Data published in a recent infographic ( based on survey information compiled by APQC shows that the cost of finance is approximately 3x higher for bottom performing finance organizations than top performing organizations.  This highlights that while many large businesses are very mature in their elimination of spreadsheets and taking advantage of performance management products or suites many others still lag behind.  This infographic also shows the comparison of top and bottom performers in key areas such as the cost and duration of the budgeting process and financial reporting and the number of FTEs that are consumed by the budget process and to do financial reporting and analysis.

The reality in today's environment is that finance is being asked to do more (more frequent forecasting, more indepth management and board reporting, more compliance and disclosure reporting, and more analysis) but often without any increase in staff.  Something has got to give or the trend will be that more companies become bottom performers.  Getting more for existing resources will the difference between top performers and bottom performers going forward.  Finance organizations should benchmark themselves against their peers to find the processes where they should focus their efficiency efforts to get the most out of existing resources