Despite 82% of companies making substantial changes to their close, reporting and filing processes, 68% continue to report inadequate visibility and 84% say it is difficult to control the quality of financial data and other supporting information1. So as you approach the challenge of another year end close what will you do differently next year to reduce the burden and transform the financial close?
At the heart of modern finance agenda is the drive to become more effective business partners to the rest of the organization. But these lofty aims are quickly undermined when a finance function is tightly bound to manually intensive reporting processes that leave little time for strategic and commercial advice to other business functions. Smart CFOs know that the key to tipping the scales in favour of more effective business partnering is to secure increased levels of automation and standardization. But CFOs won’t find the remedy in loosely coupled ERP and performance management solutions which leave unbridgeable process gaps that can only be filled by spreadsheets, manual workarounds and ‘point’ solutions. So is there a better way?
Fortunately, the advent of cloud-computing has spawned a new category of solution, the so called EFCA (Enhanced Financial Controls and Automation) which complements existing approaches by providing a broad platform of capability designed to fill the most troublesome gaps in financial reporting, for example, inter-company accounting, balance sheet account reconciliation, controls assurance and task management. And by being deployed sympathetically in the cloud, EFCA helps to improve process visibility and accessibility without disrupting the underlying systems architecture.
For hard-pressed finance functions EFCA provides a step-change, enabling them to pursue a more ambitious modernization agenda without throwing away existing investments. For those that ‘grasp the nettle’, 2015 could really be different.
Note1 The Challenges of Corporate Financial Reporting, Accenture and Oracle May 2012