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The Modern Finance Organization

Chief financial officers can meet today’s business challenges with ERP in the cloud.

August 2015

Finance organizations have come under pressure to play a more strategic role in their businesses, shifting from a traditional role of merely providing transactional support to instead providing more-valuable information and decision-making to the organizations they serve. As companies cut costs, efficiency is essential to improve the top and bottom lines.

In this new environment, chief financial officers (CFOs) are expected to widen their capabilities and play a more direct role in planning, forecasting, reporting, and managing risk, as well as driving profitable growth. KPMG’s Oracle Cloud Technology Leader John Doel discusses how cloud solutions can help CFOs drive competitive advantage in the marketplace.

How can technology help CFOs with today’s business challenges?

Better analytics can help equip the CFO to affect enterprise-level decisions, both from financial and operational efficiency perspectives. Organizations today seek to share critical data among business operations to manage costs and unify company strategy. Leading CFOs recognize that it’s time to transform finance by seeking ways to modernize their enterprise resource planning (ERP), integrate their systems, and simplify their organizations through the cloud. What role does the cloud play? According to a recent Gartner study, 84 percent of CFOs surveyed said that half their company’s transactions will be delivered through software as a service (SaaS) in the next four or more years. Simply put, if you are not already thinking about SaaS for your company, you are already lagging behind the competition. Moving finance to the cloud is about using cloud technology to transform and simplify finance, going beyond cost reduction to accelerate decision-making, enable access to accurate data, simplify financial processes, and improve agility and precision.

What are the benefits of ERP in the cloud?

SaaS applications provide access to accurate, real-time data and insights for a more complete picture of the business, helping employees make better, faster decisions and respond to change, and helping organizations forecast with greater precision, and potentially close their books faster. SaaS offers a configurable, flexible platform—as the business changes, you can engage only the capabilities you need. SaaS can potentially replace on-premise systems, creating an opportunity to shift from capital expenditures to operational expenditures. SaaS model automation can potentially reduce finance and information technology labor costs. SaaS offers automated governance, risk and compliance (GRC). Finally, SaaS offers ongoing updates and application feature enhancements. You’re always on the latest versions, with current features and functionality.


John Doel, Oracle Cloud Technology Leader, KPMG


How can finance organizations get started?

Cloud migration requires careful planning. Your business case should include a thorough review of current risks, opportunities, and organizational strategic direction— with an eye to adoption of leading practices and enabling the business workplace and workforce of the future. This means considering changes to the finance operating model, core process delivery strategy, and roles and responsibilities necessary to maximize the value of the SaaS application.

Why has KPMG chosen to work with Oracle’s ERP cloud solution?

The partnership between KPMG and Oracle is a natural one because Oracle has made a deep commitment to investing in the industries we serve. The unique breadth of Oracle’s cloud product offerings and market-leading applications gives us the ability to provide a holistic cloud-based solution to our clients, which ultimately reduces implementation and ongoing maintenance risk, and increases the value of a cloud-based platform adoption investment. Additionally, our close partnership allows us to provide our clients with an optimized and simplified way to adopt cloud technologies and help them achieve real business value.

What are KPMG’s offerings in this space?

KPMG’s Powered Enterprise solution offers our clients the benefits of a transformative migration to the Oracle Cloud application platform, with the timeliness that comes from using a prebuilt solution based on leading practices to optimize the entire business function, not just the application.

By adopting Oracle Cloud Applications using our KPMG Powered Enterprise solution, clients can benefit from

  • Higher certainty of outcome: From day one you know what the prebuilt system will entail and how it will integrate with your requirements.
  • Lower risk: The core system has been successfully tested and deployed, unlike implementations started from scratch.
  • Faster process: Adapting a small portion of the system is faster and less disruptive to the business.
  • Experience and insight: Our systems combine the tried and tested insight from KPMG’s finance, technology, tax, and audit practices with the technology expertise of Oracle.
  • Lower cost: You benefit from cost savings, both at implementation and in the longer term.

Five key value opportunities

Software as a service (SaaS) can help you build the finance organization of tomorrow. As you move forward, consider five key value opportunities:

  1. Marketplace advantage. Will SaaS-enabled finance enable you to better predict trends? Nimbly respond to change? Tap analytics that answer key questions better and faster than competitors?
  2. Increasing productivity. How can SaaS improve access to accurate, reliable financial information and enable better decisions about the business? Examine the benefits of using the cloud to automate transactional processes, improve the strategic contribution of the finance function, optimize reporting, and streamline compliance.
  3. Enabling human resources (collaboration). Social, mobile, and analytical technologies are revolutionizing communications. Think about how the modernization of your financial systems can position your organization as an employer of choice, support high-potential employees, and build leaders.
  4. Improving business efficiency and quality. Through automation, consolidation, and analytics, a SaaS model can improve the overall performance of finance, while simplifying the complexity and inefficiency of legacy on-premises systems. In your organization, can SaaS applications eliminate fragmented or aging systems? Reduce headcount and overall transactions?
  5. Reducing total cost of ownership. Similarly, consider the potential of SaaS applications to lower the overall cost of your finance infrastructure. A cloud model reduces the need for IT support—while streamlining the IT portfolio of hardware and software. SaaS can also help control capital outlays for ERP upgrades and reimplementations, while reducing costs associated with traditional software licensing.

Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates.

This advertorial was originally published in the August 2015 edition of Profit.



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