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Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

The Power of HR and Finance Integration

According to a 2017 global survey, 35 percent of companies plan to create a shared finance and human resources (HR) integration within a year. Survey respondents said a closer finance and HR collaboration in the cloud is a strategic necessity for improvements in productivity and performance, promoting operational excellence, and accelerating innovation. However, the survey findings showed that while companies view finance and HR integration as a strategic necessity, many aren’t as agile as they need to be to transition to a digital business model.

To learn more about the power of integrating finance and HR functions, Oracle SMB asked our Twitter community to weigh in and share their insights with us. Here are the questions we asked and the answers we received.

Why should SMBs integrate Finance and HR? What do they gain from this one particular form of integration?

Deeper insights to the business connecting impact of talent on financial performance, budgeting and forecasting. Plus, ease of use, roles and security, less data management duplication.
– Mike Andrus (@_MikeAndrus), Oracle, Vice President of Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation

No man is an island. People and finance functions are intimately entwined. Think of the end-to-end business processes that are connected by changes in employee status, org structure, etc. Even routine changes can trigger downstream changes in access, approvals, privileges, business rules and more. As John Muir said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
– Steve Cox (@The_Steve_Cox), Oracle, Vice President of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

As people start and leave, better control over approval processes, system access privileges, etc. Nothing is worse than having a key process sit in an approval queue because someone forgot to flip a switch.
– Christiane Soto (@ChristianeSoto)

What are some examples of how a chance in HR policy, employee status, or organization structure can impact financial processes?

Organization changes, promotions, new hires, require new system access and approval levels. Integration streamlines these processes. Plus, labor cost is a large investment. Comp change, benefits eligibility, org span of control, all impact budget tracking. SMBs shouldn’t have to set up new reorganization cost centers in multiple systems and hope they match. Too much human error risk.
– Mike Andrus (@_MikeAndrus), Oracle, Vice President of Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation

Say the CIO moves on and there’s an IT-related PO that needs approval—you’d want it automatically rerouted. Perhaps you need to enforce a new expense policy in one department, e.g. video conferencing not flying. There are over 30 more HR and Finance touchpoints that you can check out.
– Steve Cox (@The_Steve_Cox), Oracle, Vice President of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

What role does a unified HR and Finance platform play in analytics and decision-making?

Powerful. With smaller teams, SMBs need integrated real-time, user-friendly analytics without manual data mapping between systems. Changes to workforce plans or changes to revenue forecasts should integrate across platform and drive efficient opportunities for SMBs.
– Mike Andrus (@_MikeAndrus), Oracle, Vice President of Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation

Critical. Imagine your employees starting the day with their own dashboard, with all of the Finance and HR data they need.
– Steve Cox (@The_Steve_Cox), Oracle, Vice President of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

A unified HR and finance platform allows both perspectives into the data analysis, which brings better long-term decisions.
– Mario Florio (@Luna12780)

It plays a pivotal role. It puts all the important data, seamlessly, in one location for your employees to view.
– @UrbanSuccess

A unified HR and Finance platform gives SMBs a clearer picture and provides better analytics for making decisions. A unified HR and Finance system means no corporate silos.
– Brian Moran (@BrianMoran), Award-winning Business Advisor and CEO of Brian Moran & Associates

Actionable data is the lifeblood of an SMB. To maintain high growth, you need profitability, and for that, you need data.
– Christiane Soto (@ChristianeSoto)

Fill in the blank: When Finance and HR work together, it helps my SMB improve _____________?

Insight to my business. Integrated reporting of talent and financial data shows impact of effective employee teams. Agility—speed of SMB to respond to external market factors increases wen strategic functions are aligned!
– Mike Andrus (@_MikeAndrus), Oracle, Vice President of Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation

Efficiency gains of between 3.5 and 10.5%: Decision-making and master of data across the business, rather than in silos.
– Steve Cox (@The_Steve_Cox), Oracle, Vice President of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

When finance and HR work together, it helps my SMB improve our bottom line!
– Brian Moran (@BrianMoran), Award-winning Business Advisor and CEO of Brian Moran & Associates

My observation: Finance + HR in SMB helps reduce risks mainly, can plan for newer ventures/investments.
– Chitra Chaudhuri (@ChitraChaudhuri)

When finance and HR work together, it helps my SMB improve “our direction, culture and financial strength.”
– Kapil Jekishan (@KapilJekishan)

What questions should you ask Financial and HR cloud application vendors as you go through the selection process?

Show me unified analytics—link team performance to impact on bottom line, and changes in forecast drive need for talent. Show me the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). How do standalone systems lower my TCO compared to the value of a unified solution?
– Mike Andrus (@_MikeAndrus), Oracle, Vice President of Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation

Show me your best practices. Are they digital? Do they leverage cloud, mobile, analytics, social, big data and more? If I need to leverage Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the future, will I be able to add those easily? How fast can I be up and running?
– Steve Cox (@The_Steve_Cox), Oracle, Vice President of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

How does this cloud app help my HR and financial team, as well as my other business departments, work together seamlessly?
– Mario Florio (@Luna12780)

Want a more in-depth look at finance and HR together? Download the MIT Technology Review research.

 

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