Kevin McCollom, Group Vice President of SAP Governance, Risk & Compliance Solutions at SAP SE, discussed the challenges of and solutions for becoming a truly analytic CFO.
McCollom began his thought leadership presentation at the 2016 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum held in Los Angeles on June 28 by talking about how financial analysis and the environment in which it operates have changed. “The stakes are higher, but the opportunities are greater. The markets are complex and volatile, there’s a constant need to innovate, and—my favorite—customers know as much or more about our products as we do as a result of omni-channel commerce,” said McCollom. “Opportunities are great for businesses that can embrace and mitigate risk. But this can be overwhelming,” he continued. “A survey conducted by CFO.com found that 78% of your peers feel their company isn’t competent at managing risk, 90% feel their company needs to analyze data more quickly, and 50% believe their company can’t develop deep, data-driven insights. In addition, 30% of finance executives anticipate risk being added as a key activity in the finance function in the near future.”
In sum, said McCollom, CFOs are facing more complex questions that require faster answers. “How do you prepare to be a better partner to the business? We’re no longer assembling spreadsheets. We’re now responsible for providing forward-looking business insights based on strong, retrospective data from a single source of the truth that we can build and adjust strategy around.”
CFOs are facing more complex questions that require faster answers. “How do you prepare to be a better partner to the business?”
McCollom continued, “Along with the many great ideas we’ll hear about today, we’ll hear how to embrace these challenges. My company’s high-performing customers employ these three best practices,” he said.
• Embracing risk and linking it to business strategy
• Making risk-adjusted strategic decisions
• Collaborating on decisions and preferred outcome
“In the digital age, CFOs need timely, predictive, risk-based analysis and simulation capabilities—not sample-based simulations. At SAP, we’ve distilled this into an operating methodology,” said McCollom:
“This is an ongoing, self-reinforcing cycle of a set of business practices that help you understand and gain insight from external and independent risks—over which you have little control—and internal risks, over which you have more control. Using this methodology, you can build a risk-adjusted, flexible budget and business plan that supports the strategy. You continue to gain insight as you observe how the business is performing as well as course correcting based on predictive insights.”
Enabling technologies need to flexibly support the changing role of finance by providing deep, relevant business insight, noted McCollom. “This transformation benefits from—or, dare I say, requires—a strong business-IT partnership. Rather than creating islands of information where everyone gets a different set of numbers, the business and IT must provide consistency. IT must provide a fast and scalable architecture with a view of the truth that enables the business to use that tool from a self-service perspective so IT doesn’t always need to be involved.”
“Enabling technologies need to flexibly support the changing role of finance by providing deep, relevant business insight. This transformation benefits from—or, dare I say, requires—a strong business-IT partnership.”
McCollom concluded: “The discover-plan-inform-anticipate (DPIA) methodology is available through cloud delivery anytime on any device across the organization. This is integrated into a self-reinforcing, constant cycle that provides real-time, consolidated insight that incorporates both the rear-view-mirror and windshield (predictive) perspectives.”
ABOUT KEVIN MCCOLLOM:
Kevin McCollom is Global Solution Owner for SAP GRC. He and his team are responsible for market requirements roll-in and solution go-to-market. In close collaboration with SAP GRC Product Development, he and his team are also globally responsible for general management of all SAP GRC solution aspects including solution strategy and roadmap. Mr. McCollom has held this role since 2011 and has been part of the SAP GRC management team since 2008.
Prior to assuming his role with SAP GRC, Mr. McCollom was responsible for developing SAP global automotive business strategy and directing its regional implementation in the Americas as a founding member of SAP’s Automotive Industry Business Unit, which he joined at its inception in 1997.
Mr. McCollom has over 25 years of Enterprise software experience and has been with SAP since 1996. During that time, Kevin has held several strategic positions including:
• Head of SAP Automotive IBU Business Development, SAP Labs
• Global Solution Manager, SAP AG
• Global Product Manager, SAP AG
Prior to his joining SAP, Mr. McCollom held several positions with Ford Motor Company in Manufacturing and Vehicle Assembly, including ownership of international compliance system and processes still used by Ford and Visteon today.
Mr. McCollom is also the former CEO and co-founder of Revenue Analytics Incorporated, a Michigan-based consulting firm specializing in strategic planning and consulting to healthcare institutions. He holds a degree in Information Technology, Summa Cum Laude, from Walsh University.