The Renewed Finance Function: Extending Performance Management Beyond Finance
sponsored by SAP America, Inc.

In August 2007, CFO Research Services (a unit of CFO Publishing Corp.) launched a research program to explore the ways in which the role of the finance team has changed in recent years due to increased oversight from regulators, more active investors, and company specific changes in business operations.

We wanted to better understand the internal and external forces that are causing these transformations and the steps that companies and their finance teams are taking to respond to these forces. This research program "which includes an electronic survey and a series of interviews among senior finance executives" finds that the finance team is indeed under new pressure from more demanding external stakeholders. This pressure, especially from regulators, has prompted finance teams to document and often repair core finance and operating activities. But companies aren’t in business just to comply with regulations. They are in the business of making valuable products, rendering high-quality services, serving customers, and generating value for shareholders. Amid a marked increase in investors' expectations from companies and their finance teams, executives in this study show new enthusiasm for closer collaboration with business unit management in an effort to improve business performance and lessen risk. By doing so, they will contribute to the core business activities that satisfy customers and shareholders—as well as stakeholders such as regulators, business unit managers, and employees at large.

This report presents the findings of our online survey of 255 senior finance executives and in-depth interviews with executives at the following companies:

  • ABB
  • Bank of Montreal
  • CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc.
  • Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning)
  • Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.
  • CMA CGM (America) Inc.
  • Cox Communications, Inc.
  • Levi Strauss & Co.-- MGM Mirage
  • Silgan Plastics Corp.
  • Turbocam
  • Verigy Ltd.
  • Wyndham Worldwide Corporation
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