CFOs are continually striving to gain more control over the month-end close. Although great strides have been made with automation, control, statutory, and management reporting, there are still huge gaps in the process that traditional ERP and CPM systems fail to fill.
If there is one phrase that summarizes the disappointment with the current approach, it's the lack of visibility. Yet this is probably the least expensive and easiest problem to fix.
Cloud-based platforms act as the connective tissue between all of the stakeholders in the process, joining them to each other and to the process itself. With this enhanced visibility, month-end close tasks, issues, and problems can be captured in a single computing environment without having to resort to emails, walking the floors, and impromptu meetings.
In an instant, it's possible to improve productivity and enhance the quality of information and control. As a pleasing by-product of increased levels of collaboration, users feel more fulfilled, so the entire user experience is enhanced.
Advancing Your Finance Transformation Initiatives
Moving to the cloud is transformational for accounting and finance teams, and it also delivers the visibility CFOs need for effective daily decision-making.
According to EY, 74% of CFOs see an understanding of digital, smart technologies, and analytics as a required skill, and McKinsey reports that only 30% say they’re prepared for the digitization of business in the next five years.
By implementing a cloud-based finance automation platform, organizations gain a digital edge that will accelerate the month-end close and ensure accurate financial statements. But this begins with knowing what to look for to ensure you select the solution that can advance your finance transformation initiatives.
Identifying the Right Cloud Solution
Solutions that are built specifically for the cloud offer a cohesive web-based UX and are customizable by business users. Further, they often have strong Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that enable easy integration with other cloud and on-premise apps in the finance technology landscape, like legacy ERPs or third-party supplier, invoicing, and banking and credit card systems.
With cybersecurity and continuity being top of mind for CFOs around cloud services, look for ISO 27001 certification as well as SOC 1/2/3 compliance. This ensures the provider is dedicating the utmost security and highest level of controls around managing your application and securing your data.
Finance is following a hybrid model in how they deploy cloud apps. Simply, a hybrid approach blends new cloud technology with existing legacy on-premise apps. It enables the addition of new cloud apps, such as reconciliations automation or improved financial reporting, without having to rip and replace old infrastructure by integrating new with old.
For success, look for cloud solutions that deliver rich, pre-built connectivity to ERPs, strong SOAP and REST APIs, and the ability to reach across firewalls to connect to on-premise systems.
It's Time to Take the Lead
Now is the time for finance leaders to take the lead on technology decisions, and ensure their organization is equipped to thrive in our digital world. As we move forward into the new Finance landscape, digital savviness is key.
Incorporate applications that are designed to fill in the process gaps, including reconciliations, transaction matching, and task management. The end result provides a potent solution for CFOs seeking a step-change in capability rather than the incremental improvements that have characterized improvement initiatives in the past.
Read this blog next to discover how technology can support the CFOs goals.