By Daniel Fortenko, Product Marketing Manager, Oracle
On March 10, 2021, Oracle announced that we had closed our books and reported Q3FY21 earnings for the third consecutive quarter in just 10 days after the period end—faster than any other S&P 500 company. Our finance teams are making strides toward an ambitious vision of a 1 day close, and ultimately, an automated close where the focus will be on touchless transactions and accounting.
A quicker close provides Oracle with the advantage of getting timely, accurate information into the hands of decision-makers to facilitate enhanced, real-time decision making and business course correction where required, as well as staying ahead of trends. Additionally, our finance employees have more time to focus on strategic projects and initiatives, such as exploring innovative business models and streamlining M&A activities. When a fully automated close is realized, financial accounts and related data will be updated in real-time, enabling instant reporting that facilitates faster and more informed business and financial decisions.
With Oracle Cloud ERP we are now filing our quarterly and annual financial statements faster than any other company in the S&P 500." – Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle
Oracle’s customers are harnessing the same powerful, single-data model cloud, that allows our finance teams to continuously enhance business processes. In the case of managing the financial close, we:
In a recent virtual event, Maria Smith, Oracle Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller, discussed the value of closing faster than the competition.
“If you report to the street in 10 days, you’re spending the rest of your quarter on your future and on improvements,” says Maria. “We know some of our competitors report in 45 days, which means they’re spending half of the quarter on what happened in the past. And it’s not just within finance – it’s focusing on the past across the entire company.”
With Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications, quarterly updates help improve the close process and generate impressive results—which, for Oracle, has resulted in the following streamlined efficiencies:
Paul Doyle and Anna Clare, senior finance executives at Oracle, recently highlighted a few of the updates that are powering new efficiencies in the key area of cash management/reconciliation and cash flow forecasting.
Because Oracle is on the same cloud applications, our customers have the opportunity to work directly with us on future updates.
“We’re spending more and more time with our customers,” says Maria. “The additional time that we spent on closing our books we now invest in sharing best practices with our customers and learning more from them. We listen to the challenges they have experienced, and, together, we brainstorm on how to fix them and make things better.”
In fact, customers have helped add hundreds of new features over the years.
“We have no customizations. All the feedback that we share with product development is also valid for every single customer,” adds Maria. “We are working together on all the ideas that will get us to a fully automated and continuous close.”
Oracle’s finance team is already working on future enhancements that will bring them closer to their goal. Among the list of planned updates, are: