- Maintain compliance in the face of rising complexity. Government regulations related to healthcare reform are more plentiful and complex than ever before, and there has and will be a renewed commitment to enforcement.
- Preparing to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA employer mandate was pushed back 12 months, and companies with more than 100 full-time employees will have to comply with the ACA as of January 1, 2015. We have been advising our clients to work toward full compliance in 2014 instead of waiting. Think of the upcoming months as an opportunity to experiment without any downside penalty for not quite getting it right.
- Invest in technology. Technology continues to change the way business gets done. CFOs must remain agile enough to change course as technology changes. And they need to lead a commitment to governance as a way to ensure that the organization utilizes the technology as efficiently as possible. SAP’s CFO, Werner Brandt is looking at purchasing Software-as-a-Service firms of nearly any size because he knows that future cloud technologies will help its clients eliminate hefty network server costs over time.(i)
- Fuel innovation. CFOs need to risk more, but they generally don’t like it, and because they don’t risk enough they rarely see the upside. One of the reasons why Google is the most innovative company today is because it pushes the limits of creative innovation. This forward-thinking is not being driven by CEOs alone. According to a Deloitte survey, 51 percent of CFOs said they’ve been tasked by their CEO to play a key role in evaluating, financing and driving innovation in their company. (ii)
- Attract talent without breaking the bank. The winners are not always the employers who pay the highest salaries; they’re businesses that create the best work environment. As salaries have leveled off in many industries, health benefits have risen in importance, and a comprehensive package is an important enticement for attracting and retaining a quality workforce. According to IBM, successful flexible workplaces result in a 20%+ improvement in productivity and cost savings. (iii)
- Better utilizing health benefits as an organization. A MetLife surveyiv shows that 75% of employees place high value on benefits, ranking it higher than company culture, advancement opportunities and work-life programs. It can enable an employer to create a program that works better for employees, while at the same time delivers savings. (iv)
- Keeping the finance organization running smoothly in uncertain times. CFOs need to keep their head on a swivel. The job requires them to balance many competing priorities. They must have their finger on the pulse of what is happening today, but also remain focused on the horizon.
By doing all these things, the CFO will truly be the CEO’s right-hand person, serving as a critical driver of an organization’s success.
John Turner, CEO of Corporate Synergies, is a transformational and motivational leader with deep industry insights in the health insurance and broker channels.
iv MetLife, “Study of Benefit Trends.”