Financial Executives: Take Time for Benchmarking On Demand

Benchmarking Webinar

As a busy financial executive, you might not have time to benchmark your accounting and finance operations against those of your peers and competitors. But what if you could gain key insights and useful data from 1,400 executives, and hear firsthand from a few of them — all in the course of an hour?

You’d be listening to the on-demand webinar of the 2015 Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function report, conducted by Robert Half and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the research affiliate of Financial Executives International (FEI).

 “It’s an opportunity to pause and think,” Chad Martinson, chief financial officer (CFO) of Minnesota’s Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc., commented during the webinar. “What may have made sense in the past, in terms of accomplishing our objectives, may not be the best way today or tomorrow, and as the tools change around us as the needs of the business change, we need to consistently rethink how we do our jobs.”  

Here are some of the questions and data addressed in the webinar:

  • The cost of internal accounting and finance staff are at 1.1 percent to 2 percent of total revenue, depending on the size of the company, which is up from the 2014 Benchmarking study. What are the driving factors responsible for the increase in workforce expenses? 

  • Only 20 percent to 31 percent of the companies, depending on size, report that they use cloud technology. How do companies feel comfortable making the conversion, and what about risk?

  • In the U.S., 8 percent of financial staffs (6 percent in Canada) are temporary, according to the study. How much are interim senior finance professionals used, and what are the benefits?

  • More than half of executives surveyed said they reconcile accounts manually. What are the pros and cons of staying with manual reconciliation?

The webinar is led by Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, and Tom Thompson, FERF’s senior associate, research. They are joined by CFOs Martinson and Tom Webster. 

Webster, CFO of First West Credit Union, in Canada, remarked that it’s good for finance leaders to look for efficiencies and value creation within their companies — and make sure they don’t work in a bubble. 

At his company, he said, “Rather than just producing statements, we sit and work with teams (in other parts of the company) to create value and dig in to the numbers. I think that’s a huge step forward in our organization and the way of the future as business become more competitive.”

Register for the On-Demand Webinar 

Feel free to share the link above with your colleagues. You can also download the Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function 2015 report and continue the conversation by commenting below.