MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Improving business and competitive intelligence capabilities and shared services governance rank among the top priorities for today's finance executives and staff, according to the results of the 2012 Finance Priorities Survey ( www.protiviti.com/FinanceSurvey) conducted by Protiviti, a global consulting firm. The research identifies priorities, capabilities and key areas of focus for today's finance professionals.
In the financial analysis category of the study, competitive intelligence (e.g., competitors, suppliers, regulatory environment, geopolitical climate, etc.) ranked as the top area of focus, with business intelligence (operations reporting) and executive dashboards tied for the second spot. These three results indicate that finance professionals are being asked to take the lead in strengthening overall intelligence capabilities to equip executive teams with a more holistic and actionable blend of internal and external insights.
"A robust competitive intelligence capability enables companies to scrutinize the external landscape continually for information that decision-makers need to identify new growth opportunities and minimize and/or avoid strategic risks," said James Pajakowski, executive vice president of global risk solutions for Protiviti.Other areas of focus in the financial transactions category of the study are:
- Corporate chargeback allocation methodologies
- Overall shared services governance
- Performance management/operating metrics
- Strengthening financial risk management is a top concern amid ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty
- While finance executives and staff are focusing more on strategic activities, complex transactional issues also rate as top priorities, placing increased pressure on finance functions to make traditional, transaction-heavy processes as efficient as possible, thus freeing up more time for financial analysis and business decision-support activities
- International/transfer pricing regulations is a top priority area for finance departments in large companies (those with $1 billion+ in revenue) after not ranking this high in the 2011 study