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Finance leaders under pressure to better manage margins, cyber threats and cash flow

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Finance leaders under pressure to better manage margins, cyber threats and cash flow

Finance professionals also focused on need for timely, accurate finance and performance management data.

In 2016, between maintaining margins and earnings performance, forecasting cash flow, complying with new regulations and combatting cyber threats, finance leaders and their teams will have to be incredibly vigilant, according to a new report from consulting firm Protiviti and the Financial Executives Research Foundation.

Margin and earnings performance ranks as the top priority across all groups of our survey respondents," said Ryan Senter, a Protiviti managing director and leader of the firm's Business Performance Improvement practice. "With the modest economic recovery of the past few years, finance functions are preparing the enterprise for challenges that could materialize at any time by working to preserve margins and by sustaining a strong focus on working capital management."

The survey, which gathered insights from more than 650 CFOs, VPs of finance, corporate controllers and other finance management professionals, assesses the priorities finance functions will address in the coming year, among other topics they need to manage and improve. The report also includes recommended actions for finance leaders as well as trends to watch.

Top Five Priorities

All Survey Respondents' Significant Priorities: (responses ranked on scale of one to 10, with 10 highest; responses ranked 6 or higher classified as 'significant')

Margin/earnings performance

73%

Strategic planning

69%

Tax planning/forecasting

69%

Periodic forecasting

68%

Budgeting

68%

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