Management accounting

Harnessing data for strategic planning, streamlining processes, and bracing for heightened regulatory concerns are the top priorities for CFOs and the finance function, according to a new survey report.

Finance executives were asked to rate how different issues and capabilities ranked among their priorities in business consulting firm Protiviti’s 2014 Finance Priorities Survey.

Although the majority (94%) of the 220 respondents work for companies based in North America, some finance representatives for companies in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere were represented in the survey. Three-fourths of the respondents were CPAs or chartered accountants.

Improving strategic planning capabilities ranked as the highest priority in the survey. Data-driven processes related to strategic planning—such as cash forecasting, periodic forecasting, and budgeting— also were rated as high priorities.

“Without question, more and more companies are looking to harness business intelligence and Big Data for strategic planning,” Jay Thompson, a Protiviti managing director, said in a news release. “They also want to analyze their data to gain an in-depth understanding of their customers, products, and other business areas in order to identify the best opportunities for profitability.”


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