3 practical ways to improve finance operations in 2024

March 22, 2024 | 4 minute read
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Finance leaders are preparing backstops against fluctuating interest rates, higher input costs, and supply chain disruptions. While these may present significant challenges, they are also an opportunity to improve the performance of finance organizations. These improvements are valuable regardless of macroeconomic shifts, so we’re working to help you take advantage of them.

Here are some of the initiatives that we’re targeting specifically:

  1. Capitalizing on GenAI
  2. Direct connectivity with trading partners and improved cash forecasting
  3. Modernizing back-office operations

1. Capitalizing on GenAI

We’re working on thoughtfully embedding GenAI in finance processes where appropriate and valuable. This includes adding GenAI to Oracle Project Management to help automatically identify the best resources to work on projects, generate draft summaries for program status reports, and suggest action items to resolve issues. We’re also investing in improvements to facilitate milestone planning, billing, and work-in-process reporting—while simultaneously adding industry-specific enhancements like better support for healthcare-grant funding and project reporting using project-based time and costs from payroll.

Additional GenAI investments will help boost narrative reporting capabilities. The goal is to enable a collaborative approach to defining, authoring, reviewing, and publishing reports for management and regulators with features that do things like help automatically draft sections and explain variations from expected results. The new GenAI features will help create new content, summarize existing content, or provide suggestions. Your employees will be the ultimate reviewers and editors of any system-generated content, ensuring that they are in control at all times.

2. Direct connectivity with trading partners and improved cash forecasting

We have embedded direct integrations between Oracle Cloud ERP and third-party service providers—including banks—to help automate buying, selling, payments, and logistics associated with B2B transactions. With Oracle B2B, your organization can establish connectivity in just a few hours instead of multiple weeks.

We have already delivered integrations with:

  • J.P. Morgan and HSBC for banking services, automated financing, and integrated corporate card and expense services
  • Mastercard for virtual card payments
  • FedEx, Uber Freight, and Schneider for native logistics services and intelligent logistics operations 

Moving forward, we’re adding more partners for broader global coverage. And we’re extending Oracle B2B to support more business processes.

We’re also working to improve cash management, because understanding your cash position is one thing, but benefitting from it is another. We are working to help customers take advantage of cash-related opportunities with “continuous forecasting.” By consolidating the most current operational and financial information, Oracle Cloud ERP will help customers optimize working capital and plan for interest rate and debt reduction, covenant and key dates, and liquidity risk. Over the long term, this can help executives understand the impact of strategic business scenarios (e.g., mergers, acquisitions, new market entry, etc.), and provide visibility into liquidity ratios and debt covenant thresholds.

3. Modernizing back-office operations

Our vision for a modern back office includes an automated period-end financial close. Why? Because progress made toward that goal highlights other processes that need improvement, frees finance teams to focus on strategic initiatives, and gives executives a more up-to-date view of the business. We plan to capitalize on the availability of more current and accurate data by embedding financial pattern recognition and predictive capabilities to provide insights that aid decision-makers.

We also have plans to further improve employee expenses and reimbursements, one of the most visible back-office functions. For many years we’ve been committed to making it easy for employees, managers, and finance teams to fulfill this responsibility. Oracle Cloud ERP already features automated expense entry and submission with robust policy controls, exception management, smart routing for pre-authorization, and interim charges (e.g., tips, verifications). Now, we’re working to complement the existing, rules-based receipt matching for cash expenses with new, AI-based technology to make it even easier to submit, reconcile, approve, and pay expenses.

Make your voice heard

We are working to get these and other advances into your hands as quickly as possible. We've already announced the addition of 50+ new GenAI capabilities; to get the details, be sure to attend quarterly release webinars and product sessions on Oracle Cloud Customer Connect (OCCC). And remember, you can always submit—and vote—for feature ideas and requests in the OCCC forums.

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Fusion Development

The Fusion Development team is responsible for building, maintaining, and driving innovation on the Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite, which includes Oracle ERP, EPM, SCM, HCM, and CX. Its members are based throughout the world with central offices in the US, India, Mexico, The Philippines, and Romania.

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