These are the end times for traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Overstatement? Not really—especially for growing businesses like yours. Old-school ERP systems are simply too slow, complex, and inflexible to keep up with today’s business climate.
Think about your existing ERP. Does it support industry-specific best practices, ever-changing regulatory requirements, and emerging technologies such as social media, mobile, cloud, and analytics? If not, you could risk losing ground to your competitors as a result.
Did you ever wonder what enterprise resource planning or ERP is and how it can help your business? Or perhaps you know a little about ERP but you’re not sure if you should opt for an on-premise or cloud solution and what to expect from your final choice.
If you’re a business owner, manager or director in a mid-sized or growing business and you’re confused about ERP, this guide will help you.
Forrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging in scope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester’s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who apply expert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit forrester.com/consulting.
According to the report, Benchmarking the Accounting Function 2015, only 56% of companies currently use automation to reconcile accounts. While many finance leaders want to change the process of reconciliation, the task can seem overwhelming.
However, developing a plan does not have to be complicated or time-consuming – and the benefits far outweigh the risks. A smooth, stress-free financial close adds qualitative value to the company by freeing employees to focus on strategic initiatives and ways to grow business.
A CFO’s Guide to Transforming the Financial Close shares how to build a center of excellence to streamline reconciliation so you can align objectives to overall business goals. Leading-edge automation tools can stop the madness of shuffling papers, sorting emails and searching spreadsheets, turning the reconciliation process from a cost center to a value-add for the company.
While being the backbone of many organization’s Offices of Finance and Accounting, it is now commonly acknowledged that this overreliance on Excel spreadsheets coupled with the lack of visibility associated with its use represents a very real risk. With automation available to improve both process efficiency and effectiveness, the challenge many companies face isn’t why they should transform their process but how.
The key to overcoming this challenge is creating a strong business case for investment. One that not only sets out the objectives of the project but is also underpinned by a robust financial analysis, in the form of qualitative and quantitative ROI, and a thorough understanding of risk.
One of the most common things we hear when we speak to companies about improving their financial close process through automation is “But I already have an ERP system.” It’s true that an ERP goes a long way towards helping manage some of the financial close process. However, there is still a great deal of work that is taken outside of the ERP each period end and managed manually.
Trintech is a global software provider with over 1,700 customers in over 100 countries. Across the globe, we focus on delivering value to our customers through local representation to build a community where we are known as a trusted partner to deliver best practice and enable process improvement.
In our previous eBook, “Part 1: Enabling Financial Transformation through Technology,” we examined the “why” of Record to Report transformation and briefly described ‘how” you can achieve this through the implementation of Record to Report technology.
Now that you understand the “why” and the “how” it’s time to put it into action to ensure a successful Record to Report transformation delivery. But first we need to lay the framework, as the majority of you have probably never embarked on a financial transformation journey before or have experience with a technology purchase or implementation of this calibre.
Over the past few years, terms such as: ‘Modern Finance,’ ‘Continuous Accounting’ and ‘Robotic Process Automation’ have all created buzz across the finance industry. These have been launched as a response to the challenges facing finance around attracting and retaining high quality employees, the rising risks due to the difficulty in certifying accurate data, today, and the expectation that finance has a role in driving the business forward.
Typically, Shared Services Center (SSCs) automation initiatives have been undertaken to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
These goals are achieved relatively easily within the first few years, most immediately through reduced labor costs and centralized activities.
In fact, standardization and centralization deliver up to 50% savings. During subsequent phases, technology automation and outsourcing cut costs further. But, if cost reduction is the only clearly defined goal, organizations will reach a point of diminishing returns.
By leveraging Record to Report technology, you can effectively manage the entire R2R cycle in one place with one single view of all your relevant controls. Software not only provides you with the means of collating all this data in a single view, but also can eliminate those white spaces between key control components and enable you to standardize across your business.
In terms of reconciliations, we tend to spend most of our time simply gathering data before we can even begin to think about reconciling it. Once the data is finally in the right format, the majority of our time is then spent manually going through the matching process, rather than spending that time focused on the areas that are most critical to us, as can be seen in the diagram on the right.
The primary objective of any financial transformation project is to achieve process improvements by improving the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of financial information, ultimately enhancing shareholder value.
Take the example of the close process. It would be incredibly simple to shorten the process by adding more people, however, is this an efficient way to reduce the number of days to close? On the right, the Hackett Group displays that best in class companies actually can be seen closing in fewer days, with greater automation and significant lower audit fees, emphasizing the idea that you really can do more with less.
If you need better reporting, more automation, tighter internal controls, and greater visibility into your operations, it may be time to switch to a new accounting system.
If you're like most small businesses, you've been using QuickBooks to manage your company's financials. It's well known. It's easy. It works. And it offers the functionality a business needs when it's starting out.
But if your business has moved beyond the entry level, you may find you're doing more outside of QuickBooks—which is affecting your organization's productivity.
If you need better reporting, more automation, tighter internal controls, and greater visibility into your operations, it may be time to switch to a new accounting system. How can you be sure?
Discover why now's the time to graduate to a new financial management and accounting system.
Is your accounting software holding you back?
Maybe it's time to trade in your aging infrastructure and embrace a new generation of cloud-based financial systems that streamline your processes, improve productivity, and generate greater insights and visibility.
As you embark on a challenging evaluation cycle, download our free and concise eBook: "Best Practices for Choosing the Right Accounting Software: Achieving Best-in-Class Financial Management."
Like it or not, the accounting function is in the news distribution business.
The demand for financial performance information is high and the pressure for more timely information is even higher. A fast close improves the timeliness of information, aids decision making and is a value-enhancing proposition for the business. To continue adding value, the CFO and controller must find ways to speed up their financial close processes and report financial results before they become old news.
Download this white paper and learn the "7 Steps to a Faster, Better Close" including how to:
• Identify the hidden traps and pitfalls bogging down your accounting processes
• Drive process improvement and collaboration within your organization
• Gain visibility and timely access to critical financial and operational information through application integration
• Utilize modern accounting technology to accelerate your close with automation
Published By: BlackLine
Published Date: Feb 26, 2018
If you’re in the middle of a finance transformation initiative, then you’re not alone. Leaders at enterprise and mid-size finance and
accounting organizations alike are reviewing their current processes, technology, and talent, to build their blueprints for change. With the rise of broader digital transformation projects, finance organizations are first looking to upgrade their own operating models. The truth is that finance transformation is a journey, not a destination. Many finance organizations have already embarked on it, driving down costs, whether through enhancing shared services centers, or applying more centralization, standardization, and automation. Yet for many, the greater opportunities lie ahead: providing better insight to the broader organization, shedding low-value workloads that hold the team back, and revamping ingrained legacy accounting tasks that create risk. Wherever you are today, there are real opportunities to move the dial away from the status quo.
Cutting-edge companies are recognizing the opportunity to integrate technologies into their GL (accounting system) to optimize individual processes such as accounts payable and payroll. Learn more about how AP automation together with your ERP would add value to your accounting operations.
Published By: BlackLine
Published Date: Jun 15, 2016
Finance is shifting from traditional rigid and manual accounting processes to more automated, more flexible, and more agile cloud based systems. This shift is essential, because it provides the productivity benefits so that finance can focus more on reporting and analyzing financial performance. Download this eBook, “The Modern Approach to Closing the Books” to learn a new approach to the Record-to-Report processes - an approach in which automation, controls and period-end tasks are embedded within daily activities allowing for; more balanced workloads, time freed for analysis, current – not out of date – results, and Finance to better align with business operations.