If your industry is in a time of crisis, let’s face it – your workload isn’t going down. In fact, it’s rising because, in addition to your usual financial close tasks, you are now being asked to do analysis around how to respond to the volatility in your industry. What will the impact on the data accuracy and financial close timeliness look like as you try to do more with the same or less resources? What is the material risk to the organization in inaccuracies or lateness?
To manage the resulting fluctuation in resources, companies need to deploy automation across their Record to Report process that creates sustainable business operations. Put simply, automation solves the key issues on the finance agenda, including: pressures on forecasting and decision support capabilities, corporate reporting challenges, knowledge retention and transfer, costs, and talent. With all this, one thing becomes clear, automation is not a discretionary spend and shouldn’t be reserved simply for times of growth. When there is contraction in the business, the fear is always that people don’t have the resources; however, this is a false economy. Automation comes into its own during the most volatile of times and creates the sustainability required to get through fluctuations and drive insights for growth.
By working with an experienced partner, the burden on the company is far lower than many initially think. Vendors are the experts in these situations and part of their role is to guide you through the process, avoiding any pitfalls, and ensuring the smoothest implementation possible. The key is to know who to involve and when:
Executive Management: During the implementation, any executive commitment is purely in a sponsorship capacity to ensure momentum is maintained. Once automation is in place, it enables dashboards and reports to deliver the required information to the executive team when they need it; greatly improving transparency, control and integrity of the numbers.
IT: With cloud computing now mature, there is no longer the internal IT resource requirement previously in place. A small part of their time might be required with initial integrations, however, beyond that, the vendor and admin users will manage future changes. This is beneficial for the IT team as they can dedicate more resources to support business operations versus internal processes.
End Users: Team members do not need to be impacted during implementation of the technology. As mentioned before, there is increased value in using the experience of your vendor – this isn’t their first implementation. Once automation is up and running, end users can enjoy one of the many benefits of automation including, removing the month-end late nights and enjoying a far improved work-life balance.
For more information on the next steps to take to deploy automation across your Record to Report process, download our eBook, « Ensuring a Successful Record to Report Transformation Delivery. »