If you read our posts about the quandaries of chief controllers and compliance officers and financial analysts and line-of-business managers, you may wonder what finance teams should do. How can they gain the visibility and decision-making ability they need without causing greater fragmentation and complexity in their technology environments?
Collaborations with a great variety of banking and insurance businesses leave me convinced that the modern cloud is today’s best foundation for building and evolving infrastructures that can simplify financial processes and provide access to data and analytical tools. In the cloud, software deployments and updates can be fast and non disruptive, and it can become easier to access and integrate business intelligence resources that extend your financial systems. Computing resources and storage are practically unlimited. As the result of research and development backed by billions of dollars in investments by technology leaders, data security in the cloud is more stringent than most banking and insurance organizations could develop on their own.
Banking and insurance finance teams need such a cloud-based infrastructure to provide advanced capabilities in five important aspects of their work:
- Modern financials with efficient, fast workflows for all finance activities, including prompt month-end closings and a scalable, global chart of accounts. They should include accurate, timely reporting on all financial dimensions of interest.
- Performance management has to provide accurate, anytime assessment of the profitability of company offerings, customer segments, and the business overall. It needs to integrate with financial actuals and meet the insight requirements of finance-team roles.
- Regulatory and audit reporting must clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the company’s compliance efforts. Automated reporting mechanisms have to sync with evolving regulatory frameworks and align with up-to-the-minute financial performance results.
- Portfolio and customer analytics helps banks and insurance companies understand their customers and offer them the right products they want. Analytics can highlight what is happening today and what the future might look like if certain actions are taken or customer behaviors and market trends persist.
- Integrated risk and finance management should provide compliance and risk officers with reconciled, comprehensive information that helps them understand and mitigate existing and emerging risks.
A cloud infrastructure developed by Oracle, the ERP Financial Cloud, can serve as the consolidated resource finance teams can use to perform all their business management and analytical tasks. This cloud foundation, often deployed in integration with Oracle Integrated Finance and Risk Platforms, makes it possible for banking and insurance CFOs and finance teams to deliver their services effectively in our five key areas of finance management. Its basic elements are simple:
- The platform connects data sources companywide with role- and process-specific functionality that includes the critical areas of accounting, planning, compliance, and customer insight.
- Such roles as chief controllers, compliance officers, financial analysts, and line-of-business managers find tools designed for their unique requirements.
- A business insight layer delivers analytical and reporting capabilities across the key finance roles and processes, based on consolidated data from all pertinent sources.
- Finance managers can use collaboration tools to share insight and enable sound decisions within their own team or with executives and business groups across the company.
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