“The pandemic forced the finance function to hunt for indicators of business performance beyond the metrics typically used and reported,” said Michael Heric, a partner in the performance improvement practice at Bain & Company. “To do this requires the use of KPIs that haven’t typically been the purview of the CFO.”
“Key areas of focus for many CFOs during the pandemic were liquidity and working capital, which required them to go deeper into things adversely affecting them—like payments,” said Heric. “Companies that previously adopted digital payment solutions to send invoices and get paid electronically had access to useful real time data. By turning this data into a metric, their CFOs had greater control over cash outlays and the management of working capital.”
Heric from Bain said CFOs searching for answers “can find them by looking beyond what’s in front of them.” To do this, finance must the nexus of numbers—”not just the traditional financial metrics but every KPI used throughout the business to assess performance. It all needs to be in one place,” he said.
“CFOs are increasingly expected to identify the most important operational, financial and talent metrics, collaborating with functional leaders to achieve a unified view, with finance becoming a single pane of glass to better see and understand end-to-end performance,” Heric said. “No other person in the C-suite is better positioned for the task.”