CFOs' Top Issues for 2016 and How to Solve Them

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With 2015 behind us, CFOs are focusing on goals for 2016. A survey by Protiviti of 650 CFOs, vice presidents of finance, corporate controllers and other finance management professionals identified the top issues for 2016.

  1. Margin and earnings performance

Controlling expenses and generating revenue and positive net income will always be the top priority for a CFO. If you’re relying on manually generating expense, budget and revenue reports, you run the risk of not only making errors, but also are driving down your productivity. With Management Reporter and Business Intelligence from Microsoft Dynamics GP, you will receive accurate reports automatically emailed to your inbox when you want them, giving you an instant understanding of your margin and earning performance at any time. From there, you’ll know where cuts need to be made or prices need to increase.

  1. Cybersecurity risks

Cybersecurity came to everyone’s attention after the Target breach in 2013. The Ponemon Institute completed a survey of 736 IT professionals and found that security budgets increased 34 percent in the year following the Target breach. The study also showed a 42 percent increase in the percentage of respondents that felt senior management was extremely concerned about the threat of a data breach.

So what can you do to protect your customers and your sensitive information from a data breach? For starters, don’t use a shared local server to host your information. When other companies have access to the same server you’re using, your information is more vulnerable because you can’t guarantee what kind of security they have in place to protect the server. Keep your information stored securely on a server dedicated only to your company or move everything to Azure from Microsoft. Azure is a cloud-hosting platform with incredible data security. They have the budget and manpower to monitor for cyber attacks and keep up with changing piracy tactics. All of your software, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, can be easily stored in the Azure cloud and will be completely secure. Read more about Azure security.

Beyond your server, make sure that the programs and software you’re using to process credit cards is secure and all data is encrypted, set up alerts to any malware or viruses, don’t store sensitive data, layer your security and provide security training for all employees.

  1. Strategic Planning

Setting goals, determining actions to achieve those goals and finding the resources to execute those actions make up strategic planning.

Because Microsoft Dynamics GP is a complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution, every department across your organization can input their data spanning from financial information to human resource and payroll to your inventory department. With all of the data centrally located in Microsoft Dynamics GP, you have access to the information that will help you determine your company’s current standing, which is your first step in strategic planning.

Once you have that information, determine where you want the company to be in the future and how to close the gap from your current state to your goal state. What resources do you have to close that gap?

  1. Periodic forecasting and budgetingpaper and pen

If you’re using an Excel spreadsheet for budgeting you know the downfalls - no security, difficulty adding new accounts or business units, no way to track or audit changes and no way to pull reports on your final budget or monthly variances. It’s 2016 and it’s time to make budgeting simpler!

If you want to stick with your budget spreadsheets in Excel, Microsoft Dynamics GP has the Budget Wizard for Excel, which allows you to import your budget figures into GP through an Excel template. Within GP you can then create, update and report on all of your budgets, whether they be for the fiscal year or for a pre-defined period of time.

The budgeting tool in GP also allows you to distribute Excel templates to management by cost center, which they can then complete and upload back into the system. With all of the budgets uploaded, you can combine each department into a single company-wide budget. All managers are involved with no manual re-entry to combine and simplified reporting.

Outside of Excel, Forecaster is another great software option that allows managers access to their specific budgets. Once entered, a workflow starts that sends the information to approvers and then directly into Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Forecaster can help with budgets across the organization. For example, managers are able to make informed staffing decisions by budgeting employee assets and exploring salary and bonus scenarios. Any department leader can easily create high-level plans and what-if scenarios. And with all of the information automatically being pulled from the general ledger, there’s no manual entry or additional work.

If these worries apply to you, maybe it’s time to look into a software solution that will reduce your anxiety and stress and actually make your job easier. It’s 2016 and the future is now. Embrace the technology that will help you better manage your business - Microsoft Dynamics GP.

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