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The CFO Controls Gap: New Profitability Measurements Have to Take Center Stage

October 15, 2013

According to Deloitte, the CFO is typically the natural leader in the quest to use analytics in driving bottom-line growth. With an eye towards profitability and the external market, with a cross-functional view of the business, with a sensitivity to risk management, and with the appreciation of fact-based decision making, the CFO can be the most effective choice to help leverage technology in the pursuit of higher margins and greater revenue.

In addition, more and more banks are seeking to build a stronger sales and service culture inside their organizations to handle losses due to increased competition from the likes of Paypal and Walmart and other well-documented trends negatively affecting their bottom lines.

But there’s a disconnect between the way sales functions and the way finance thinks. CFOs want control over costs, and they want to be able to measure each cost center easily. The historical silos in banks have prohibited this. And there has not been technology previously available to handle these measurements. The challenge for the CFO is to put the control and metrics in place throughout the entire organization so that finance can support and help drive change in the business.  And this begins with a better understanding of metrics now available in the sales process.

Make finance an integral part of the emerging sales culture

  • EPS (earnings per share) can improve by focus on the sales process
  • Continue to pay attention to your primary sales store – the branch network
  • Channel value is measureable—with the right tools geared for the CFO
  • Relationships between spending on programs and conversion rates need to be established as they are in other industries
  • Proper analytics need to be put in the hands of the CFO

An Industry with Too Many “Need to Have” Cost Centers

The banking industry has been hit hard.  And not just by regulation and the other well-documented challenges to the industry.  To a degree that almost every other industry would find unsustainable, banks continue to pour money into cost centers based on criteria other than profitability.  More on that in our next blog.

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