Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finance Executives Refocus Attention

By Mark Brousseau

The economic downturn has forced finance executives to refocus their attention on wringing cash from their business, looking beyond conventional improvements in working capital management, and making sure no opportunity for keeping their company well funded goes unexplored. That's according to a research report conducted in November 2008 by American Express and CFO Research Services.

Finance teams have prioritized spending more time on the following activities:

85 percent - Cutting cost of operations
83 percent - Improving cash management processes
81 percent - Developing better budgets, plans and forecasts

When asked about growth strategies in the face of a challenging credit market, nearly three-quarters of executives who responded to the question say they will pay more attention to the customer:

... Organic growth through improved customer relations
... Continued customer contact and service
... Focus on our core business, leveraging existing relationships

What is your perspective? Post a comment below.

1 comment:

Paul Diegelman said...

Mark notes that 85% of respondents are looking to cut the cost of operations. In the Finance arena, one area of significant focus is reducing the costs of the Accounts Payable department, while pedaling fast enough to realize as many early pay discounts as possible. For many companies, however, with capital becoming very elusive, the challenge is how to do more with less (less resources AND less capital). AP Optimization discusses these topics 2-3 times per week: