Category Archives: Commercial Sector

Articles and comment looking at issues dominating all aspects of the commercial sector, including retail, financial services and banking, transport and logistics, professional services.

CFO Strategic Empowerment Series 5 – How CFOs can achieve automated self-service finance processes and become truly strategic planners

Blog pic - CFO series 5The final stage of the model is where you bring it all together. CFOs are becoming increasingly involved in general business strategy, and need to display a full understanding of the company’s operations.

Maximizing business information performance and driving reliable information are big parts of this function, along with leveraging data to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive business landscape. At this level, CFOs learn how to utilize the data and insights provided by the previous stages to make more knowledgeable business decisions and increase the bottom line.

Focus

The focus at this level is applying business intelligence to drive overall business growth. This centers around forming a clear data strategy and specific protocols for increasing the performance of your finance information system. In turn, it also involves increasing opportunities and expansion. You must be able to leverage financial data technology to make crucial information available to the people who need it as soon as they want it. The main goal should be putting an accessible, intuitive and automated self-service system in place to provide the necessary functionality. Continue reading

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Within global marketing Sjoerd-Jaap is responsible for global product marketing for the 'Office of the CFO' suite. This suite contains solutions for transactional financial management, planning & control management, and financial performance management. After several years of presales consultancy experience within the ERP industry and ICT audit & advisory experience at KPMG, Sjoerd-Jaap joined UNIT4 in 2004. At UNIT4 he started as business consultant & business developer within the international business development team of CODA. His focus was on process control and risk management solutions for CFO offices, e.g. solutions for planning & budgeting, fast closing, consolidation & group reporting, and internal control statements. In 2009 Sjoerd-Jaap went to UNIT4 Accountancy as product manager for the annual reporting and auditing products, including the integration with document management solutions. In 2015 Sjoerd-Jaap joined the global product marketing team.

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CFO Strategic Empowerment Series 4 – How CFOs Can Achieve Flexible, Real-Time Analysis as Strategic Players

Blog pic - CFO series 4The third stage of the business empowerment maturity model involves gathering and analyzing data, forecasting financial performance and making plans based on those predictions. Everything from asset management and market differentiation to business budgeting and target setting depend on reliable business intelligence and accurate data analysis, so the structure and efficiency you developed in the earlier stages really come into play here.

Implementing a flexible, real-time system can help you create better forecasts, develop more effective financial strategies and meet future challenges head on.

Focus

The keys at this stage are improving the business intelligence process, maximizing financial analysis and forecasting performance, and improving the planning process. These are some of the most basic tasks CFOs carry out, so they may seem like easy fixes at first glance. However, there’s a lot more to making permanent changes in these areas than simple tweaks. These concepts are deeply intertwined, so small problems with your business intelligence can lead to inaccurate analysis, which then snowballs into big issues with any predictions and plans you develop. CFOs must address a number of issues to ensure that each point receives the attention it deserves. Continue reading

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Within global marketing Sjoerd-Jaap is responsible for global product marketing for the 'Office of the CFO' suite. This suite contains solutions for transactional financial management, planning & control management, and financial performance management. After several years of presales consultancy experience within the ERP industry and ICT audit & advisory experience at KPMG, Sjoerd-Jaap joined UNIT4 in 2004. At UNIT4 he started as business consultant & business developer within the international business development team of CODA. His focus was on process control and risk management solutions for CFO offices, e.g. solutions for planning & budgeting, fast closing, consolidation & group reporting, and internal control statements. In 2009 Sjoerd-Jaap went to UNIT4 Accountancy as product manager for the annual reporting and auditing products, including the integration with document management solutions. In 2015 Sjoerd-Jaap joined the global product marketing team.

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CFO Strategic Empowerment Series 3 – How CFOs Achieve Efficient Process Execution and Continue to Act Strategically

Blog pic - CFO series 3Once you’ve determined the best structured approach, it’s time to turn your to focus to creating efficient finance procedures. CFOs need to utilize a simple, fully integrated and real-time finance system that is able to handle a range of complex financial data, from business budgeting to internal controls accounting.

This means developing a streamlined process to access specific aspects of the company’s finances, along with the related data, all from a central location. The standard procedures you created in the previous stage can now serve as the groundwork for creating an efficient, optimized system.

Optimizing your financial data system not only saves time – it also reduces risk, cost and lost opportunity. Continue reading

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Within global marketing Sjoerd-Jaap is responsible for global product marketing for the 'Office of the CFO' suite. This suite contains solutions for transactional financial management, planning & control management, and financial performance management. After several years of presales consultancy experience within the ERP industry and ICT audit & advisory experience at KPMG, Sjoerd-Jaap joined UNIT4 in 2004. At UNIT4 he started as business consultant & business developer within the international business development team of CODA. His focus was on process control and risk management solutions for CFO offices, e.g. solutions for planning & budgeting, fast closing, consolidation & group reporting, and internal control statements. In 2009 Sjoerd-Jaap went to UNIT4 Accountancy as product manager for the annual reporting and auditing products, including the integration with document management solutions. In 2015 Sjoerd-Jaap joined the global product marketing team.

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CFO Strategic Empowerment Series 2 – How CFOs Achieve Structured Finance Procedures and Start to Act Strategically

Blog pic - CFO series 2In order for companies to move through the four stages of the business empowerment maturity model, CFOs must create and implement standard processes for the management and analysis of financial data, as well as statutory reporting and other organizational tasks. A standardized data-handling process is the cornerstone of the business empowerment maturity model. It’s also a powerful tool for minimizing the risk and uncertainty that often accompany financial business intelligence. These structured procedures can provide you with the ability to mitigate risk by applying uniform, universal processes across the organization.

Focus

CFOs must be confident in the information they use for finance analysis, audits, regulatory compliance and statutory reporting. You simply cannot properly analyze and measure financial performance nor create solid analyses, projections and plans without accurate and comprehensive data. However, making this elementary concept a reality can often prove to be a formidable task. The focus has to be on two main points to overcome this hurdle. First, to develop a sound data infrastructure and standardized data procedures. Second, to determine who is responsible for each task in the process, and make sure they are properly trained on the data standards. Continue reading

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Within global marketing Sjoerd-Jaap is responsible for global product marketing for the 'Office of the CFO' suite. This suite contains solutions for transactional financial management, planning & control management, and financial performance management. After several years of presales consultancy experience within the ERP industry and ICT audit & advisory experience at KPMG, Sjoerd-Jaap joined UNIT4 in 2004. At UNIT4 he started as business consultant & business developer within the international business development team of CODA. His focus was on process control and risk management solutions for CFO offices, e.g. solutions for planning & budgeting, fast closing, consolidation & group reporting, and internal control statements. In 2009 Sjoerd-Jaap went to UNIT4 Accountancy as product manager for the annual reporting and auditing products, including the integration with document management solutions. In 2015 Sjoerd-Jaap joined the global product marketing team.

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CFO Strategic Empowerment Series 1 – The Business Empowerment Maturity Model Explained

Blog pic - CFO series 1Increasingly CFOs are elevating Finance’s value to their organization. They are assuming key roles in plotting their businesses’ strategic direction and influencing managers to take decisions to improve performance.

They are the ones who have, or should have, visibility of the key financial data their business needs to succeed. But what can the forward-thinking CFO do to cut through the vital day-to-day tasks that can prevent them from acting strategically?

In a series of blogs, Unit4 will explain how CFOs can measure their department’s maturity and use that insight to produce an action plan to focus resources to achieve maximum results.

They will look at how CFOs can move through the four stages of the business empowerment maturity model; standardize, optimize, predict and drive, by removing structural deficiencies, free up time for high value activities and scale support sustainably.

The first two blogs focus on how CFOs can minimize risk – first by structuring financial procedures and secondly by executing processes efficiently. The concluding two blogs deal with maximizing performance – first by deploying flexible real-time analysis and finally by providing an automated self-service model.

To find out where your departments is on the business empowerment maturity model and how you can drive improvement, click here now.

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Sjoerd-Jaap Westra

Within global marketing Sjoerd-Jaap is responsible for global product marketing for the 'Office of the CFO' suite. This suite contains solutions for transactional financial management, planning & control management, and financial performance management. After several years of presales consultancy experience within the ERP industry and ICT audit & advisory experience at KPMG, Sjoerd-Jaap joined UNIT4 in 2004. At UNIT4 he started as business consultant & business developer within the international business development team of CODA. His focus was on process control and risk management solutions for CFO offices, e.g. solutions for planning & budgeting, fast closing, consolidation & group reporting, and internal control statements. In 2009 Sjoerd-Jaap went to UNIT4 Accountancy as product manager for the annual reporting and auditing products, including the integration with document management solutions. In 2015 Sjoerd-Jaap joined the global product marketing team.

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