Technology and data are identified as two of the key issues impacting the effectiveness of finance in providing the quality of decision support needed. For many finance functions there is no single interpretation of the available data across the enterprise, making the governance process a continued challenge.
The Hackett Group, along with our own customers, consistently report that best in class companies who have automated the Close are able to achieve more accurate and timely reporting, and do it faster, for less money, and with fewer FTEs.
Doing It Faster:
Automating the financial close process from manually updated spreadsheets and databases to a platform solution delivers clear benefits to the speed and quality at which you can undertake your Close. At Trintech, we have numerous examples where companies have been able to reduce their Close by days, while improving the quality at the same time.
For Less Money:
Management of the enterprise cost base is a key priority for the finance function. Many CFOs will continue to undertake significant cost reviews to identify which costs can be cut and which expenditure is necessary to ensure ‘business as usual’ operations. Automation of the financial close delivers key savings through improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of IT, FTEs, audit, and other process costs.
With Fewer People:
Through automation of your financial close process, not only do you need fewer people undertaking manual work, it also allows for further development of financial shared services or outsourcing. This leads to reduced costs, ensuring efficiency and accuracy across consistent practices spanning all business entities.
Leveraging Existing Investment:
Leading finance functions need to place a higher priority on investing in technology to remove the risk of inaccuracy and increase confidence in the numbers. As a multi-national entity with investments in captive, offshore, and shared service center teams, you need a single version of the truth, visibility into all locations, and consistent processes and procedures across all resources.
Retaining Knowledge & Talent:
By dispensing with repetitive manual work, you not only require fewer people, but you also attract and retain the most talented. Automation enables people to focus on higher value, analytical work and complete it within reasonable working hours, increasing satisfaction. It is, however, inevitable that people will leave, especially in outsourced and SSC positions where high churn rates of 25%-50% are common. Automation and standardization are key to ensure that when they do, the next person is clear as to what has been done, what still needs to be done and how to do it.
For more information on how Record to Report technology can optimize your finance organization, download our eBook, “Enabling Financial Transformation through Technology.”