Despite the maturity of ERP solutions and the apparent breadth of Corporate Performance Management (CPM) suites, the market for financial systems is peppered with an increasing number of specialized applications designed to plug functionality gaps in core financial processes. In addition unwieldy Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) systems have failed to make an impact on the more narrowly defined area of financial governance. So how can CFOs support a modern finance function agenda dedicated to operational efficiency, productivity, collaboration and control against a backdrop of patchy coverage of ERP, CPM and GRC systems?
Fortunately, these vulnerabilities have come to light just as a new class of application “Enhanced Financial Controls and Automation” (EFCA) has emerged to fill the void. EFCA platforms work by providing a platform of solution packages designed to modernize core financial processes. These include solutions such as “Financial Close Management”, “Intercompany Clearing”, “Reconciliation Management” and “Controls Assurance” which are designed to cover a broad swathe of financial processes which straddle traditional ERP and CPM domains. These are in turn supported by a series of unique applications and process ‘accelerators’. This foundation capability includes integration management (for capturing data from operational systems), risk handling, rules and workflow engines, reporting capability, document management and dashboard functionality all of which contribute to the automation and acceleration of the financial processes.
Crucially, all of this is deployed in the cloud, providing modern finance functions with the immediacy, accessibility and near infinite scalability of the cloud together with much greater opportunity for process transformation and more collaborative ways of working.