Senior finance executives at U.S. companies are increasingly focused on developing and managing corporate strategy, according to a newly published survey underwritten by Geac, a global enterprise software company for business performance management. The survey of more than 200 senior finance executives (primarily from large, publicly traded U.S. companies) also validates the importance of performance management technology in supporting finance executives' ability to confidently advise CEOs on short-term business forecasts and longer-term strategic initiatives.

Several notable survey findings include:

  •  More than 60 percent of respondents say that, within two years, they will be acting primarily as strategic counselor to the CEO, compared with 30 percent today.
  • Eighty percent of respondents using integrated systems say they are well supported with the right technology, versus 6 percent of those using spreadsheets, 12 percent using ERP systems, and 19 percent using stand-alone solutions.
  • In total, 80 percent of integrated platform users are "very confident" in their ability to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, compared with only 62 percent using point solutions and just over 30 percent using spreadsheets or ERP solutions.

 The survey was conducted for Geac by CFO Research Services (a unit of CFO Publishing Corp.) in the Spring of 2004. The report describes the efforts senior financial executives are undertaking to transform their organizations into forward-looking business partners that can make a significant contribution to corporate strategy. In addition, it examines the roadblocks to effecting a successful transformation and shows how executives who have embraced integrated performance management solutions are more confident than their peers in possessing the necessary tools to measure and manage their enterprise performance.

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