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Finance | June 15, 2017

How Finance Teams Are Profiting From Cloud Automation

By: Linda Currey Post

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(Originally published on Forbes)

Forward-thinking business leaders are automating their companies' financial processes end to end. They're depending less on standalone spreadsheets, while streamlining account reconciliations, shortening the monthly close, and freeing their financial experts to spend more time on strategic matters. The time that automation gives back "is the most essential resource that any organization has," says Steve Cox, Oracle vice president for ERP and EPM Cloud. That is, when finance teams reduce the time they spend gathering and organizing their data, they can spend more time analyzing it to "make significantly better decisions."

That's the case at Australian investment services company ClearView Wealth, whose adoption of the Oracle ERP powerful reporting platform allowed the finance team to shift its focus to analytical work, says Louise Hulley, head of financial management and operations.

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ClearView's finance staff used to compile a wide range of reports manually to meet changing regulatory requirements, a time-consuming and onerous process. Now, with the Oracle cloud service, the IT department has fewer on-premises systems to manage and the finance group has simplified its reporting processes, leaving them more time to focus on business opportunities, Hulley says. A bonus of the new cloud service: "It minimized IT costs, which is critical for a small company like us," she says.

The Numbers Add Up

Taiwan's KuoBrothers, a popular online retailer of more than 5,000 discounted food, fashion, and lifestyle products, is using Oracle ERP Cloud to cut in half the time its finance staffers spend on month-end closings.

KuoBrothers' financial team can now close the books on the 5th rather than the 10th of each month, and with real-time visibility into all of the company's ledgers, it can spot problems earlier, leaving plenty of time for resolution, says cofounder Andy Kuo.

Dubai-based Access Power, one of the fast-growing independent power producers in emerging African and Asian markets, chose Oracle ERP Cloud to automate the reconciliation of financial data coming in from operations in many different countries, each one with its own regulations and accounting practices. It's also improving the accuracy of reports to the management team, and helping the company track costs better.

Oracle ERP Cloud gives Access Power the flexibility "to manage both the complex development and ongoing operation of new sustainable energy plants—greatly facilitating our growth plans," says Umair Junaid, Access Power head of finance.

Today's companies just don't have the time and resources to spend most of their finance resources on gathering and reporting data, Oracle's Cox says. Instead, they want to draw insights from that data that they can turn into a competitive advantage.

Linda Currey Post is a senior writer at Oracle.

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