Why CFOs Love BPM

[This post originally appeared on Redux Online, where I am a guest blogger.]

Yesterday I met  with a smart guy from B2BCFO.  B2BCFO supplies financial professionals for short- or long-term assignments, providing expert CFO services to your small or large company.  CFOs face an array of challenges in any given company, and so B2BCFO consultants have to rock an equally broad range of talents.  The gentleman I met with yesterday is especially interested in business processes and how they contribute (or detract) from a company’s performance.  He stated his view in the clearest of terms:  “Business process management,” he observed, “separates the winners from the losers”.

How does a CFO, an individual whose professional focus is always on the bottom line, come to such a conclusion?

It’s simple, really.  Once the numbers hit the books–the domain of the CFO–they have been so thoroughly crunched, GAAPed, and manipulated, that they no longer tell a story.  A CFO can see trouble in the figures, but tracking down the source of the problem, be it a shortfall in revenue or an unanticipated rise in costs, can be difficult indeed.

In this way, a company’s financial health is like your own personal health.  A headache can arise from any number of causes;  if you really had to track down the source of a particular instance, the number of neurological, physiological, and metabolic tests you’d have to run would just give you an even bigger headache.

As is true of your own health, when it comes to your company’s fiscal fitness, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Business process management (BPM) can be the apple a day for your business.  Why?  BPM software:

  • Enables you to build processes that are repeatable, trackable, and auditable.
  • Give you the tools to become more efficient, more compliant, and more transparent.
  • Provides a common platform for a wide variety of processes, minimizing complexity and increasing flexibility.

My new CFO friend recognizes that by implementing BPM software, companies give themselves insight into, and control over, their own performance.  As a result, the relationship between execution and financial results is clarified, providing substantially more leverage for the management team as they seek ways to interpret and then improve the bottom line.

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