Reporting, forecasting are top concerns for finance execs

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Finance executives see areas for improvement in their organizations, but don't have the technology budget to match.

Monthly reporting is the main area finance executives think could use process improvement, followed by budget and forecasting, a recent survey has revealed. Cash flow management was also an area of concern. However, investing in technology, which could address these and other concerns, is not a priority for almost half of respondents.

Despite concerns about reporting, 47 percent of respondents said they have no budget for new accounting, finance or reporting software in 2017. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they have a budget of under $25,000, while the minority, 5 percent, have a budget of $76,000-$200,000.

Separately, 62 percent said they do not currently use cloud-based accounting software at all.

Another pain point that could be addressed by investment in technology is time wasted doing manual data entry. Forty-one percent of executives said the area where their team spends the most non-value add time is manual work and data reentry, and 35 percent said data collection and aggregation.

The top strategic priorities for responding companies are strategic planning (43 percent), margin and earnings performance (30 percent) and periodic forecasting (12 percent). Cybersecurity is low on the list with only 4 percent of executives reporting it as a priority.

Forty-six percent of companies—the largest segment—that participated in the survey reported an annual revenue of under $50 million.

Out of the 100 survey respondents, 65 percent were CFOs, 22 percent controllers, vice presidents or presidents, and 7 percent directors or executives; the rest were undefined (“other”). The survey was conducted in the United States by enterprise software company Workiva and business media company Innovation Enterprise Group.

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