“When the finance function isn’t responsive to the business needs of the enterprise, it damages all the entities it serves. In addition, lack of responsiveness degrades the perceived value of finance, limiting its acceptance as a strategic business partner.” So says Stu Lucko, CFO at insightsoftware.com, the creators of Hubble, a business performance management solution offering real-time reporting, analytics, and planning. Lucko has a unique perspective on this topic, based on both his experience as a CFO of a growing company and a view into the critical issues that finance professionals face.
In many finance organizations, outdated systems tax the people who run them, causing finance teams to work late nights or weekends in a frustrating effort to respond to inquiries from across the business. In the end, questions go unanswered, or more often are answered too late to be of strategic value to the person asking the question. All that effort without a satisfactory result leaves both business and finance leaders frustrated.
This issue is not just about inefficiency and wasted time. It is about business opportunities that are lost for lack of insight being delivered to the right people at the right time. In effect, finance is losing the time it needs to be strategic, and the enterprise is paying for it with lost opportunities. It seems that the Responsiveness Tax may be the most expensive hidden tax of all.
The (Responsiveness) Taxman Cometh
You are not alone. Every executive looks back to a time when they wish they had been given information quickly enough to make a better decision. Every executive looks back to a time when they wish a key data point had been available faster to warn them of an impending problem.
Lucko helps quantify the amount of responsiveness tax that finance functions are paying. He cites recent findings that:
- Only 17% of companies actually have a self-service function. (PwC)
- Only 6% of finance leaders are comfortable with the current state of their finance technology. (PwC)
Womble and Interstate Examples
Lucko shares the case example of Hubble client Womble Company, which is now able to give their customers data in real-time, as opposed to asking them to wait 24 hours. Womble notes that this change is a key competitive advantage in its industry, allowing the company to win more deals – and larger deals. He also cites the example of Interstate Batteries, whose finance function used to have to print out data, re-key it, and then wait for IT help each month, causing days of delays in responding to any inquiry.
Following the implementation of a Hubble FP&A solution, both companies were able to offer critical business users access to data in real-time. The Hubble Business Performance Management solution connects people, data, and processes in a way that allows everyone to better see the business, share the vision, and react to changes efficiently and with confidence.
And for the finance team, Hubble removes the inefficient, manual work that degrades performance and morale. By removing the Responsiveness Tax, finance can be a real catalyst for business success—spending more time analyzing information and providing insights to help grow the business.
For more information, visit www.gohubble.com.