Unknown CFO Blog – Nov. 2009
THE UNKNOWN CFO: WISHLIST FOR SANTA
Okay, maybe I haven’t been able to be the most perfect CFO in the world this year, but heaven’s knows the deck has certainly been stacked against me. It is in desperation that I write to you asking not for a bagful of goodies, but for a Yule-tide miracle that in my estimation will be no less momentous than if your sled landed on Wall Street this year and you gave a big Heave Ho-Ho-Ho to the financial fat cats.
Because all I ask of you dear St. Nick, is the return of life as I knew it, or as I expected it to be, before we started this $#@@! ERP installation almost three years ago. And best of all, these wishes below will be weightless in your goodie sack – but for me will literally take the weight of a $15 million boggled ERP disaster off of my sore back.
Here is my list, dear Santa:
· I wish that greenbacks were instead green leaves, so that the $5 million we’ve spent on trying to get this financial software installed – and the projected $6-10 million MORE that this big ERP company is projecting to complete the job…wouldn’t hurt so much. (Note to reindeers: I will gladly give these leaves to you to eat!!)
· I wish that after 2 years, 9 months of IT deployment work (that has slaughtered the productivity of my staff of 12), that I could actually point to a single software module that is completely installed.
· I wish that the additional estimated time of 4 l/2 years to complete this new ERP project could occur in nano-seconds; or that you could time-travel me to that point in the future.
· I wish that the (now fired) outside IT consultant buffoons who took millions from us before we realized their incompetence…could be dragged naked and backwards down the chimney with you. (Sorry Santa…you might want to strike that one…but I’m pretty upset that they charged us $200/hr. for 50 hours per week for 24 months of work that they did wrong!)
· I wish that I could wave a magic wand and the 6 full-time accounting people that I’ve now re-assigned to the ERP project team (and replaced with 6 NEW full time accounting hires) – could go back to doing their “old jobs.” They were better at it.
· I wish my recent business life wasn’t 80+ % comprised of babysitting people or technology these days and that I could completely outsource routine needs like financial reporting SOMEWHERE ELSE. Like maybe to the clouds?
But most of all, Santa, I wish that I could erase the disappointed look in my CEO’s eyes every time he needs me to step up and innovate new financial strategies or participate in Board planning sessions, and I have to say “no, I have to get the financials done – the system still isn’t completed.”
I’m a strategic-thinking CFO , Santa, and this ERP fiasco is dragging me down…and making a mockery of our inculcated Midwestern values as well. Instead of hard work and tech innovation driving us forward; hard work and tech installation is driving us backward. I promise if you can deliver on even just one of these wish list items that I will stay up all night baking you a plateful of the world’s best cookies (I’d get the ERP consultants to do it, but they’d probably poison you by accident.)
Yours Most Sincerely,
The Unknown CFO