Wednesday Mar 19, 2014

The CFO as Technology Evangelist

Guest post by Karen dela Torre, Vice President, Oracle Corporation

Finance has historically been at the forefront of technology adoption.  Earlier technology investments focused on process efficiency and standardization. After all, closing the books faster and keeping costs down are table stakes. Today, finance is increasingly called upon not just to contain costs and keep score; modern finance seeks to change the game by providing the business with data-driven acumen on the best ways to drive innovation and growth. So how is modern finance using technology today to meet these new demands?

To provide more insight on how to define and benchmark the key attributes of the modern, technology-enabled finance function, Oracle partnered with Accenture to sponsor a global research study conducted by Longitude Research. The study, “Empowering Modern Finance: The CFO as Technology Evangelist,” features insight from 1,275 CFOs, senior finance executives and line of business executives from organizations of varying sizes and industries around the world.   

And while the study clearly shows that many CFOs are making major strides towards creating a more productive and technology-enabled finance function, it’s clear that much work still needs to be done. In particular, here are a few key takeaways I wanted to highlight:

CFOs are seen as tech evangelists, but a gap remains between ambition and reality:

· More than two-thirds of respondents agree the CFO is a strong evangelist for the transformational potential of technology.

· Nearly three-quarters of finance executives believe new technologies such as the cloud, mobile technology and social media will change how finance is structured and run.

· But, and it’s a BIG BUT, only 20% of C-suite executives believe their finance organizations have adopted leading-edge technologies.

New skills and analytics capabilities are needed to execute on modern finance’s mandate:

· Nearly half of respondents saw an increase in the number of finance analysts hired over the past two years.

· 23% of non-finance respondents feel that the ability of finance to provide an up-to-date view of performance against budget “falls below expectations” and 42% think they could do far better.


CFOs are embracing the cloud to modernize finance:

· 28% of respondents are already using the cloud to support budgeting, planning and forecasting, and another 34% plan to move those areas into the cloud within the next year.

· More than two-thirds of executives surveyed have either already adopted a cloud-based system in some part of their organization for core financials (24%), or are planning a road map for doing so (45%).

For more information, you can find the press release and the full report here. If you’d like to hear the findings discussed in more detail, make sure to tune into the webcast on March 19 at 12:00 noon ET. The webcast will feature Oracle Chairman of the Board Jeff Henley, Scott Brennan, managing director in Accenture Finance & Enterprise Performance, and Stuart Brown, senior vice president and CFO, Red Robin International, Inc. To register,  visit: http://pub.vitrue.com/ZTgI

Tuesday Mar 18, 2014

Using Technology to Ease the Pressure Cooker Environment of the Modern CFO

Guest Post by Karen dela Torre, Vice President, Oracle Corporation

The finance function as we know is seeing big change.  We've been talking about this transition here at Oracle for quite awhile. Last year in a survey Oracle conducted with Accenture we explored how the role of the CFO has evolved from financial overseer to corporate strategist and change agent. The results from that study illustrated that this transition is not only happening, but it’s happening very quickly.

We’ve entered into the era of Modern Finance. Not only are CFOs depended on to  drive the finance function forward, but increasingly they also play a vital part in all strategic business decisions.  In fact, it’s fair to say that today’s CFO lives in a completely different environment than five years ago. Put simply, CFOs live in a pressure cooker environment.

With the pressure to help identify new opportunities, products and services that will deliver growth and generate revenue, the modern CFO is undoubtedly presented with challenges and must leverage existing and new assets to deliver on the new mandate to provide strategic guidance and insight to the business.

How can CFOs meet these challenges and stay ahead of their competition? One thing that comes to mind is technology.

Technology enables CFOs to drive change and innovation. Mobile, cloud, social and analytics are just a few types of technology that are completely revolutionizing the way organizations function. Implement these technologies and organizations can gain a significant competitive advantage.

CFOs are beginning to understand this and how technology can drive change within their organization that positively impacts revenue. For example, take the cloud. The cloud is reshaping finance best practices around buying decisions as organizations duke out the ROI of cloud versus on-premise. Cloud technologies save on overhead costs with less infrastructure, timely updates, and more productive employees.  

Modern Finance will be empowered through technology and CFOs are taking note.

For more information about the changing role of the CFO and best practices for keeping pace with the ever-changing landscape, visit Oracle CFO Central at www.oracle.com/cfo

Saturday Mar 01, 2014

Are You Ready for Oracle Financials Cloud Release 8?

If you are an existing Oracle Financials Cloud customer, learn what's new in the upcoming Oracle Financials Cloud release by reviewing expanded discussions of each new feature and product, including capability overviews, business benefits, setup considerations, usage tips, and more. And for those of you considering whether the time is right for your organization to to move to the Cloud, get a first-hand look at all that Oracle has to offer.

With over 20 new features such as downloading credit card transactions to your mobile device and manager approvals of expense reports via your iPhone, users can get more work done that works for their schedule.  

Click here for more information.

Tuesday Nov 05, 2013

ERP Customizations...Are your CEMLI’s Holding You Back?

Upgrading your Oracle applications can be an intimidating and nerve-racking experience depending on your organization’s level of customizations. Often times they have an on-going effect on your organization causing increased complexity, less flexibility, and additional maintenance cost. Organizations that reduce their dependency on customizations:

  • Reduce complexity by up to 50%
  • Reduce the cost of future maintenance and upgrades
  •  Create a foundation for easier enablement of new product functionality and business value

Oracle Consulting offers a complimentary service called Oracle CEMLI Benchmark and Analysis, which is an effective first step used to evaluate your E-Business Suite application CEMLI complexity.  The service will help your organization understand the number of customizations you have, how you rank against your peer groups and identifies target areas for customization reduction by providing a catalogue of customizations by object type, CEMLI ID or Project ID and Business Process.

Whether you’re currently deployed on-premise, managed private cloud or considering a move to the cloud, understanding your customizations is critical as you begin an upgrade.  Learn how you can reduce complexity and overall TCO with this informative screencast.  For more information or to take advantage of this complimentary service today, contact Oracle Consulting directly at ask-oracleconsulting.com_us@oracle.com

Thursday Oct 17, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 Financial Management Training – Now Available

A guest post from Oracle University....

Whether you’re part of a project team implementing PeopleSoft 9.2 Financials for your company or a partner implementing for your customer, you should attend some of the new training courses. 

Everyone knows project team training is critical at the start of a new implementation, including configuration training on the core application modules being implemented. Oracle offers these courses to help customers and partners understand the functionality most relevant to complete end-to-end business processes, to identify any additional development work that may be necessary to customize applications, and to ensure integration between different modules within the overall business process.

Training will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to ensure a smooth, rapid and successful implementation of your PeopleSoft applications in support of your organization’s financial management processes - including step-by-step instruction for implementing, using, and maintaining your applications. It will also help you understand the application and configuration options to make the right implementation decisions.

Courses vary based on your role in the implementation and on-going use of the application, and should be a part of every implementation plan, whether it is for an upgrade or a new rollout. Here’s some of the roles that should consider training:

· Configuration or functional implementers

· Implementation Consultants (Oracle partners)

· Super Users

· Business Analysts

· Financial Reporting Specialists

· Administrators

PeopleSoft Financial Management Courses:

New Features Course:

· PeopleSoft Financial Solutions Rel 9.2 New Features

Functional Training:

· PeopleSoft General Ledger Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft Payables Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft Receivables Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft Asset Management Rel 9.2

· Expenses Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft Project Costing Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft Billing Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft PS / nVision for General Ledger Rel 9.2

Accelerated Courses (include content from two courses for more experienced team members):

· PeopleSoft General Ledger Foundation Accelerated Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft Billing / Receivables Accelerated Rel 9.2

· PeopleSoft Purchasing / Payable Accelerated Rel 9.2

View PeopleSoft Training Overview Video

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

Join CFO.com Webcast: How Advanced Controls Can Boost the Bottom Line

Is it time to safeguard your organization’s bottom line from cash leakage? Fortunately, advanced control solutions tackle even the most challenging issues while ensuring your processes operate at peak performance. Attend this CFO webcast to hear industry experts and thought leaders discuss how organizations are successfully using advanced controls to improve their bottom line.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 1 pm ET -- Register Now. http://pub.vitrue.com/igsR

Wednesday Oct 09, 2013

Looking to achieve accuracy and efficiency at a lower cost with an integrated accounting platform?

Many enterprises must contend with fragmented systems and processes. Rapid growth through mergers and acquisitions has increased the number of organizations with disparate systems and business units. Fragmented systems and processes not only obstruct decision-making and compliance; they also drain resources in terms of cost, human capital, and time.

Read the latest Analyst Insight, by Aberdeen Group. Based on responses from over 185 leading executives, this report:

  • Explores the current state of technology integration across organizations
  • Examines the impact of fragmented feeder systems on business productivity
  • Reviews the challenges faced and average costs incurred due to disparate systems
  • Recommends ways to achieve success when deploying an integrated accounting platform
Download the report.

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Are you dealing with fragmented feeder systems?

You are not alone. The average organization has more than seven systems that must be integrated with their core accounting application. What if you could have a centralized view across your accounting systems and address the data integration challenges of multiple feeder systems? Listen to the experts at Aberdeen Group and Oracle to learn the latest facts about accounting integration and reporting with Fusion Accounting Hub.  Don't let fragmented systems hold you back.  With many CFOs now playing a crucial role in driving business transformation, Finance and IT have the power to partner together to make things right.

Click here to view the webcast.  

Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

Cloud Financials, Enterprise Social Networks More Attractive to CFOs

Finance departments are ready to exploit today's potentially disruptive cloud, mobile, big data and social technologies to transform how they do business, in part by using social networks to collaborate more effectively. That was the message of "Empowering Modern Finance," a panel at the Oracle OpenWorld conference held last week in San Francisco.  If you missed the OpenWorld panel discussion, check out the summary published on TechTarget.  Read full article.

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

OpenWorld Attendees: Attend Finance General Session - Empowering Modern Finance

Attending OpenWorld 2013?  Don’t forget to add the Finance General Session to your schedule! Oracle teams up with Deloitte, IDC, and Curse, Inc. to share how disruptive technologies are empowering the modern finance organization. Empowering Modern Finance. (Session ID: GEN8986)

Add it to your schedule today!

Join Webcast: Aberdeen Group & Oracle Sponsor "Are Your Fragmented Systems Keeping You up at Night?"

The average organization has more than 7 systems that must be integrated with their core accounting application.

Join experts from Aberdeen Research and Oracle to learn the latest facts about accounting integration and reporting. You’ll also see how Fusion Accounting Hub can help you with:

  • Simple, accurate, and centralized accounting from a single source of truth 
  • Robust rules engine built for Finance, not IT 
  • Complete audit and drill-down capabilities 
  • Real-time secure access to reports and live financial data 
  • Embedded, multi-dimensional reporting

Don’t let fragmented systems hold your finance department back. With many CFOs now playing a crucial role in driving business transformation, Finance and IT have the power to partner together to make things right.

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Time: 10:00 am PDT

Register today

Thursday Aug 22, 2013

AP Thought Leader to Impart Knowledge during Oracle Advanced Controls OOW 2013 Session

Oracle OpenWorld (OOW) 2013 is shaping up to be a break-out year for Oracle Advanced Controls. Among other highly-anticipated events, we are very pleased to announce that Mary S. Schaeffer, publisher and editorial director for Accounts Payable Now & Tomorrow (AP Now), will be co-presenting with Cisco Systems at a session entitled “Top 10 Advanced Controls for Procure-to-Pay to Improve the Bottom Line” (session ID is CON8814).

Mary is a nationally recognized accounts payable expert. She is the author of over 15 business books, most focused on accounts payable issues, as well as a monthly newsletter and a free weekly e-zine. She speaks regularly at industry events, one-day seminars, conferences and online events.

In the OOW session Mary plans to talk about how automated control solutions such as Oracle Advanced Controls can stop cash leakage and contribute to the bottom line.

Organizations that have made the most progress in shifting away from manual controls are adopting advanced control solutions and showing what a difference those controls make, says Mary. "Controls are more critical than ever with regards to the accounts payable process. Luckily, technology can now play a larger role in helping organizations with these controls, helping reduce erroneous payments and preventing fraud," Mary says.

We expect a full-house at this session so be sure to register early!

Learn more about AP Now. And most importantly, click here to register for OOW 2013 today!!

Tuesday Jul 30, 2013

Impact of the Upcoming US GAAP and IFRS Lease Accounting Proposal

Back in May 2013, the FASB and the IASB published another Exposure Draft on Lease Accounting, inviting comment through September this year.   Our developers have been reviewing it, and Seamus Moran, our resident IFRS expert, sat with Annette Melatti, Senior Director, Financials Product Marketing, to chat about the potential impact on Lease Accounting and ERP software.  Listen to the podcast for more details.

Seamus also met with Ashima Jain of PwC to take a more detailed look at the specifics of this Exposure Draft.  The proposal is quite a change to existing practice, not only requiring us to put many equipment leases on the balance sheet, but also incorporating new valuation, accounting, and classification of leases.  Watch the new screencast which shares the specifics.

It will be interesting to see how the public reacts when the comment period ends in September, and what route the path to a final new standard takes in 2014 and 2015.

Monday Jul 29, 2013

Oracle Receives “Strong Positive” Rating in “MarketScope for Segregation of Duty Controls Within ERP and Financial Applications”

A guest post by Sid Sinha, Senior Director, Oracle GRC Product Strategy

Oracle has received a rating of “Strong Positive” in the Gartner’s “MarketScope for Segregation of Duty Controls Within ERP and Financial Applications[1].”

Gartner defines the ERP Segregation of Duties (SOD) Control Market as software providing the following functions: SOD Analysis, Compliant Provisioning, Transaction Analysis, Emergency Privilege Management, Role Management and Privilege Attestation.

According to Gartner, a solution rated “Strong Positive” is viewed as a provider of strategic products, services or solutions. The report framework counsels:

· Customers: Continue with planned investments.

· Potential customers: Consider this vendor a strong choice for strategic investments.

Oracle Advanced Controls includes a comprehensive SOD capability for any application including Oracle ERP platforms and financial applications. Oracle Advanced Controls addresses SOD issues at a finer level of detail than ERP role and permission management, providing unique capabilities to find and fix user security issues across multiple instances at the same time. This capability can be integrated with a user provisioning system and this integration comes pre-built for Oracle Identity Management, Oracle Fusion Applications, the Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s PeopleSoft. Furthermore, Oracle Advanced Controls can scan all business transactions in the system to find actual instances SOD risk and has embedded agents to modify application behavior within the Oracle application suite itself, thereby restricting the options visible to Oracle EBS users, including administrators.

We believe that to prevent financial leakage, corporate fraud and ensure regulatory compliance, Advanced Controls must be enforced at all levels of an organization. Strong SOD policies are dependent upon controlling access to critical business applications such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and supply chain management systems. Advanced Controls, part of Oracle GRC Applications, enables businesses and organizations to manage, remediate, and enforce user access policies to ensure effective SOD.

For more perspective on the need for segregation of duties and the importance of user access controls please visit the resources section of our web page.

Disclaimer:

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.



[1] “MarketScope for Segregation of Duty Controls Within ERP and Financial Applications,” by Paul E. Proctor, May 14, 2013.

Friday Jul 12, 2013

The CFO as Catalyst for Change

A guest post by John O'Rourke, Vice President Product Marketing, Oracle

Over the past few months, we’ve taken a microscope to the role of the CFO. The changing economic environment is creating new demands and opportunities for CFOs around the world. At Oracle, we are committed to helping CFOs navigate and succeed, and recently partnered with Accenture on a global research study, “The CFO as Catalyst for Change.”


As the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal summarized, the study highlights the evolution of the CFO’s role from financial overseer to corporate strategist and change agent. I discussed the main findings in a previous blog post, but wanted to share some great insights on the study from industry influencers.

InformationWeek’s Doug Henschen discussed the increasing role CFOs are playing in the technology department, highlighting the similarity between what has also been happening with CMOs. I think the CFO’s role in technology decisions can have a bigger impact and is worth noting.

Without a doubt, CFOs are taking technology seriously! CFO Magazine highlighted the skills perspective in their article on the study, pointing out that when asked about where CFOs could improve their skills and capabilities, technology knowledge was ranked second only to industry knowledge. Now, that’s saying something!

But they are not just focusing on ways to enhance their knowledge base -- CFOs also understand the importance of new technology. A Wall Street & Technology article on the study stressed how CFOs are increasingly citing disruptive technology as critical for success. In fact, 79 percent of respondents viewed access to information as a key driver of organizational agility, while 57 percent viewed investments in big data and analytics as a key source of competitive advantage.

The study shows that the role of the CFO has dramatically changed and it continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Now, CFOs must be catalysts for change and help their organizations transform and thrive in today’s global economy. 


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Focusing on solutions for the Office of Finance, this blog will highlight key financial management market trends, events and other news of interest.

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