Finance is known as the “numbers people” of any organization. Well, have we got a slew of new numbers for you!
They come in the form of new benchmarks on how finance departments work across the U.S. from Robert Half International and Financial Executives International.
And the findings can help you see how your finance departments stack up against your peers.
A perfect gut-check as we get ready to go into a new year.
Answers to key questions
Here are a series of questions you may have about how other finance shops operate. See how your own department compares on these six fronts.
Benchmark 1: How many hours does Finance put in each week?
No question, Finance departments have been working hard this year. Accounting and finance managers are working an average of 47 hours a week. (Though that is down an hour from last year’s survey.)
And check your own staffers’ timesheets against this: the average accounting and finance staffer puts in 42 hours each workweek.
Benchmark 2: Are they tapping temps?
Some are – more than a quarter (28%) of companies said they’ve used temporary help in the past year. The result: 8% of accounting and finance staffers in the U.S. are currently temporary workers. That’s bound to be higher at this time of year, as many of your peers enlist some extra hands for year-end.
Benchmark 3: What do they outsource most?
If you entrust a third party to handle some or all of your payroll processing, you’re in good company. Payroll remains the top function outsourced by 47% of your peers. Close behind? Taxes at 42%.
You probably don’t want to outsource accounts payable – just 1% of your peers are doing that.
Benchmark 4: How are they reconciling accounts?
We just can’t get rid of the paper! More than half (59%) of companies still reconcile accounts manually.
That can get tricky and time-consuming when you consider that more than a third 38% of U.S. executives surveyed said they have more than 500 general ledger accounts.
Benchmark 5: How do they distribute their resources within Finance?
Here’s the breakdown at the average company:
- General Accounting: 21%
- Accounts Payable: 15%
- Accounts Receivable: 11%
- Budgets and analysis: 9%
- Financial reporting: 9%
- Payroll: 7%
- Finance: 6%
- Credit and collections: 5%
- Cost accounting: 4%
- Internal controls: 3%
- Tax: 3%
- Treasury: 3%
- Other: 3%, and
- International accounting: 1%
Benchmark 6: What’s your primary financial system used?
ERP was the overwhelming winner here – more than three quarters (78%) of U.S. companies rely on ERP systems. The top three choices among them:
- Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (18%)
- Oracle/PeopleSoft (15%), followed by
- SAP (12%).
Info: To download a copy of the 2014 Benchmarking the Accounting and Finance Function, click http://s3.amazonaws.com/DBM/M3/2011/Downloads/RH_FERF_Benchmarking2014.pdf