Geac-sponsored survey finds senior finance executives seek greater role in planning business strategy
MARKHAM, ON, July 26, 2004 - Senior finance executives at U.S. companies are increasingly focused on developing and managing corporate strategy, according to a newly published survey underwritten by Geac(R) (TSX: GAC and NASDAQ: GEAC), a global enterprise software company for Business Performance Management. The survey of more than 200 senior finance executives (primarily from large, publicly traded U.S. companies) also validates the importance of performance management technology in supporting finance executives' ability to confidently advise CEOs on short-term business forecasts and longer-term strategic initiatives.
Several notable survey findings include:
- More than 60 percent of respondents say that, within two years, they will be acting primarily as strategic counselor to the CEO, compared with 30 percent today.
- Eighty percent of respondents using integrated systems say they are well supported with the right technology, versus 6 percent of those using spreadsheets, 12 percent using ERP systems, and 19 percent using stand-alone solutions.
- In total, 80 percent of integrated platform users are "very confident" in their ability to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, compared with only 62 percent using point solutions and just over 30 percent using spreadsheets or ERP solutions.
The survey was conducted for Geac by CFO Research Services (a unit of CFO Publishing Corp.) in the Spring of 2004. The complete findings are available at http://www.performance.geac.com/report/.
"Several trends and hypotheses were confirmed as part of this research study. First, there is a clear and demonstrable shift in the role and charter of the corporate finance function toward a greater involvement in corporate strategy," said Sam Knox, Director of Research at CFO Research Services. "Additionally, while many CFOs believe they are operating with handicapped performance management systems, those who have implemented an integrated solution are more confident in their ability to provide business with guidance and decision support. This is critical, especially in today's highly compliance-oriented environment in which CFOs and CEOs must personally certify their company's financial reports."
The report describes the efforts senior financial executives are undertaking to transform their organizations into forward-looking business partners that can make a significant contribution to corporate strategy. In addition, it examines the roadblocks to effecting a successful transformation and shows how executives who have embraced integrated performance management solutions are more confident than their peers in possessing the necessary tools to measure and manage their enterprise performance.
Other key findings include:
- More than 40 percent of respondents say their top performance management priorities include becoming more agile in adapting to change and providing better forecasts.
- In total, 70 percent of respondents identify "cost control" as a key organizational strategy. Sixty percent of integrated system users say they are highly confident in their ability to identify cost-control opportunities, versus only 30 percent of spreadsheet users.
- Users of integrated systems have more confidence than their peers in the information they use to make decisions about capital equipment and assets; building, buying, and outsourcing; assessing alliances; expanding marketing activities; and reviewing business and product portfolios.
"As a software company focused on serving the needs of CFOs and senior financial executives, Geac initiated this survey to fully understand the specific issues, challenges and opportunities facing this particular audience and examine the imperatives for success," said Donna de Winter, Geac's Chief Financial Officer. "The trends revealed through the survey and the supporting data will be valuable as Geac strives to provide financial executives around the world with technological solutions that will enable them to execute on their business strategy more effectively and, ultimately, drive greater business performance across their organization."
Geac (TSX: GAC and NASDAQ: GEAC) is a global enterprise software company for Business Performance Management, providing customers worldwide with the core financial and operational solutions and services to improve their business performance in real time. Further information is available at http://www.geac.com or through e-mail at email@example.com.
About CFO Publishing
CFO magazine and CFO.com are owned by CFO Publishing, a division of The Economist Group. With a rate base of 450,000, CFO is the leading business publication for C-level and senior executives. CFO reaches an international audience of corporate leaders with its global group of magazines, including CFO IT, CFO Europe, CFO Asia, and CFO China. CFO.com reaches an audience of over 235,000 senior executives each month and aims to provide a comprehensive online resource center for senior finance executives. For more information, please visit http://www.cfo.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current expectations. Important factors that could cause a material difference between these forward-looking statements and actual events include those set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in Geac's annual report on Form 20-F, No. 333-103019, for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2003, filed on October 31, 2003 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission available through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov, and filed on November 3, 2003 with the Canadian Securities Administrators and available through the website maintained by the Canadian Securities Administrators and the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited at http://www.sedar.com. Geac is a registered trademark of Geac Computer Corporation Limited. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners.
SOURCE Geac Computer Corporation Limited
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