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The 7 Key Challenges Facing CFOs and how Project Controls Can Help You to Overcome Them

by Sjef van Vugt, on Apr 13, 2023 11:00:00 AM

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It’s down to the CFO to be on top of the money and the numbers. But not every organisation is making the most of their processes, systems and tech tools. That can make life harder.

Here are 7 key challenges being faced by CFOs and how a Project Controls approach helps you to overcome them.

CFO Challenge #1 - Access to Information at a Portfolio Level

You’re approaching a reporting deadline to the C-suite. You just want clear, accurate data for financial transparency. It’s been easy to find the figures you want at an individual project or investment level but more difficult to access the information you need at a portfolio level.

You may wonder why data is held in different systems or tools, or different formats. Can’t IT sort it so the information you need is all in one place? With Project Controls, using a smart tool like PMWeb could save up to 90% in time, compared to manual data inputting.

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CFO Challenge #2 - Being on Top of the Money EVERY Day

As a CFO you’re always going to be asked about the numbers. Cash in, cash out. Cash flow projections. Inventory. Buffer reserves. Earned Value (EV) scores. And the rest.

With Project Controls, you may find your CEO is keen to have more meaningful conversations with you about the finances. Having the right people, processes and tools will help you keep the budget and business plan on track.

CFO Challenge #3 - Leading and Managing the Team

Your life can be made easier or more difficult by the quality of your team and how well they work together.

You may have people looking after forecasting, budgets, account receivables and payables, and finance. Are their roles and responsibilities clear? If the team and structures are set up correctly, such as through Project Controls, you will notice the difference in clarity, lines of communication and data flow.

Encourage your CIO to keep data secure and stay ahead of the technology curve, so the system keeps working for financial success and control. 

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CFO Challenge #4 - Getting Rapid Access to Documents & Quality Data

Things are moving. You are at the next stage of progression with project growth and want to draw on your organisation’s development loans. The banks are supportive but need the documentary evidence to back your request.

It should be straight forward but you may be finding you have to trawl around different tools and systems to pull it all together. You do it because the task is necessary. But it has cost you time you will never get back.

When you adopt a Project Controls approach with the right tools for your financial management, faster access to the data you need when you need it follows.

CFO Challenge #5 - Managing Global Tax and Legal Structures

As you run international projects, you’ll want to ensure you and your team tick all the boxes around the laws, rules and regulations relevant to building projects in different countries.

It’s a matter of attention to details, good communications and robust processes in place. Project Controls helps to manage each stage and reduce the risks of something being missed. It’s one of the ways your CIO can help you to build consistent project success.

CFO Challenge #6 - Working with Lower Standard Processes

When your organisation is seeking to build agility, increase revenue and boost profitability, there are a lot of numbers to pay attention to.

Are you finding it a struggle to get the quality data you need, as fast as you need it? Are the systems and processes you use streamlined and efficient? It may be a question your CEO asks as part of their top 5 questions for the C-suite.

CFO Challenge #7 - Convincing the Board to Include a CPO

If your organisation is using, or considering, Project Controls it is worth having someone to take the lead on that. It’s why you want a CPO on the board.

You’ll have a C-suite colleague who is on your side, connects with your COO and can help ensure the right people, processes and tools are in place to get the job done. If you have a CPO, they can help keep margins healthy, people happy and the organisation competitive.

Project Controls in the Boardroom

Project management which embraces Project Controls gives the CFO more confidence in being able to deliver on the numbers. PC places a focus on getting the most out of your people, processes and tools.

To learn more about how to build profitability with Project Controls, download Primaned’s free executive insight guide, Building Profitability: The CFO’s Guide to Project Controls. 

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Topics:PC Boardroom


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