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Building a Finance Function for a Post-COVID World Series – Part 4

September 10, 2020
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Finance Technology:


Expectations

For the first time in a long time, most of the best finance technology tools used in the Fortune 500 have a reasonable and capable alternative for the middle market. Your leadership team expects fast, reliable financial results, reports they can easily understand, and forecasting and planning capabilities to see what may happen in the future. They want to cost of finance to be low and for there to be transparency for everyone on the management team for the metrics that help them understand how to drive their own results.

This sounds like a heavy ask, but it’s very doable for most middle market companies. The capabilities your company needs to have deep financial data and analytics, highly automated transactional processing, and a fast and reliable close are all available. You may simply need to paint the picture for why the investments in these tools is needed.

Especially now, most executive teams have a desire to start accessing these capabilities immediately. Although immediate is not practical for most companies, there are steps that can be implemented to start the process.

What it Means

  • It’s not just about what your ERP system can do – it’s increasingly about the tools you put around your ERP system.
  • Designing a set of finance tools that works well together needs to be done thoughtfully and deliberately. Instead of choosing a tool that meets a specific need, it’s critical to step back, look at all of your needs, and develop a solution that will be able to grow and evolve with your needs.
  • Analytics are critical and as part of your strategy and design process, you will want to identify a single company-wide analytics solution that can tie your various data sources together
  • Automation comes in many forms and you will need to balance tradeoffs as you decide what the most important things to automate are. Sometimes robotics is a great solution, sometimes function-specific automation solutions are best and most efficient (e.g. AP automation, billing automation, etc.). Like the rest of the finance ecosystem, it’s best to define the processes and priorities for automation and then step back and evaluate the most effective and cost efficient way to get results.
  • Data – the amount of it and the quality of it – is more important than ever.

Missed the previous post? Click here to read Part 3: Finance Operations.


Want to learn more about finance transformation?

Guide

Re-Building Finance for a Post-COVID World: In this visual guide, Strategy and Business Transformation Practice Leader Steve Ronan, shares how the finance function has changed as a result of the pandemic, how to define finance excellence, what finance executives are (or should be) prioritizing now, the importance of compatible finance technologies, and how you can start improving the finance function for your business. Click here to learn more. 

Webinar

Missed our July webinar on Building a Finance Function for a Post-COVID WorldClick here to watch the recording.

Whitepaper

Finance Transformation Roadmap: Download our complimentary whitepaper to learn how you can use process engineering and digital technology to close your books faster. Click here to learn more.