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Bay Area Chief Financial Officers say revenue will outpace headcount growth
May 22, 2012 (03:05 PM EDT)


Armanino McKenna's Annual CFO Benchmark Survey also reveals that more than 70 percent of companies intend to expand geographically over next three years

SAN RAMON, Calif., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half of San Francisco Bay Area Chief Financial Officers believe revenue growth at their companies will significantly outpace headcount this year, according to results of a major survey of Bay Area financial decision makers by Armanino McKenna LLP (www.amllp.com).

Of the more than 200 Bay Area CFOs who answered Armanino McKenna's annual CFO Benchmark Survey, released today, a majority say they plan to optimize processes, deploy new technology and increase the use of partnering to grow at a faster pace with small to no increases in headcount.

Moreover, 71 percent also indicated they are planning to expand into new geographic markets, including international, over the next three years. At the same time, a majority indicated they are looking for ways to cope with compliance, tax and other potential barriers to geographic expansion, particularly international expansion.

Another key trend revealed by the survey is that CFOs are rapidly moving away from providing financial data "upon request," to delivering financial and business intelligence information "on-demand" through self-service applications and technology. This is one of the strategies they are using to grow without adding headcount.

"Disruptive technology, such as front-end business intelligence dashboards, is fueling a 180-degree shift to establish an 'on-demand' IT culture," says Matt Armanino, chief operating officer and consulting partner of Armanino McKenna. "These flexible, scalable and customizable products are enabling financial organizations to become much more nimble and efficient around the conversion of data to actionable information and this is driving much higher levels of efficiency during periods of growth."

He adds that best-in-class CFOs link these breakthrough technologies with powerful back-end systems, and then combine them with process improvements and close alignment with company priorities to "quickly drive a shift to self-service and greatly increase productivity."

This year's CFO Benchmark Survey Report, which details the survey findings, offers not only the "what" of CFO answers to the survey; but also the "how" in the form of key directives, or action items, that are based on the report findings. The Benchmark Survey Report delivers additional narrative insight from Bay Area financial decision makers as well as from Armanino McKenna experts who support financial organizations and CFOs in their quest to become better business leaders.

To compile the survey results, Armanino McKenna contacted San Francisco Bay Area CFOs and finance executives through an online survey instrument in January 2012. The executives were asked about their roles and responsibilities, the strengths and weaknesses of their finance organizations, and their priorities and initiatives for 2012.

Additional findings from the 2012 CFO Benchmark Survey Report

  • CFOs are not as well aligned to their company priorities as they need to be – A large majority of CFOs conceded that less than 40 percent of their time is devoted to their company's top priorities.
  • CFOs identified the top organizational risk for their companies as failure to improve operational processes – CFOs cited top operational processes for improvement as sales and demand forecasting, the finance period close and the quote-to-cash process.
  • A high percentage of CFOs indicated low confidence levels regarding compliance with certain government regulations – Respondents said they are least confident with XBRL, IFRS and Fair Value accounting.
  • More than 60 percent of CFOs want to add business intelligence and budgeting/forecasting software above all other technology, but identified obtaining the resources to deploy the technology as a challenge.

The 2012 Armanino McKenna CFO Benchmark Study Report is available free online at http://www.amllp.com/pdfs/2012-CFO-Bechmark-Survey-Report.pdf.

About Armanino McKenna LLP

Armanino McKenna is the largest California-based CPA firm with 350 employees and 38 partners. It is a member firm in Moore Stephens International Limited, a global association of accounting and consulting firms in 98 countries. The Armanino McKenna public accounting and consulting firm offers a comprehensive package of services from audits and reviews to tax planning and preparation, accounting and tax compliance, financial / IT staffing, IT software and service, and valuations and consulting. The company has offices in San Ramon, San Francisco and San Jose, California as well as in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.

Contacts:

Lori Colvin

Curt Olsen, APR


Armanino McKenna

AMF Media Group


925.790.2736

925.790.2620 office; 415.283.8017 mobile


lori.colvin@amllp.com

curt@amfmediagroup.com

SOURCE Armanino McKenna LLP