CFO Insights: Delivering High Performance


Results from recent Accenture research reveal that high-performance businesses and government embrace entirely new ways of thinking about finance and performance management.  These are the organizations that create the greatest value. 

Supported by metrics and insights from The Hackett Group, this book presents research results, case studies, summary insights, and extended interviews with CFOs of high-performance businesses to help executives understand what these companies do differently, how they do it and how to emulate them.  

Discover how CFOs of companies like Best Buy, Caterpillar Inc, UnitedHealth Group and SAP AG are set apart from their peers.  Additionally, take a closer look at what high performance means in the public sector and dynamic parts of the world such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Japan and China.

Michael Sutcliff is the managing partner of the Accenture Finance & Performance Management service line. Mr Sutcliff has extensive experience in strategy, business architecture, systems integration, business transformation and outsourcing engagements across multiple geographies and industries. His responsibilities include developing new service offerings and alliance relationships, and managing Accenture’s consulting services of interest to senior finance executives.  Since joining Accenture, Mr Sutcliff has specialized in large-scale finance transformation programs involving financial and strategic planning, enterprise performance management, finance operations and reporting, shared services and outsourcing, and tax compliance. In addition, Mr Sutcliff was involved with launching Accenture Finance Solutions as a new outsourcing business unit.

Michael Donnellan is an executive partner in the Accenture Products operating group, which covers both the outsourcing and consulting businesses. Mr Donnellan has more than 20 years of experience in the professional services industry. He has also worked extensively on the research, development and deployment of innovative operating models. An engineer by background, Mr Donnellan has spent the last decade focusing on the new role of finance in the modern corporate enterprise. In 1997, he co-authored CFO: Architect of the Corporation’s Future, which resulted in the adoption of new finance and accounting organizational models by numerous corporations around the world.  In 2004, he co-authored CFO Insights: Achieving High Performance through Finance Business Process Outsourcing.



1 What it Takes to be a High-Performance Business.

Pursuing ever-higher levels of performance.

The link between fi nance mastery and high performance at Caterpillar.

Identifying and evaluating high-performance businesses.

High performance and enterprise value creation.

Continuous improvement.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

2 High-Performance Leadership.

High-performance leadership through the lens of the CFO.

Maintaining fi scal discipline in the face of trade-offs.

The CFO as change agent and team builder.

Recruiting and retaining talent: a CFO imperative.

Maximizing your opportunities for impact.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

3 Masters of Finance Framework.

Delivering outstanding growth and profi tability.

Why is fi nance mastery important?

The fi ve capabilities that lead to fi nance mastery.

About our research.

Tailoring the fi nance mastery framework to support corporate strategy.

What is the journey to high performance?

Why does fi nance mastery change over time?

How do you know if you have achieved fi nance mastery?

The Hackett Group on fi nance mastery.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

4 Value-Centered Culture.

Finance in the center of the value-creation process.

Developing a value-centered culture.

How can fi nance help foster a value-centered culture?

The journey to a value-centered culture.

The Hackett Group on value-centered culture.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

5 Enterprise Performance Management.

Transforming fi nance in the journey to value-based management.

Effective performance management.

How do the most successful organizations approach EPM?

Sustaining high performance over time.

EPM capabilities drive value and enable strategy execution.

The Hackett Group on enterprise performance management.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

6 Finance Operations.

Driving corporate-wide benefi ts through high-performance finance operations.

Finance: building an effi cient engine.

Finance operations: service capability, not simply efficiency.

High performers embrace best practices selectively.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

7 Capital Stewardship.

Converting future initiatives into value.

Capital stewardship is a critical skill in creating high performance.

Focus on explaining how capital investments will generate future value.

Developing a rigorous capital allocation process.

The Hackett Group on capital stewardship.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

8 Enterprise Risk Management.

Managing risk in a volatile industry environment.

The changing defi nition of enterprise risk management.

A risk management framework.

The components of good risk management.

Regulatory requirements and compliance.

The Hackett Group on: enterprise risk management.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

9 Managing the Change Journey to High Performance.

Pacing change in fi nance to the rate of business change.

Change management: a fi nance imperative.

Continuous renewal: managing for the upside.

Measurement: developing your talent pool.

Finance and the transformation journey.

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

10 High Performance in the Public Sector.

Implementing a fi nance transformation program.

The case for government transformation.

The challenge.

What is high-performance government?

The high-performance business framework: What does it mean for government?

CFO Insights: lessons from the masters.

11 High-Performance Finance in Latin America.

Latin America through the lens of the CFO.

High-performance fi nance in Latin America.

12 High-Performance Finance in Eastern Europe.

Czech Republic.


Czech Republic and Russia through the lens of the CFO.

High-performance fi nance in Eastern Europe.

13 High-Performance Finance in Asia.

Asia through the lens of the CFO.

Economic trends: growth and more growth.

Regional challenges and choices.

The emerging Asian fi nance model.

Regional priorities today – and in the future.

14 High-Performance Finance in Japan.

Japan through the lens of the CFO.

High-performance businesses in Japan: the impact of growing polarization.

High-performance businesses in Japan.

High-performance fi nance in Japan.

15 High-Performance Finance in China.

China through the lens of the CFO.

Applying the Asian fi nance model in China.

Multinationals in China.

State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Local independent Chinese enterprises.

Achieving high-performance fi nance in China.