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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Why Finance Needs to Be More Mobile

The benefits of mobile-device use come in many forms in digital enterprises. From touchless expense reporting to sales teams providing better customer support, mobile applications are connecting hundreds of millions of employees to their employers’ processes every day. 

Enterprise-specific mobile apps are on a tear, with estimates that there now are 4x more than there were in 2014. And by 2017, 25% of enterprises will have their own apps stores for managing corporate-sanctioned apps, according to Gartner. Some of the most common corporate-sanctioned apps fall under travel and expense reporting and in-field sales enablement. 

Taking a step back from apps, though, one can see how mobile capabilities are benefiting enterprises in other meaningful ways. For example, when ERP providers extend their solutions to tablets, companies can add new and powerful capabilities to their ERP system, such as fast interactive analysis on demand. 

What ERP Cloud Means for Mobile

At Oracle, our ERP expertise goes back to before mobile was even “a thing,” so we fully understand that much of the finance department’s focus is on having efficient processes that deliver accurate financial information. To help support the efficiency objective, we’ve built mobile apps where it makes sense—for example, expense reporting that allows users to report with voice recognition, a photo of a receipt, or a download of credit card data. And with our focus on modernizing ERP through cloud delivery, we’re capitalizing on what mobile can do in other ways.

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For example, tasks within various applications can be optimized for mobile use without creating separate apps. Actions such as procurement requests can be automatically sent to the designated reviewer/approver, and this person can quickly review the request on any device and move it along to the next step without waiting until they are back in the office.

Also, Oracle Financials Cloud users can access financial data anytime, anywhere with our tablet-optimized Mobile Financial Reporting Center. Recognizing that many financial professionals are working at desks, Oracle has concentrated on tablet optimization. It’s common for people to use multiple devices as they work, and we know financial professionals are more likely than most to be using computers for heavy workloads while using tablets for tasks like data visualization and interactive reporting.

In fact, we’ve only just begun when it comes to innovative ways to use tablets to further streamline and augment digital reporting and data accessibility for financial professionals. For example, companies can gain real-time visibility to financial reports and actively perform account monitoring anytime and anywhere with Mobile Financial Reporting Center.

An additional benefit is better employee retention, as ERP designed with mobile in mind creates a more fulfilling work experience. In particular, younger employees entering the workforce have little patience for employers that don’t provide the mobile-enabled experiences they are used to. 

Prepare for Adoption of Mobile Solutions

Take a look at your existing ERP system. Before asking, “How can we get better at mobile?” ask, “How can we improve how we use ERP?” If you find that a lot of energy goes into fighting fires caused by inefficient or disconnected ERP, then you aren’t ready to focus on mobile. 

When you are looking for a new ERP system, use these “mobile-in-mind” questions to vet potential vendors:

  1. What is the cloud provider’s experience and roadmap developing innovative mobile solutions, as well as their long-term viability as a company?
  2. Do they provide a comprehensive mobile platform that allows your organization to build mobile applications and easily connect them to your ERP system?
  3. Does the vendor’s mobile platform provide secure access and connections to the ERP system, and manage secure user access and preferences?

It would be wonderful if all of the work that finance departments do could be boiled down into one app. Nonetheless, mobile capabilities that are built into a modern financial cloud solution can provide a rich and engaging experience, in addition to helping organize data and control access to it.

Just because there’s not “an app for that,” doesn’t mean financial processes can’t benefit from mobility.

To get a closer look at our mobile capabilities—and the tablet-optimized interfaces—check out The Top Reasons Why Controllers Choose Oracle Financials Cloud

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