Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

How to Strategically Connect Finance and HR in the Cloud

Guest Author

By Grant Kieckhaefer, EPR EPM Product Marketing, Oracle

How well do your finance and HR teams work together?

If you’re like most organizations, you recognize how important it is for finance and HR to collaborate closely. But all too often, silos get in the way—whether technical or organizational. As the world struggles to come to grips with new ways of working in today’s economic climate, breaking down these silos is more urgent than ever. 

In a new CFO.com webinar, experts from Nucleus Research and Oracle explain why connecting these two lines of businesses in the cloud is a strategic necessity—not just a pathway to cost reduction. They also explain how emerging technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) can create productivity gains and reduce manual intervention. 

Benefits of unified HR and finance 

Silos reduce collaboration and productivity. Finance and HR share many of the same goals, such as adhering to budgets and aligning the workforce to company strategy. It makes sense that they should be connected to reduce the amount of manual work to be done. A single, connected cloud for finance and HR can give you the opportunity to automate manual tasks and focus on more strategic goals. And while automation reduces the burden on finance and HR employees, a cloud delivery model frees up IT staff from routine maintenance and customizations.  

The cloud can also increase employee satisfaction by providing a modern user experience. Today’s workforce expects the software they use at work to be as easy and familiar as what they use on their mobile phones. If your technology hasn’t been updated in the past five to ten years, it can feel like you’re stepping into a time machine when you go to work. One cloud for finance and HR means your employees can enjoy a modern, real-time, and simple user experience. 

Enhance collaboration between business and IT

In today’s workforce the role of IT has become central. If you’re running on old legacy systems, you run the risk of restricting growth. Simplifying IT with a single cloud suite can make the relationship between IT and lines of business easier to manage. According to Nucleus Research, when organizations move to cloud, they find that collaboration dynamics improve. IT doesn’t need to focus most of their time on maintenance. Instead, they can be more strategic partners with the lines of business, creating a mindset of continuous innovation. The cloud provides constant updates to keep applications fresh and maintained, while IT and the business can focus on more strategic goals together.

The competitive advantage of AI and machine learning

One thing is clear: businesses do not want to do "science experiments" with AI and machine learning. They want new technology embedded in the user experience. AI and machine learning help automate tasks across finance and HR, helping these teams to do certain tasks more efficiently or remove human intervention where it’s not needed. 

One use case for AI and machine learning is processing invoices. Right now, the average company can process scanned invoices with 45%-60% accuracy. With machine learning, you can use intelligent document recognition that learns and adapts to automatically fill in certain parts of invoices and detect where human intervention is required. Intelligent document recognition can raise invoice accuracy to 80%-90% or more, giving more time back to your employees to work on other tasks. Creating productivity gains and reducing human interaction is where AI and machine learning are adding value.

Benefits of moving to cloud

One benefit of adopting cloud is the opportunity to break up the status quo. Many organizations today have legacy systems with a multitude of customizations. These customized processes create inefficiencies and barriers to collaboration. When adopting a unified cloud, finance and HR have the chance to take a step back and look at new best practices—practices that are more efficient and that won’t break during software upgrades. This is a major opportunity to rethink unproductive processes rather than copy and paste them to the cloud. Nucleus Research finds that when new best practices are implemented, employee productivity goes up. Complex processes that only a few employees knew how to perform are now simpler—open to a wide range of workers who can add value. Having a change management mindset is an opportunity for everyone involved to have a stake in a new, better way of doing things.

Learn how to be more competitive with connected finance and HR. Watch the webcast.

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