Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Hackett Group Research Alert: The Hackett Group: Finance Organizations Have Made Little Progress In Moving to Global Standards

While most corporate finance organizations say they are highly committed to moving to global standards, more than half are failing to see success in this area, according to new research from The Hackett Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HCKT). Over the past two years, minimal improvements have occurred at typical companies, and most dramatically underestimate the commitment required to execute on this key finance strategy and achieve true transformation, The Hackett Group's research found.

The new findings are drawn from The Hackett Group's 2013 Global Finance Organization Model Study. In order to affect change, The Hackett Group's research recommends that companies more effectively prioritize transformation projects, create teams dedicated to change, and focus on developing the skills required to support a globalized operating model.

"There's no question that finance has many important projects to undertake in order to provide higher value to the business," said The Hackett Group Finance Executive Advisory Program Global Practice Leader Tom Willman. "But their attention is getting divided, and the hoped-for gains in areas such as implementing global standards still haven't materialized to any significant degree. Today, most companies are once again targeting comprehensive transformation in this area over the next few years. But it's tough to imagine they'll succeed unless they can change the way they prioritize and resource their transformation efforts."

The Hackett Group's research showed that across seven major dimensions of the finance service delivery model, there is a high level of ambition for change. "Companies have told us that they hope to more than double their adoption of global standards for KPIs & reporting, technology platforms, master data and process design/build," said The Hackett Group Senior Research Director Lynne Schneider. "The re-emergence of internal finance transformation groups shows that finance executives are making a commitment to transform. Nearly all of the companies that participated in our study have secured finance transformation/business improvement capabilities within the company."

However, The Hackett Group's research shows clearly that most companies have failed to meet transformation goals in this area. For example, at the end of 2011, 42 percent of finance functions said they planned to have predominantly global standards for master data over the next two to three years, but more than half said they did not actually achieve that goal by 2013. Companies are hoping to double their use of global standards for master data over the next two to three years, moving from 19 percent today to a target of 38 percent.

Over the next two to three years, the most frequently cited areas for transformation in The Hackett Group's study are: planning and performance management and business analysis; and process improvement and function management. Within planning and performance management and business analysis companies are largely focused on three areas: driving improvements in the timeliness of the planning and forecasting; accuracy and responsiveness of planning, budgeting and forecasting processes; and the provision of timely, highly relevant management information and analysis to drive better business decisions. Within process improvement and function management, companies are focused on the transition to a customer-focused finance organization that delivers a comprehensive and consistent service portfolio while implementing the capabilities and resources required to drive transformation and continuous improvement of those services.

Addressing Skills Gaps - A Key to Successful Transformation

The research found that for transformation efforts to succeed, companies must address skills gaps and talent issues. The Hackett Group found that companies are planning to make substantial investments in HR management practices within finance over the next two to three years to address several key staffing issues. Most are focusing on expanding learning and development programs, both to close skills gaps and improve executive development. Many are taking into account the fact that a global HR infrastructure will allow them to acquire staff with the skills they need regardless of their location. Companies are also seeing the balance of finance hiring changing, as hiring continues to slow in advanced economies, with a greater emphasis on the need for specialist skills.

A related and serious talent-related challenge stems from the disappearance of the traditional development path for finance professionals, the research found. Today, entry-level positions are predominantly located halfway around the world from corporate headquarters. In addition, some of the most sought-after skills associated with finance transformation are seeing high demand combined with difficulty to attract or retain. Change management and process improvement, high-level tax expertise, and the ability to think and act strategically are all among the skills that fall into this category.

Recommendations - Prioritize, Dedicate Resources, Add Skills

The Hackett Group recommends that in order for finance organizations to make their high ambitions for global standards a reality, they need to effectively prioritize their projects and desired goals in a clearly defined and communicated roadmap, dedicate adequate resources to change, and add or develop the skills it needs to support the increasingly globalizing operating model of the business. Teams of dedicated resources are essential for driving these large transformations, as opposed to individuals who work on these initiatives in addition to their “day jobs,” the research found. Addressing the skill and talent gaps associated with the change will be absolutely critical in ensuring that plans are executed effectively and that the gains from the transformation are achieved and sustained into the future. The potential payoff for success in this area is significant. The Hackett Group's research shows that world-class finance organizations operate at about half the cost of typical companies, while achieving higher effectiveness.

About The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group (NASDAQ: HCKT), a global strategic business advisory and operations improvement consulting firm, is a leader in best practice advisory, business benchmarking, and transformation consulting services including strategy and operations, working capital management, and globalization advice.

Utilizing best practices and implementation insights from more than 8,400 benchmarking studies, executives use The Hackett Group's empirically-based approach to quickly define and implement initiatives that enable world-class performance. Through its REL group, The Hackett Group offers working capital solutions focused on delivering significant cash flow improvements. Through its Archstone Consulting group, The Hackett Group offers Strategy & Operations consulting services in the Consumer and Industrial Products, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, and Financial Services industry sectors. Through its Hackett Technology Solutions group, The Hackett Group offers business application consulting services that help maximize returns on IT investments. The Hackett Group has completed benchmark studies with over 3,500 major corporations and government agencies, including 97% of the Dow Jones Industrials, 84% of the Fortune 100, 87% of the DAX 30 and 48% of the FTSE 100.

More information on The Hackett Group is available: by phone at (770) 225-7300; by e-mail at [email protected].

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As enterprises around the world struggle with their digital transformation efforts, many are finding that innovative digital teams are moving much faster than their hidebound IT organizations. Rather than struggling to convince traditional IT to get with the digital program, executives are taking advice from IT research firm Gartner, and encouraging existing IT to continue in their desultory ways. However, many CIOs are realizing the dangers of following Gartner’s advice. The central challenge ...
Unless you don’t use the internet, don’t live in California, or haven’t been paying attention to the recent news… you should be aware that self-driving cars are on their way to becoming a reality. I have seen them – they are real. If you believe in the future reality of self-driving cars, then continue reading on. If you don’t believe in the future possibilities, then I am not sure what to do to convince you other than discuss the very real changes that will roll out with the consumer producti...
Cloud Object Storage is effectively infinitely scalable and boasts the lowest total costs. But cloud SLAs and T&Cs are traditionally optimized for huge customers like Netflix, so applications demanding better confidentiality or higher availability typically can’t reap the benefits of public cloud storage. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Don Martin, CTO of Security First Corp, will provide an overview of innovative technologies available today – secret sharing and information dispersal algori...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
Cloud-based NCLC (No-code/low code) application builder platforms empower everyone in the organization to quickly build applications and executable processes that broaden access, deepen collaboration, and enhance transparency for all team members. Line of business owners (LOBO) and operations managers know best their part of the business and their processes. IT departments are beginning to leverage NCLC platforms to empower and enable LOBOs to lead the innovation, transform the organization, an...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, will discuss how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He will discuss how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...