A Deloitte survey in late 2012 asked contributors “which element of the financial close was closest to Utopia?” The elements considered the quality of the process, the clarity of accountability/ownership and the amount of time that technology released people to do more thinking. But tucked within the analysis was the finding that out of 1,458 contributors only 16 percent say “My people are motivated and put their talents to best use”.
On any level it’s disturbing since qualified people are often the most valuable and costly resource for a company. But the deeper concern is what is the breaking point for employees? How long will key people put up with the tough working conditions and manual processes that compel them to work long, tedious hours? And it’s always the best people that seem to go first. Yet, with new collaborative Record-to-Report technologies that automate and help manage crucial processes such as financial reporting, bank reconciliations and compliance, it is now within every businesses’ grasp to transform the user experience in the financial close.
To truly drive effective change will require attention to people, processes and technology. But this survey compellingly makes the point that waking up to the human component is long overdue!