Financial Close – Does Speed Matter? Only if You Focus on the Speed that Does Matter…

What’s More Important, Processing Speed or the Speed of the Process in Financial Close?

Early this week, Larry Ellison announced Oracle’s SuperCluster M6-32; Oracle’s fastest machine yet at Oracle Open World.  According to Oracle’s press release this new capability promises 10-20 times faster performance on business critical applications such as the financial close.  But the obvious question is how important is speed of processing to the CFO compared to speed of the process?

Typically, a fully rolled up consolidation across all dimensions in a modern consolidation application will take anything from a few minutes to a few hours. And if your consolidation solution offers the option for an “impacted consolidation” i.e. only recalculating the nodes of the consolidation impacted by adjustments, the time to recalculate can be reduced still further.  But how does this sit with the entire Record to Report process?

Well the elapsed time for the whole Record-to-Report process can stretch from a few days to a few months, so at first sight the ability to re-perform a consolidation in a tenth of the time – attractive though it is – is relatively inconsequential.  In fact the announcement is a bit of a distraction.  For those organizations with deep pockets and hundreds of reporting entities the availability of faster processors is very welcome. But most organizations would be better off examining the efficiency of the entire process of financial governance.  That’s where the big time savings are ready for harvest.


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