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Five Technology, Compliance, and Digital Transformation Trends to Watch in 2017

Five Technology, Compliance, and Digital Transformation Trends to Watch in 2017
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Can you believe 2016 is nearly in the books? As we all look to close out what has turned out to be an interesting year, it’s important to look at the important considerations on the immediate horizon in 2017.

To address this, we’ve put together five keys for a successful 2017 that affect the CFO, CIO, CTO, Travel Manager, and even Human Resources Leaders.

Better Budgeting and Reporting atop CFO Concerns for 2017

Modern CFOs are transforming from backroom accountants into boardroom advisers and say improving reporting and analysis functions in 2017 is a top improvement goal, according to a new survey by the consulting firm Kaufman Hall.

More than 70% of over 380 finance executives polled say supporting decision-making is their number-one goal for 2017, a divergence from the more traditional finance and accounting roles. Over 90% say they need to do more with the financial and operations data at hand to help top management make critical decisions. Read more on CFO.

Host Analytics has become a leading option for organizations looking to make the most of their budgeting, planning, and reporting. The first cloud enterprise performance management recognized in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, Host Analytics provides the cost, flexibility, and intuition CFOs need and deserve. Learn more by downloading Finance’s EPM Playbook: Leveraging World Class Enterprise Performance Management, and by reading the following resources:

CMOs and CTOs (or CIOs) will Join Forces to Drive Innovation and Disrupt Markets

Digital transformation for many companies is well underway. But to what end? Achieving parity with your peers will not provide the step-change growth needed to lead the market. In 2017, the CMO and CTO will fully align as co-pilots, using new technologies and platforms to reshape their traditional market and enter new markets by fostering disruptive innovation.

Cloud technologies and analytics are two key ingredients to enable these co-pilots to navigate with speed. If there is no CTO in the C-suite, then the CIO will step up to the challenge. See more bold predictions for CMOs and more at Forbes.

Learn more about how to grow your role in the wake of digital transformation by reading the following resources from our CIO Advisory Practice:

Steep ACA Reporting Penalties

While the President-elect has announced plans to repeal and replace healthcare reform, organizations still will need to continue reporting as the current law stands, meaning non-compliant reporting could cost big. Companies with 50 or more full-time employees had last year to experience 2016 ACA reporting to the IRS for the first time, and companies with 100+ FTEs have now completed two years of reporting.

As the law currently stands, penalties for noncompliant reporting are a small but important source of funding for the law, as penalty carries a $250 per employee fee, with the maximum penalty for any employer being $3 million that is not tax-deductible. Knowing this, it pays to have a reporting strategy in place to ensure your organization is compliant with the current law, and reporting is accurate.

Learn more by watching our webcasts, Save Time and Money with Integrated Payroll/HR by EmployeeMax and ACA Readiness Checklist: Is Your Organization ACA Compliant?, and by learning more about Integrity Data, who was among the first technology solutions designed to help your organization achieve ACA Reporting Compliance.

Cloud-Based ERP Has Come of Age—The CFO Will Be On Board in 2017

In 2014, Gartner predicted that nearly half of organizations would move ERP to the cloud by 2019. During the years since then, more organizations have begun to move point solutions (expense management, human resources) to the cloud, and the CFO has taken notice.

Recognizing reduced costs, increased flexibility, a need to become a leader in the organization’s digital transformation, and the increased amount of mature offerings by established vendors, the CFO has gotten on board for bringing core applications like ERP into the cloud.

“Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen a huge shift as CFOs start to see the benefits of putting point solutions in the cloud,” said Lisa Pope, senior vice president of cloud sales at Infor. “Now that they’ve started to get comfortable and are seeing better service levels and reduced costs, CFOs are saying, why not do the same for core ERP and take it to the next level?”

According to TechTarget, finance leaders have found that SaaS offerings are not only equal to on-premises offerings in compliance, security, and more, they often exceed traditional means, as highlighted in the image below.

ERP Considerations 2017

Simply put, the CFO is on board, and it’s time to talk cloud. Learn more about an established leader in the cloud ERP market, Intacct, who has provided new, growing, and publicly traded companies stable, secure, and reliable ERP since 1999 by reading the following case studies and resources:

Policy Will Continue to Drive Business Travel Decisions—Communication will be critical

Business Travel remains the key to developing new business, building new relationships, and growing companies. Knowing this, travelers will listen to travel policies. According to GBTA, business travelers surveyed said that their company’s travel policy plays a large- or very large role in travel decisions 78% of the time, followed by convenience and cost at 71% and 70%, respectively.

To address this, companies need to do two things—improve their travel policy and improve their travel policy communication. The GBTA report, Travel Policy Communication: Understanding Disconnects and Increasing Compliance noted the following:

  • 51% of Millennials want in-person meetings to learn about a company’s travel policy, likely because they are newer to the workforce and business travel and prefer a more detailed briefing with the opportunity to ask questions.
  • More experienced travelers, including Generation X and Baby Boomer travelers, prefer electronic methods like email (52 percent and 69 percent, respectively) and company intranet postings (47 percent and 53 percent, respectively).

To help business travelers of all generations improve knowledge, understanding, and compliance, it pays to have an understandable, easy to follow, and straightforward. For more information, read 11 Tips for Writing a Policy Employees will Follow, Four Key Elements to Freshening up Your Travel Policy, and How to Automate Expense Reports for Improved Policy Compliance from Concur.

Preparing for a Successful 2017

Wipfli/Brittenford is entering its 20th year providing the very best in Finance, TEM, Budgeting, and more, and thanks to our recent acquisition by the nearly-100-year-old Wipfli, we can expect that 2017 will bring even more success for ourselves and our clients. Learn more about the solutions we provide, and contact us to learn more about how we can help you in 2017.

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