Stock illustration: Signs pointing in a new direction

Companies with world-class finance departments operate at a significantly lower cost and with a smaller staff than the typical organization. That's the headline news from a recent analysis by The Hackett Group.

The firm defines "world-class" by evaluating the performance of Global 1000 companies across a range of measures of finance efficiency and effectiveness. It then weights the different metrics and identifies the top-performing finance functions, which it labels "world-class." Typically, about 15 percent of finance organizations in the study receive this designation, according to The Hackett Group.

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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.