One of the most critical roles of the Facilities Manager is ensuring every member of the workforce has the tools they need to perform at maximum capability. This includes everyone from outside technicians and vendors, all the way up to the CEO and CFO.
While no job is less important than the other, the financial strength of the organization is critical to the very survival of the company and, in turn, our jobs. Thus, it is crucial you ensure your Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has access to the most relevant information at all times.
To understand what tools will be most beneficial for your CFO, we must first understand what role he/she plays within the company. While the CFO’s job is very complex, it can be broken down into three major components.
- Controllership duties- Every stakeholder in the company - analysts, employees, management, and shareholders - relies on the CFO to present them with accurate historical financial data. Major financial decisions are made based on this information, so it is imperative the CFO present precise and up-to-date information.
- Treasury duties- The financial strength of the company is defined by investments made, internal financing, equity, and debt. The CFO is responsible for overseeing the capital structure of the company and addressing any issues that might arise.
- Economic forecasting and strategy- Along with the company’s past and present financial strength, the CFO also plays an integral role in defining its financial future. The Chief Financial Officer must be able to gather, analyze, and report on what aspects of the company are running efficiently and what areas need work. This information is also used to forecast future success and issues that might arise, aiding the workforce in developing relief plans.
Understanding the complexities and pressures the CFO faces in their job helps the FM in identifying what workplace tools are most appropriate. Historically, spreadsheets were the preferred method of data storage. The issues, however, with spreadsheets is that it requires continuous sharing of disparate data, leaving room for human error and often leaving management without the most accurate of information. The CFO was left with numbers and it was their job to determine how to put it all together into useful reports and projections. Tools such as Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) bring all the data together, giving the CFO the opportunity to run specific reports and access dashboard analytics as needed, and from anywhere. Let’s take a look at seven ways your Chief Financial Officer stands to benefit from implementation of a FM software solution (iOffice's would be great but just about any tool will help).
1) Space Management
Real estate represents one of the most significant expenses, which is why it is important to know how much space you have, as well as how or if it is being used. Space management software allows you to fluidly manage both office space and usage, so the CFOs and FMs can actively develop strategies designed to get the most out of their workspace and their investment. It also helps in forecasting future needs, based on past and present usage, as well as specified future goals for growth.
2) Move Management
Traditionally, the top priority for the CFO has been securing the lowest cost per square foot. Recent studies reveal, however, that there has been a shift in focus, placing more emphasis on the strategic management of this core asset. 56% report that their most important objectives center on growth and finding ways for their real estate to contribute to such expansion. Once a clear picture has been painted regarding spatial usage, and future forecasts have been made, CFOs can utilize move management software to develop scenarios accordingly. If your company is slated for expansion, your IWMS will help you in determining the best plan of action, as well as the most effective way to accomplish such goals.
3) Reservation Management
For those offering a mix of variable and assigned seating, it is important to know how the variable or flex spaces are being used. Reservation Management provides the ability to reserve the spaces and check-in and out as the spaces are used. Reports can reflect exactly how the flexible space is being used and whether it makes sense to expand or contract.
4) Asset Management
The CFO’s job is about understanding the company’s financial situation from every angle. Thus, it is critical to have accurate knowledge regarding all investments, down to the hardware, software, printers, and furniture. Accurate accounting of all assets is required in order to understand the company’s current position, as well as for future planning. A current and accurate count of your people, space, and equipment is critical for keeping expansion on track. Asset management software tracks the location and use of your assets which supports development of short and long-term growth plans cost effectively.
Regardless of the size of the institution, there are a myriad of regulations your company must stay in compliance with. It is the CFO’s fiduciary responsibility to ensure the company remains in compliance and free of any issues. An Integrated Workplace Management System helps you track activity, performance and cost of the entire workspace, services and assets to ensure your organization is fully compliant.
6) Tracking Your Workforce
Employee costs rank number one in most organizational budgets. Facilities Management Software offers FMs and CFOs valuable insight into their workforce, to understand how and where they work and the type of tools they need. Not only is this critical for year-end reporting, it is the most accurate method of determining future needs and costs. No plan of action is complete without considering the workforce you depend on to make such goals a reality.
7) Accurate and Dependable Reporting
Accurate and dependable reporting is critical for every business decision made. Finance teams must remain educated on the company’s current situation in order to understand how to deliver results that meet workplace needs, at the right cost. With a cloud-based system, your CFO can generate specified reports with ease, allowing for full disclosure and educated decisions.
For the last decade, most companies’ primary focus has been centered around identifying appropriate ways to trim the fat, yet still realize growth. While companies are now shifting their focus towards expansion, the pressure still remains to keep the budget in check. “Most of the ‘low-hanging fruit,’ however, has been harvested already. So, we are looking at new areas where we can adopt new technologies and understand different opportunities based on information that we are bringing in. Data and analytics are playing a bigger role in uncovering potential savings.”- Chris Pesek As the Facilities Manager, you play a critical role in identifying business solutions that will keep the CFO apprised of the latest and most accurate information. Once you have identified an IWMS is the right tool for your organization, download our ebook 8 Practical Guidelines to Evaluating Facilities Management Software to help you evaluate your options.