By Edward Roske, CEO, ArganoInterRel
The pandemic put both the economy and corporate viability into a state of upheaval. It exposed vulnerability in a way not seen since the financial crisis of 2008. Sadly, many companies did not survive 2020 because they lacked the financial reporting tools to help them respond quickly during unprecedented times.
Billion-dollar bankruptcies among American companies hit a record high last year, with many citing pandemic-related factors as a cause. Of course, many were in financial trouble before the world came unhinged, but their inability to change course quickly sealed their fate, leaving a wake of lost profits, customers and jobs.
Yet there were also plenty of examples of how companies leaned into agility as never before, responding quickly to supply-chain upheaval, frightened workforces, and increasing digital demands from customers.
These companies had the right enterprise performance management (EPM) tools and expertise to quickly assess their current financial situation, then plan and budget for the various scenarios that could potentially play out. Speed and agility are unequivocal necessities in times of business disruption.
Companies that don’t have immediate answers to the above questions are likely struggling to adapt to post-disruption realities. And they probably lack the financial clarity needed to prioritize technology investments, which means they risk falling further behind—especially as companies make rapid moves toward adopting robotic process automation.
A digital renaissance is upon us and it demands deep transformation. What’s the #1 priority we’ve heard from CFOs? They don’t want to weather the next storm by sheer force of willpower, people power, or spreadsheet power. They want to redo their entire planning system, integrating sophisticated scenario planning with strategic forecasting. They’re demanding financial dashboards, narrative reporting, and automated consolidations. They now live in a world where real-time reporting is required, not just desired. No longer can they wait weeks into the next period to find out what happened in the last one. The world is changing too fast.
These companies recognize that the role of finance is changing, as well. Finance and accounting executives are no longer backward-looking documenters of what happened in the past. Budgets are ways to get departments to commit to a different path. Income statements should drive actions, and every report should lead to deeper questions. A finance team’s work doesn’t stop when they hand over a profit-and-loss statement. That’s when their job starts. And that means EPM, AI, and other cloud-based solutions must support them as they take on these challenges. Computers need to take over the grunt work that still bogs down too many FP&A teams.
Automation is going to prepare the first draft of a budget, including best and worst-case scenarios. After Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM produces these outputs, that’s when conversations begin about what to do next. As finance leaders are finally liberated from the tedious task of making sure data is loading accurately (which isn’t even what they’re trained in) they can finally focus on analysis. Working with the rest of the organization, they can begin to tell the story of the company’s successful future.
These higher-level skills are essential for companies that want to lead in this digital renaissance, and they help in our mission: to fulfill the promise of the digital renaissance for all.
At ArganoInterRel, our sole purpose is to help clients make the most of their EPM technology, providing immediate financial insights to quickly make informed decisions that ensure they not just survive, but thrive. Our long track record in EPM implementations, our people, expertise, industry focus, and client investments separate us from other system integrators.
With in-depth, real-life financial process and system expertise, we help companies keep pace in a stable economic climate, proactively plan, and adapt when turbulence occurs. And we’re gratified to see that, among Oracle Cloud EPM customers, fast scenario planning, budgets and forecasting are becoming the norm.
The global pandemic made many organizations acknowledge something they should have been paying closer attention to for years: speed and agility are the most valuable skills a company can have. Is your company going to out-accelerate the rest? Are you going to be a disrupter? Or are you in a pre-2020 mindset, struggling with a lack of integrated reporting, long, manual data consolidation processes, and the inability to conduct “if/then” scenarios in a world of unknowns?
Business leaders who can make decisions faster can move quicker. The companies that make changes to better support customers and outpace their competitors will be the ones that both survive and thrive. EPM is the magic bullet that helps easily assess what did happen, what is happening, and what is going to happen.
More About ArganoInterRel
ArganoInterRel delivers agile and accelerated planning, budgeting, consolidation and close solutions propelled by real-time analytics that enable a faster, more flexible strategic approach to financial management.