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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

5 reasons companies switch to Oracle for automating the close

Guest Author

By Tim Gaumont and Emma Yu, Oracle

These days, every finance department is expected to do more and do it faster, with fewer resources—all while producing reports and analyses of growing complexity and sophistication. And lately, they’ve been asked to do it all from the home office.

Some finance teams work harder and longer to get the work done—often at the expense of projects with long-term strategic goals, while also sacrificing their personal time. A better approach is to automate frustrating, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks—freeing up staff to handle the exceptions, analyses, and strategic initiatives that will move the business forward. 

Account reconciliation—a leading cause of delays in the financial close process—is a good candidate for automation. Today, it’s a highly manual process at most businesses because third-party sources such as banks and operational systems don’t provide automated validation to balance general ledger activity. Fortunately, moving to the cloud makes an easy job of automating account reconciliations—some companies move to the cloud in a matter of just a few weeks, quickly automating high-volume, labor-intensive reconciliations, executing transaction matching, and taking advantage of useful interactive dashboards.

The best account reconciliation solutions integrate seamlessly with the extended financial close process. This is where Oracle Cloud EPM outshines other alternatives. It’s also why many companies choose to switch to Oracle Cloud EPM from Blackline and Trintech. To date, hundreds of customers have made the switch from standalone reconciliation tools to Oracle Cloud EPM’s full-suite solution.

Here are their top reasons for moving:

  1. Robust support of the extended financial close: Narrowly-focused point solutions require custom integration with silo solutions from other vendors, introducing more risk and complexity—while a platform like Oracle Cloud EPM streamlines the entire financial close process. Many choose to switch to Oracle when they realize they’ll be better off with a solution that supports not just account reconciliation but consolidation, tax reporting, narrative reporting, planning, profitability/cost management, and enterprise data management.
  2. Scale with ROI: Many customers make the switch because they’re fed up with accumulated per-transaction costs and per-interface charges. At Oracle, we scale our systems with additional interfaces as well as reconciliations and transactions, but without the additional costs.
  3. Flexibility: While most point solutions take a rigid, cookie-cutter approach to account reconciliation, Oracle’s rules engine is based on a foundation of flexibility. You can select from pre-defined rules or expand to suit your company’s specific requirements. The same goes for analyzing the data. Each user can design a view that’s right for them—identifying and reporting the specific data they need, quickly and effortlessly.
  4. Lower total cost of ownership (TCO): With Oracle’s suite pricing, customers can access all EPM business processes through a single vendor, thereby minimizing both cost and complexity for data integration and integration across processes. Oracle’s customers are delighted when they realize our solution lowers overall TCO with the best-in-class breadth and depth of our EPM suite.
  5. Connected EPM processes: Strong, direct data integration—through features like pre-built cloud ERP integration and on-premises adapters—makes projects and processes more efficient, streamlined, and accurate. Once again, a single vendor for all EPM business processes is simply better: more cost effective, and less complex.

Customer successes

Here are the stories of just a few notable Oracle customers that decided to move on from account-reconciliation point solutions—and the benefits they experienced after switching to Oracle Cloud EPM.

Lyft cuts financial close in half

Rideshare powerhouse Lyft was looking to move on from its account reconciliation point solution; the company’s key concern was consolidating processes to give analysts a single place to retrieve data and get clear reporting while using the latest in analytics and visualization tools. Lyft uses Oracle Cloud EPM for its extended close, with the added benefit of a connected cloud ERP and EPM. The company has been able to reduce its financial close time by half so far and anticipates reducing it by much more as it continues its transformation. Says Lisa Blackwood-Kapral, Lyft’s CAO: “When I get data fast and get it into the hands of my stakeholders, they can really run with business decisions to grow the company, which is our ultimate goal and our north star.” For Lyft’s finance team, closing the books faster isn’t just a timesaver—democratizing data access means a path to overall strategic growth.

Western Digital sets a new standard

Western Digital, a leading provider of data storage for everything from mobile devices to autonomous cars, has grown significantly in recent years in part due to the merger of three Fortune 500-sized companies—Western Digital, SanDisk, and HGST. When Western Digital looked across all three companies, they found duplicate cost centers, three IT departments, three HR departments, and more than 2,000 separate applications—including different ones used for account reconciliation, forecasting and planning, and reporting. Rather than try to move data onto one system from the other two, Western Digital decided to take the opportunity to reimagine its business in the cloud. Part of that transformation included implementing the full suite of Oracle Cloud EPM applications across the organization to gain standardized, streamlined processes.

“We have been able to consolidate applications, automate key financial workflows, and radically improve productivity. Oracle has been the catalyst for change.” — Steve Philpott, CIO, Western Digital

“We had one gentleman who, once his time was freed up, started looking into how he could leverage AI to provide data to our executives about our top customers—on which customers we have opportunities to re-engage with to get more value out of the relationship.”—Bill Roy, Head of Business Analytics & Enterprise Architecture at Western Digital

Value and innovation

Healthcare insurer EmblemHealth decided to make a sweeping change in favor of lowering the company’s total cost of ownership—replacing its point solutions and moving to Oracle EPM’s full suite, implemented by Cognizant. By consolidating financial, HR, and supply chain processes on Oracle Cloud, EmblemHealth anticipates reducing overall operating costs by an estimated $700,000 a year, while also projecting minimum IT savings of 30% over the next five years. In addition to these direct savings, EmblemHealth has reduced its processing time from three days to less than three hours, freeing up time for more complex analyses.

From weeks to days

NCS Multistage is a global provider of highly-engineered product and support services that help oil and gas operators to optimize their operations. NCS Multistage replaced its account reconciliation point solution and Oracle Hyperion on-premises applications with Oracle Cloud EPM. The company shaved its month-end process down from weeks to mere days—across multiple entitles with varying charts of accounts. With direct integration into Oracle Cloud ERP, NCS can now drill down into source data‚ an impossible feat prior to Oracle. Today, NCS relies on a single system of record across all EPM processes, which are now seamlessly connected. The company has confidence in their numbers because they can tie them back to the data, thanks to the unlimited transaction matching provided by Oracle, along with EPMI’s implementation services.

A wealth of benefits

Whether moving from spreadsheets or point solution tools, switching to Oracle for account reconciliation delivers a wealth of benefits—only some of which we’ve touched on here. Additional customer benefits include improved monitoring, more value from working from home, and enhanced data analytics.

Oracle Cloud EPM’s automation and seamless processing help your workforce to get more done. Rather than grappling with time-consuming, repetitive tasks, your team can now focus its expertise on exceptions, analyses, and high-level objectives—analyzing new business opportunities, developing business plans, and designing strategic initiatives for long-term growth and a competitive advantage.

Learn more about Oracle Cloud EPM Account Reconciliation.

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