Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Change Agents of Finance Awards, Part II

In my last post I shared details on the launch of the Oracle Change Agents of Finance Awards, and gave an overview of three award categories: the Fast Finance Award, the Top Talent Award, and the Oracle Billion Dollar Story Honorary Award. These awards celebrate individuals and/or teams who have leveraged Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud to solve business problems, drive growth and spur innovation at their respective organizations.

Now I’d like to share with you details on three more exciting awards we’ve created to honor change agents in finance who know the value of getting real-time information quickly into the hands of decision-makers, and use cloud technologies to enable that: 

  • The Modern Close Award
  • The Crystal Ball Award 
  • Roll With It Award

The Modern Close Award

Do you consider yourself a master of the close process? If so, you’ll be used to streamlining close processes and running them in parallel to your other operations. And you recognize the value of closing the books as quickly as possible, to get the right data into the hands of decision-makers as soon as possible.

With this award, we’re looking for some truly world-class close processes, typically those taking 5 days or less. But the award is also open to those who have reduced their close times by a large percentage.  Just make sure your Modern Close Award submission meets the following criteria:

  • Significant reduction in days to close the books. According to the American Productivity & Quality Center, reducing the close process by two days increases the resources available for other high priority projects by 24 days a year.   
  • Significant reduction in the number of chart of accounts, to reduce or eliminate account reconciliations.
  • “Ruthless standardization” to ensure that the close process is repeatable, predictable, and scalable.
  • Strong governance and data management processes in place to ensure data quality.

The Crystal Ball Award

Perhaps you remember gathering around a Magic 8 Ball toy and asking it to predict your future based on 20 preset answers, which ranged from “outlook good” to “my sources say no”.  Today’s FP&A professionals can run hundreds of different statistical permutations to evaluate the impact of strategic bets, and they don’t rely on toys or gut instincts to make decisions. Rather, they use the predictive analytics in Oracle EPM Cloud applications to mitigate risk and maximize the probability of success.

The Crystal Ball Award honors a Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) professional who knows how to leverage data-driven insights to guide the business forward with confidence.  Winners will have demonstrated the ability to analyze structured data from enterprise systems, and unstructured sources such as social media chatter, sensor data, and geospatial information, then take those insights and turn them into revenue-generating engines for the business.

The Crystal Ball Award recognizes outstanding achievement by a FP&A professional, based on the following criteria:

  • Winners will have leveraged advanced analytics to continuously refine and test the business model and strengthen finance’s impact on business outcomes  
  • Winners will have ensured that everyone is making decisions based on the same source of high-quality data
  • Winners will have invested in the right design and tools (dashboards, visualization tools, mobile BI, etc.) to deliver right-time insights to decision makers 

The Roll With It Award

Let the good times roll…. until interest rates rise, commodity or currency prices shift, or some other market uncertainty threatens to overshadow your profitability. The Roll With It Award is all about a team that plans at the speed of light, re-forecasting in response to change, developing new forecasts quickly, and using best practice methodologies like driver-based rolling forecasts to keep pace with business needs.   

The Roll With It Award honors the team that has significantly increased its agility using the continuous planning functionality in Oracle EPM Cloud to adopt a rolling forecast model. Special consideration will be given to organizations that use EPM Cloud to:

  • Significantly reduce the use of manual spreadsheets in the planning process
  • Speed response time to market challenges or opportunities using drive-based rolling forecasts (case studies welcome)
  • Exploit  the “wisdom of crowds” to drive planning across the extended enterprise

Calling All Change Agents!

If you think that you, your team, or even someone you know is transforming the finance function in one of these areas, we want to hear from you!  Here’s how to get started:

Oracle OpenWorld. If you plan to attend Oracle OpenWorld, visit us at ERP Central at Moscone West for more details on how to nominate yourself or someone you know. Kiosks will be available to submit nominations onsite.

Online. Submit a nomination online, and check back frequently to review peer submissions across all ten categories.  As we get closer to the Modern Finance Experience in Boston, April 11-13, 2017, you will want to cast your vote for your favorite submissions across all ten categories. 

Winners will be honored by Oracle CEO and head of finance Safra Catz and her finance executive team at the Modern Finance Experience. The submissions with the most compelling submissions and the most votes across the Oracle global finance user community will win (only one vote per person, per category is allowed), so sharpen your pencils and get ready as I explore in Part III of this blog series the last four categories honoring finance change agents worldwide:

  • Better Together   
  • Shared Services Superstar
  • Frugal Finance Award
  • Procure-to-Payday Award

Be the first to comment

Comments ( 0 )
Please enter your name.Please provide a valid email address.Please enter a comment.CAPTCHA challenge response provided was incorrect. Please try again.