Metric of the Month: Page 2

An ongoing series authored by Perry D. Wiggins, who is CFO, treasurer, and secretary for APQC, a nonprofit benchmarking and best practices research organization.


  • Header image for "Metric of the Month: The Cost of a Shared Services Center"
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    Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Metric of the Month: The Cost of a Shared Services Center

    Imagine a grocery store chain with numerous stores across the country. Each store needs someone to process payroll, pay vendors, and carry out other key finance processes. Rather than hiring staff for accounts payable or payroll at every store, the business is likely to be part of a growing numbe...

    By April 4, 2022
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    Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Metric of the Month: Return On Invested Capital

    As countries begin to lift their pandemic restrictions and business leaders look toward post-COVID-19 business models, it’s important to ask whether the investments you made in 2020 (or earlier) still make sense. Reevaluating these investments can free up cash and enable investment in areas that ...

    By March 2, 2022
  • Text, word Unpaid is written on a folder lying on documents on an office desk with a laptop and a calculator. Business concept.
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    Vadzim Kushniarou
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    Prevent Customers from Going Delinquent

    If cash is the lifeblood of a business, the revenue cycle is the circulatory system. The process of extending credit to customers, billing them for goods or services, and applying remittances to open receivables all pump blood through the body of a business. Delinquent customers and bad debt keep...

    By Feb. 2, 2022
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    guvendemir
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    Do You Spend Enough Time Assessing Strategic Risks?

    Strategic risks, such as the potential for a major supply chain disruption, a failed venture, or a massive cyberattack, can be difficult to assess. But companies have found effective ways of drilling into these risks and developing quick-response action plans. This month, we look at the averag...

    By Jan. 26, 2022
  • Two women in glass-panel office strategizing a customer's journey
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    Morillo, Christina. "Two Women Having a Meeting Inside Glass-panel Office" [Photo]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    How to Lower Total Payroll Costs: Metric of the Month

    Everything seems to be getting more expensive. From wages and fuel costs to lumber prices, office paper, and essential grocery store items, very few areas of the economy have been spared from rising costs. Now is the time for a financial examination of all your business processes to determine if ...

    By Dec. 6, 2021
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    CFO Editorial Staff
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    Cycle Time to Complete the Annual Budget: Metric of the Month

    Do you remember the classic holiday song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams? Well, if you ask CFOs and business unit managers about their favorite time of year, few, if any, would say budgeting season. In some organizations, the budgeting process can start in June or eve...

    By Nov. 1, 2021
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Average Tenure of FP&A Employees

    Anyone who has participated in the corporate budgeting process knows that it can be an arduous endeavor. Without good collaboration and communication, this process can easily stretch into a lengthy exercise in which participants battle over strategic items like sales targets, capital investments,...

    By Oct. 4, 2021
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    How Many of Your Primary Controls Are Preventive?

    When I started my auditing career during the rollout of Sarbanes-Oxley, there was sustained debate within the industry as to which type of internal control was better: preventive or detective. While preventive controls are intended to prevent unauthorized or unwanted activities and variances from...

    By Sept. 1, 2021
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: How Far Off Is Your Sales Forecast?

    Sales forecasting is a discipline that any strong finance team will want to master. It’s especially important in industries where the majority of operating costs are fixed. When it’s reliable and accurate, the sales forecast can help leaders manage staffing levels, production schedules, capital e...

    By Aug. 3, 2021
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    Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Metric of the Month: Personnel Cost of Finance

    Costs are rising across the board as the U.S. economy continues to move forward from a short but deep recession, and labor costs are no exception to this trend. Many employees who kept their jobs in 2020 were happy to stay put, but 2021 is a new year and the labor market is much more competitive....

    By July 6, 2021
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Assessing Cyber Risk: Metric of the Month

    An employee recently received an email from me, letting him know that I was in an important meeting and asking if he could text me. The only problem was that it wasn’t me. “Fake Perry,” as we call the would-be scammer, had been messaging our employees in an attempt to gain access to the company’s...

    By June 1, 2021
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Total Cost to Process T&E Reimbursements

    Business travel took a serious hit in 2020, dropping by an unprecedented 97%. As the world economy forges ahead in 2021, many experts anticipate an immediate spike in travel demand that will increase rates for airfare, hotels, restaurants, and rental cars. It’s understandable if your travel and e...

    By May 3, 2021
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Total Cost to Manage Taxes: Metric of the Month

    It has been said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. And unless your company is a large corporation with teams of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., it’s a certainty that your organization is going to pay a lot of taxes to a lot of entities — income taxes, payroll taxes, property t...

    By April 1, 2021
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Invoices Billed to Customers With Credit Terms

    Decisions to extend or withhold credit can be difficult to make at any time and in any economy. In a global pandemic and economic downturn, these decisions can be even more difficult as businesses struggle to manage cash flow and keep the lights on. Every company wants to bring new customers in t...

    By March 1, 2021
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Avoiding Payroll Bottlenecks

    Payroll is a critical business process that requires coordination and teamwork to run effectively. Even if much of the process is digitized, automated, and outsourced, manual touchpoints can still exist. Employees may have to enter and submit their hours, managers approve them, and payroll staff ...

    By Feb. 1, 2021
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Producing Management Reports Faster: Metric of the Month

    Period-end management reports are an important form of decision-making support that helps leaders gain insight into specific business areas. These reports typically include financial highlights, graphical analyses, and comments on trends or variance from expected results. They also provide a foun...

    By Jan. 4, 2021
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Time Allocation in Finance

    Where does the time go in finance? At a high level, it may be obvious that your finance team is carrying out activities like transaction processing, setting controls, and providing decision support for the business throughout the week, but which activities get the lion’s share of finance’s time? ...

    By Dec. 7, 2020
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Number of FTEs Performing the Order-to-Cash Process

    Order-to-cash (O2C) is an end-to-end process that encompasses all the steps that a company carries out from the time it receives an order to the point at which it receives full payment for the order. It includes managing sales orders, processing customer credit, delivering products and services t...

    By Nov. 3, 2020
  • A mobile photo with calculator app lying on tax documents
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: What is the Ideal Number of Budget Iterations?

    Budgeting season is upon us, and the usual stresses and headaches that come along with it will likely be compounded by an especially volatile year. Reviewing and editing draft after draft of your budget will be time consuming, frustrating, and may even risk disengagement from your stakeholders. I...

    By Oct. 1, 2020
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    Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Metric of the Month: Cash-to-Cash Cycle Time

    Cash-to-cash cycle time, also known as the cash conversion cycle (CCC), measures the amount of time it takes for a company to convert resources like inventory or investments in production into cash from sales. CCC is a critical measure of a business’s health and cash efficiency. If cash isn’t com...

    By Sept. 2, 2020
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Uncollectable Balances as a Percentage of Revenue

    In a chaotic business environment hampered by a global pandemic, many vendors, suppliers, and other businesses are holding “bad debt” in the form of payments owed that will never be collected from customers. When does a finance chief know his or her company is holding too much bad debt, and what ...

    By Aug. 4, 2020
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Total Cost to Reward and Retain Employees

    In times of economic downturn, it is incumbent on every finance leader to take a hard look at spending and make cuts as needed to keep the business strong. While every cost should be on the table, this month I’m going to advocate a move that may seem counterintuitive. If you have the finances to ...

    By July 1, 2020
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Short-Term Cash-Flow Forecasting: Metric of the Month

    Over the last two months, the need to prepare an accurate short-term cash flow forecast for my board of directors and CEO has never been greater. The ability to prepare or adjust these forecasts quickly has allowed us to make better and more informed decisions about our cash needs, investments, a...

    By June 2, 2020
  • Woman doing paperwork in corporate office
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    Karpovich, Vlada. "Woman doing paperwork" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Metric of the Month: Days Sales Outstanding

    As the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold in the United States and around the world, many organizations face hard decisions. For example, a recent survey of finance executives by CFO found that 50% of organizations are scaling back or delaying investments right now, while 35% are lay...

    By May 4, 2020
  • A mobile photo with calculator app lying on tax documents
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    Thefirst, Leeloo. "A Mobile Phone with Calculator Near the Documents" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Pexels.
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    Increase DPO, If You Can: Metric of the Month

    One month ago, few people could have fully anticipated the scenario in which we now collectively find ourselves: Businesses and borders shuttered throughout the world, economic uncertainty for many workers, and a global economy edging toward recession. Many organizations are understandably concer...

    By April 1, 2020