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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

How can financial processes be improved after 2020?

Guest Author

By Navneet Goel, Managing Partner and Executive Vice President, Inspirage

2020 created unprecedented challenges for everyone, including finance teams that had to, for the first time, perform much of their work remotely. This major on-the-fly adjustment to telecommuting compounded longstanding issues with financial processes.

According to a Forrester Consulting survey of 336 IT and finance executives around the world, 90% of respondents reported problems with their close process in 2020. The most common stumbling blocks included:

  • Error-prone manual processesFlagged by 44% of survey takers, these types of activities, often revolving around spreadsheets and complex patchworks of other software, slow down financial operations and often require rework.
  • Overly complex ERP systems: Using multiple ERPs from disparate vendors can easily lead to confusion, siloed processes and difficulties collaborating across teams.
  • Not enough bandwidth for strategic projects: Many CFOs spent more time tracking down financial information across complicated ERP environments (17% of their work weeks, per the Forrester survey) than they did on business strategy (only 12%).

These challenges aren’t limited to the financial close. For many companies, financial processes are not yet automated or standardized, leading to time-consuming data entry (and re-entry) for reconciliations, reclassifications and adjustments.

Dealing with corrupted and/or outdated data is another hurdle, since the various systems involved may not be updated in real-time. Finance teams might not know what’s being spent until they’re reviewing documents during the close itself—at which point they might still be waiting on assets from other departments and needing to re-check them for accuracy.

Finance departments must contend, not only with these deep-seated issues, but also with lingering uncertainty about how long it will take to recover from the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, there are reliable tools to help companies with these challenges.

Building better financial processes for the 2020s

Better financial processes require automation and new, advanced capabilities. A cloud-based ERP can be transformative. It can help you automate and modernize business processes across the board, reducing complexity and lowering your costs. If you’re in the market for a new ERP, look for these key features:

A complete solution from the start

Ramping up with Oracle Fusion Cloud is more straightforward than with more complex, multi-vendor setups, which usually require extensive consulting before end users can do anything beyond using a starter kit or template. Having a comprehensive platform from the get-go gives users power and also saves money.

Intelligent automation

The automation capabilities of Oracle Cloud applications helps you streamline processes across both cloud and on-premise ERP solutions. Configurable rules and automatically applied accounting logic reduce the risk of human error while speeding up the finance team’s day-to-day work.

Flexibility to accommodate change

Financial processes are always evolving in response to changes in the business environment. Events like the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the importance of having an agile finance solution that can quickly support new models as needed.

Overall, Oracle Cloud ERP gives you better reporting and analysis, more efficient processes and more automation. It also provides a more complete view of the business, thanks to features like the accounting hub and enterprise data management. If your new Cloud ERP is running alongside older ERP systems, it can harmonize all that data into a single general ledger—and it can easily scale to support more legal entities, subsidiaries and new acquisitions.

As an experienced and recognized Oracle partner, Inspirage has the expertise to guide your ERP deployment. Contact our team to learn more about how to get started on the path to superior financial process improvements.

Learn more about Oracle Cloud ERP.

Navneet Goel is a managing partner and executive vice president of Inspirage. He is responsible for managing and growing the value chain practice. Navneet is a leading expert in the field of supply chain management with experience in design, development, implementation, and support of large-scale global supply chain solutions for Global Fortune 500 firms in various SCM areas.

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