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Compliance Conundrum: Lack of Business Intelligence Hinders Efficiency, Limits Growth [Infographic]

The final installment in our series on the compliance conundrum – the employment-related tax and payment compliance challenges that CFOs, human resources and finance executives operating in today’s business landscape face – explores a third compliance-related challenge: how the lack of actionable data and business intelligence may hinder efficiency and limit business growth.

The past several years of change in the U.S. economy have given organizations in the United States a good reason to take a hard look at their bottom line. They’re exploring ways to improve efficiency, streamline processes and be more strategic – all with the goal of creating growth, emphasizing a focus on value-added activities and honing in on ROI-driven practices. And as companies continue to look for ways to do more with less, senior leaders are increasingly expecting every department to contribute to overall growth.

According to a recent survey conducted in collaboration between CFO Research and ADP, more than 90 percent of senior finance executives surveyed say that contributing to organizational growth is a key function of their department*. However, many are challenged to find ways to decrease staff time spent on day-to-day tasks to allow for growth-oriented activities. There’s a constant need to balance demand for additional business results without overloading the staff.

According to a recent article by CFO Magazine’s Taylor Provost, the responsibility to spearhead the changing role of finance departments in today’s economy is often falling on CFOs: “Because CFOs are in the unique position of really understanding what new technologies (such as dashboards that can pull data from information silos and simplify financial planning and analysis, or cloud accounting tools that can standardize and improve the speed and accuracy of financial reporting) can actually do for a company’s top and bottom lines, it will fall to them to champion those technological changes, and then ensure that they’re are [sic] adopted by the rest of the company**.”

When it comes to employment-related compliance, the lack of a single, unified view often makes it difficult to make decisions. In fact, more than 75 percent of finance executives surveyed indicate that they have no access to real-time, consolidated employment-related compliance data.* Without a truly strategic view, CFOs, human resources and finance managers may be left trying to decipher data from multiple, often unreliable sources and antiquated systems – and they may be using this data to provide business insight and recommendations to senior leadership.

Improving a company’s approach to employment-related tax and payment compliance management is essential to improving efficiency and driving organizational growth. In fact, finance executives surveyed in connection with research conducted in collaboration between CFO Research and ADP rated the top four potential benefits of improving employment-related compliance management as*:

1)    More effective risk management

2)    Lower cost

3)    Avoidance of penalties or fines

4)    Shift of employee resources to higher-value activities

Additionally, 65 percent of senior finance executives surveyed believe reducing the number of touchpoints in employment-related compliance processes could increase efficiency and productivity*.

For many, the answer to helping to improve employment-related compliance management may come in the form of outside expertise. For others, the first step may be to look internally to identify areas for improvement. Regardless, finding the right way to help improve the employment-related tax and payment compliance management process can be a stepping stone toward growth.

For more on this, see the Compliance Conundrum, a closer look at the challenge increasing complexity and shrinking budgets can pose , as well as an overview of challenges related to the use of multiple disparate systems.

Learn more about how ADP SmartComplianceSM can help companies ease the burden of employment-related compliance management, improve business process efficiencies and drive growth.

*Managing Compliance in a Changing Environment, CFO Research, in collaboration with ADP, January 2013

**Look out, CFOs! The Future of Finance is Change, Taylor Provost,, October 4, 2012


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