An in-depth survey of more than 300 CFOs and senior finance executives was released by CFO Research Services and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. The quantitative survey, which was supplemented by interviews with CFOs of today's leading companies such as Cargill, Cisco Systems, FedEx Express and Wendy's International revealed that a new paradigm in the finance function is forming across Corporate America. A copy of the full report can be obtained at www.us.cgey.com/transformfinance.

Contrary to popular belief and despite tighter regulations mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley, CFOs and financial executives cited decision support and the ability to be a true partner in corporate operations as the top driver of finance function investments. In fact, some leaders in finance have broken through the barriers of average performance and are meeting new regulatory requirements without difficulty. This is achieved through the relentless pursuit of the management insight required to provide operational and strategic decision support, defined as the function that enhances business planning with detailed analytical information and is actively engaged in managing the business strategy for the long-term. Fully three-quarters of survey respondents cite better decision support as the basis for their business case for improving finance, and only about half cite a need for better regulatory compliance.

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