/ What’s Preventing You from Being a Better Finance Leader

As someone who’s spent 20 years working in finance, I can tell you that there’s never been a more exciting time to be a finance leader than right now.

Economic pressure is off the charts, business is moving at breakneck speed, and the amount of data available to most organizations is only increasing. While that combination of realities is overwhelming many companies, it’s also creating great opportunities for others.

Take CFOs, for instance. Expectations for them are as high as ever—indeed, business partners still want and need accurate, insightful, action-oriented guidance—but so is the chance to make a real difference, especially as more CFOs expand their role and take their finance teams with them.

How does today’s finance—and specifically FP&A—professional stay on the leading edge of opportunity?

I’ll tell you. But first, let’s take a look at four of the sharper pain points I believe finance leaders are facing and need to overcome in order to succeed.

1 – Lack of Data Access

One of the biggest FP&A pain points is accessing all the data that exists across an entire organization, in all different departments.

Because there is so much data in the world today, many finance leaders believe they either have to become experts at retrieving and using data from systems not native to them, or take what they can get from other departments without any control over when they get access to it.

This, as you can imagine (or most likely already know), leads to confusion, errors, and inaccuracies—issues no well-oiled finance department wants to deal with.  

2 – Needing Metrics, Anytime, Anywhere

How many times have you received a phone call from the CEO, CFO, or a board member asking about an important number when you’re not in front of a computer?

Finance leaders need to have access to metrics no matter where they are—whether it’s on the ski slopes, rushing through an airport, or at their kid’s soccer game.

Without the ability to get at that data from your phone, you’re left to either guess (which isn’t an option when it comes to finance) or find a way to get in front of a computer as soon as possible (which can be downright impossible at times).

3 – Constrained Resources

In my experience, just about every FP&A team wishes it had more manpower and time to really do the work it wants to be doing and needs to be doing.

Gathering data, merging data from different sources, formatting data, and creating, sending, and evangelizing reports are tasks that need to be done. But they can suck important hours, days, and even weeks out of a finance team’s valuable capacity.

As these maintenance tasks grow, there’s less and less time to focus on the kinds of activities and proactive projects that would add significant value to the company—and that, given the hyper-competitive world in which we live, can make a real difference to the bottom line.

4 – Poor Alignment

Finance teams are the most productive and effective when they are aligned from top to bottom, focusing collective efforts on things that matter most.

However, it’s not always easy for everyone in finance to know what projects or tasks are the most important at any given time.

If teams don’t have a clear sense of what needs to be done when, and who is responsible for what, at all times, it can be difficult to prioritize, hard for everyone to work on the same page, and tough to make the CFO (i.e., the boss) look good.

The Solution

Fortunately, you don’t have to continue living this way. There’s a solution to these pain points, and it’s Domo.

Domo enables finance leaders to instantly access real-time data across the entire company, obtain answers to important questions by looking no further than their iPhone or Android, concentrate on real value-add activities and projects, manage and be part of a team that functions at an optimal level, and so much more.

And here’s another great benefit: Domo allows finance teams to self-service their data needs, so they don’t have to wait for others to provide new reports or data connections.

To learn more about how Domo can make you a better finance leader and improve your organization’s financial health, click here.