Skip to main content


November 2017 Accounting Channel

73% of CFOs Trust the Cloud for Financial Data

By Isaac M. O’Bannon, Managing Editor

Just three years ago, according to CFO respondents in the Adaptive Insights  CFO Indicator report, only 33% trusted the cloud for financial data. Today, 73% of CFOs trust the cloud for financial data, reflecting a significant technology shift for Finance, one of the last functions in the enterprise to embrace cloud technology. The report explores the confidence levels of today’s CFOs relative to data, technology, and their efforts to implement a “single source of truth” (single system for accurate financial and operational data) in their organization. 

“The cloud enables a level of data access that Finance teams need in order to meet the demand for accurate, real-time information from across the enterprise,” said Robert. S. Hull, founder and chairman at Adaptive Insights. “This quarter’s report validates that CFOs are embracing cloud technology for their financial data. However, despite this shift, the majority of CFOs still do not have a single source of truth for their organization, delaying decisions. This lack of agility results in documented losses in revenue and business opportunities.”

The report shines a light on the continued challenges CFOs face as they take a greater role in data governance for their organizations.

Key findings in the report show that:

  • CFOs expect an increase of 25% to 50% in data volume, on average, over the next five years. Stakeholders will look to Finance to track down an increasing number of data points to make their decisions, and many of those data points will reside outside of Finance.
  • Only 35% of CFOs are confident they have access to the financial and operational data they need to make critical business decisions in a timely manner. Reliance on legacy technologies like spreadsheets results in siloed data that must be manually collected and aggregated. This creates distrust in the numbers and leaves little time for the analysis. This involves sales data, and a host of operational data from critical HR and customer data to supply chain, facilities, and external market data.
  • One in five CFOs (21%) are not currently working on a single source of truth, and this is up from 17% two years ago. CFOs cited expense, legacy solutions, and data sources as reasons, but without a holistic view of the organization, CFOs will be challenged to deliver the business insights expected from Finance.

For additional information, download the CFO Indicator Q3 2017, read the blog or view the infographic.

The Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator is an ongoing report that highlights what is top of mind for chief financial officers (CFOs), as well as unveils key attributes that define the strategic CFO. This report surveyed 255 CFOs across the globe online over a period of 19 days ending August 28, 2017. For additional insights, see previous quarters’ CFO Indicator reports.



Top Accounting Blogs and Social Media

The Top 7 Skills for Financial Planning & Analysis. Tom Hood, via LinkedIn.

Preventing Accountant Embezzlement. Thomson Reuters blog.

The One Business Mentality All CPAs Need. AICPA Insights blog.

5 Reasons to Move to the Cloud. Wolters Kluwer Blog.

Accountability in the Information Age. David Taylor via LinkedIn.


Latest Accounting News

Eric Hansen Elected Next Chair of AICPA. Hansen, a CPA and CGMA, was elected to the volunteer post by the AICPA governing Council.

5th Annual Accounting Firm Operations & Technology Survey Now Open. The AFOT Survey will remain open through January 15, 2018.

Complying with Sata Reporting Under the New FASB ASC 606. While the new rule is valuable for investors, it has created headaches for companies.

AICPA Collaborates on Blockchain. The working group model is designed to provide a forum for experts to share information, guide advocacy and technical efforts and create broader educational opportunities.

Alerts Warn of Risks in Upcoming Audit Cycle. The Center for Audit Quality has published two new alerts to help public company auditing firms address potential risks during the upcoming 2017 audit cycle.


See inside November 2017

Architecture and Engineering Firms Can Use Tax Strategies to Free Up Cash

Architecture and engineering firm CFOs have many responsibilities to their firms and owners — one of which is identifying ways to minimize income taxes and free up cash flow for growth, debt reduction, distribution to owners, and other operational uses.


Apps We Love: Mobile Payments

From tracking KPIs or managing client communications, or even digging them out of a financial hole while cruising at 35,000 feet, these business apps keep busy professionals tuned into their firm and client needs, which definitely helps productivity.