital management.
  1. Getting the right talent in the right place is a formidable challenge – Complex regulatory compliance requirements and domestic tax laws, new accounting standards, looming changes on the international front (particularly related to transfer pricing), as well as emerging needs to analyze big data, challenge finance functions to find, attract and retain knowledgeable and experienced staff with the technical and analytical expertise to address these priorities effectively.
  1. Soft skills have hard value – Finance functions are placing greater emphasis on cultivating stronger communication, collaboration and relationship-building skills throughout their ranks.
Visit, where you can obtain a complimentary copy of the full report on the survey results.

Interested in how you fare? The 2016 Finance Priorities Survey questionnaire should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. No login ID or password is required, and the questionnaire will be available online until September 22nd.   The first 200 respondents will receive $10 Starbucks gift card.