more-arw search

Mary Driscoll's blog

Vow to Make Budgeting Reasonable

Very soon, most Proformative readers will be neck-deep in developing next year’s budget. Perhaps now is a good time to think about the pain imposed on business managers by convoluted budgeting. Think too about what you’re asking your finance staff to endure.

Finance Process Speed: Still a Dream?

In a recent survey, APQC found that three out of four finance executives are currently undertaking some form of financial process improvement project. Two goals emerged:

Big Companies Squeezing Small Suppliers for No good Reason?

By Mary Driscoll, senior researcher at APQC and a regular blog contributor to

FP&A: An Evergreen Challenge

There have been lively discussions recently in various corners about the need for finance to do more in the realm of business analytics. The general sentiment seems to be that finance, where natural analytical talent resides, has a great deal to offer to operating managers who are trying to discern the most favorable options for growth.

The Case for Better Financial Planning and Forecasting

Financial forecasting and resource planning can be challenging under any circumstances, but today there is more demand from operating managers for forward-looking, driver-based analysis and scenario testing. CFOs, for their part, want less volatility in projected sales and earnings.

CFOs Growing Less Wary of ERP Consolidation

A big theme for CFOs this year is to reduce enterprise costs. That’s no surprise. But what is new is that CFOs seem to be inching closer to the idea of ERP consolidation—despite the risks and headaches that would surely be involved.

CFOs Need to Master Predictive Analytics

Does this sound familiar?

CFO to CEO: “We closed out the quarter and verified that the numbers were right. But we don’t know what caused plan short-falls in two out of six units.”

CEO to CFO: “Tell those two managers that if this happens again, they’re out the door.”

Accounts Payable and Receivable: Companies Still Don’t Get it

Over the past three years, CFOs developed a fine taste for productivity gains. And my most recent research shows they are looking for more 1.  Surprisingly, some are turning, once again, to the basic transaction-oriented processes such as accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP). Why? Haven’t these processes already been made as slick as can be?

AP Leaders Really Do It Better

The latest update of the Accounts Payable Productivity Index (APPI)* shows that investments in AP process automation can be very worthwhile. The top-performers in the index (organizations with top-quartile scores for both efficiency and effectiveness) are gaining ground in their efforts to get suppliers to submit invoices electronically.

Nightmare Scenario: A Cataclysmic Collapse of the Euro

Nightmare Scenario: A Cataclysmic Collapse of the Euro