How to convince your CFO that your Finance Team needs consolidation software

By Stefan Farrugia on 2018-02-20

If you aren’t sure how to convince your CFO that your Finance Team needs consolidation software, this post is for you.

1. Show your CFO how slow your Excel consolidation has become.

Use detailed time-tracking software to understand how time is being used up. This is likely to show that:
- The majority of time is spent adjusting problems that could have been discovered earlier with more appropriate reporting software.
- A large amount of time is spent waiting for Excel to update and execute commands and repairing broken links in the worksheets.

This will certainly start you off with a good argument in favour of purchasing accounting consolidation software for your company group or partnership.

2. Prove that a great deal of time is being spent correcting ‘human error’ that could have been avoided with reporting software. 

You will need to prove that there will be a saving. Ultimately CFOs are responsible for the group’s bottom-line, so identifying the financial advantage is going to be key.

3. Make sure you know everything about the security issues installing consolidation software will raise or involve. 

This is an important issue for CFOs, and they will certainly be more likely to respond to your proposal if you have made all security concerns clear. The CFO will, in turn, have to explain and assure the CEO and the board about the security of the system if it is to be implemented.

4. Invite them to a demo, so they understand how savings and improvements will benefit the financial operations across the board.  

It’s important that CFOs are involved in the decision-making process. They ultimately own the process, so they need to be involved as key decision-makers. Keep in mind, however, that in order for CFOs to give you their time, you will need to do a bit of leg-work to get it right.

Make sure you have had in-depth discussions with your potential providers. Speak to CFOs about their priorities, and make sure these are addressed during the demo.

Keep the demo short and tackle only those issues CFOs are interested in. A two-hour in-depth generic demo is likely to put them off.

If you have done your homework and the demo is well organised, you are more likely to get your CFO on board:
- Your realistic scenario in terms of software and security options
- The pain points and concerns CFOs are experiencing with the current system
- Your set-up and workflow
- The implementation process.

5. Focus on the good news!

Although your CFOs will immediately understand that implementing accounting consolidation software is going to be work for everyone, there will be immediate benefits which you can showcase.

The appropriate software will provide your CFOs with a great dashboard that summarises all the data and provides new insights and ways to interpret them, aided by a great visual interface for great complete visibility of the overall process and a strong level of consistency.

The stream of data will become traceable and everyone’s input into the process clearly visible. CFOs will also have the privilege of making some data private, so privacy is actually increased although contributions from team members may increase too.

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