This interview is taken from an episode of the Spend Culture Stories podcast.
The Tech Stack of a CFO – Why ERPs and “One Size Fits All” Solutions Are Dying – Paul Riegel, Regional Director of the CFO Centre
CFO. Finance Consultant. Digital Evangelist. Regional Director of the CFO Centre.
Paul Riegel, CPA, CGA is the Regional Director at the CFO Centre, a firm that provides the skills and experience of large-company CFOs to small & medium-sized enterprises on a part-time basis. He is an experienced executive leader with a successful history of leading change and driving profitability and cost savings in the private and public sectors.
From startups to SMEs, Paul’s seen it all – and the mistakes they’ve made with their spending and tech stack.
Speakers: Paul Riegel, Regional Director of the CFO Centre
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So based on your experience and the things that you’ve seen throughout your career are there some common mistakes that companies are making in terms of their spending that you’re kind of seeing as a reoccurring trend?
“I recall a couple of instances in my background where there’s been, you know (as some would call), “horror stories” around company spending. And I think that some of the most significant stories in my career have been project over expenditures. These are either in major systems implementations or construction projects, and I’ve actually seen some fairly significant over expenditures in both of these areas.
It seemed to me that it stemmed from a few things: a lack of adequate project monitoring, controls, reporting, and communication system in the organization. And an organization on personal stress in the business seeks to recalibrate and recover from the situation.
So, generally it’s just really either not having the tools to monitor spanned data quickly, or just not the rigour of analyzing and reporting and communicating the spend. The results also span to the people that are decision makers in your organization.”
In terms of technology are there any key pieces of technology that you think a CFO should have to be able to do their job most effectively?
“As far as systems are concerned, I’ve also seen a trend. People migrate to the best of breed and systems away from the one size fits all ERP solutions that businesses preferred five or 10 years ago.
Nowadays, companies may have a base accounting system. However, they may choose to go with a different brand for other related software solutions. For example, purchasing or spend management. Regardless of its size, any business needs a base system.”
Organizations are moving away from the one size fits all solution. Why do you think that is?
“Let’s face it. No one developer can build an application that meets everyone’s needs in the best way possible. There are other companies that have branched out and built software that meets a particular niche. For example, payroll applications or purchasing applications, and that sort of thing. By doing that, they have offered more functionality. And this better suits the needs of the business than those native to ERP or one size fits all applications.”
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About the Podcast:
Your company culture might attract talent, but your Spend Culture will make or break your company.
Spend Culture Stories is a female-hosted and produced podcast that helps finance leaders learn the tactics, strategies, and processes to build a proactive Spend Culture.
Learn how to pick the right tools, implement the most efficient processes, and how to develop the right people to transform the Spend Culture of your organization for the better.
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We asked a number of forward-thinking CFOs and CPAs to share their recommendations for the best systems and tools. We created a Master Guide of 100+ Digital Tools to help remote finance, accounting & operations teams stay connected, productive & engaged.