The Big Lie to CFOs

A recent post on LinkedIn by Oracle NetSuite listed 7 things CFOs can do in 2024 to improve company performance.

Implicit in the pitch is that better software like NetSuite will help.

In my 40+ years of experience in corporate work, and as a recruiter, I have learned that better people make for a better finance function and better financial results than any software can.

Software installation takes time and money and diverts attention from other more pressing issues and problems.

Good people solve problems.  For example:

  • We helped a packaging company hire a pricing person who put in place processes that generated price increases of over 1 percent per year. The results helped propel a tripling of the company stock price.
  • A supply chain professional we placed at a beverage company implemented a plant location procedure that doubled the sales of their “value brand” and eliminated millions of dollars of unnecessary capital investment.

These individuals relied heavily on competitive information and understanding of practices that had proven successful, rather than using information generated by the company systems.

Similarly, when I was at Seagram, I helped turn a money losing joint venture in Japan into their second most profitable international subsidiary.

If you want to make 2024 a better year for yourself and your company, don’t buy a new software “solution.” It won’t solve anything. Instead, think about investing in human capital by hiring and retaining results-oriented people with proven track records of driving positive change.

Best wishes for a great 2024!

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