The Role of the Finance Department in the COVID-19 Economy
Author: Brian Somers
We are now in a situation where the most up to date information needs to be at the fingertips of key decision makers across all sectors.
There’s no mistaking that what has happened in the last few months has rocked every business to the core, putting significant challenges in the way of organisations that could not have been predicted six months ago. Now more than ever, information needs to be on decision makers desks or laptops on time. It also needs to be accurate and precise and available at the click of a button to make fast decisions.
For example, I may need to make a decision as to which projects to keep or which to drop but to make that decision I need to be able to see the capex spend, projected forward for the next 12 months. I can see the Capex spend at a high level in my monthly reports but to make a more informed decision I may need to look at the detail. This may require another report or analyses which would require more requests for data from different people who may or may not be available. All of this slows down the whole process, leaving delays and possible costly and incorrect decisions.
Technology – the potential saviour
With today’s modern technology this problem goes away. Having integrated Enterprise Performance Management systems allow for nightly and hourly updates and enable Finance departments to be the enabler for decisions instead of the bottleneck due to the fact that all relevant data needs to be extracted from source systems, reconciled, consolidated and reported on leading to untimely delays and confusion.
There are four tenets that I believe the Finance department needs to have in a technology solution in order to be an enabler instead of just a provider of information. These are:
Finance need to be able to have access to purpose-built solutions for every business process. All these processes will be seamlessly connected for complete alignment — within finance and with operational LOBs – for agility across the organization. For example, Finance need to have technology that seamlessly connects with core ERP systems for 360-degree integration and insights
Finance should adopt one common platform to enable these decisions to be made, addressing all your needs — across financial and operational planning, consolidation and close, reporting, and analysis processes. This platform should enable best practices that can be configured to that organisations specific needs.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to redefine Finance. These capabilities will help our organisations drive better decisions through analytic insights and automated manual processes.
BEST IN CLASS
Any technology solution consistently should top the analyst rankings and be the recognised industry leader.
The more timely, accurate and detailed insight that Finance can give to your organisation the more the Finance department can help to overcoming the uncertainty we have today with the COVID-19 crisis. In these difficult times a clear picture of it your organisations data can be realized with the right EPM Cloud solution. There are barriers to overcome when running the business, such as organisational communication and reporting, but with the right EPM Cloud solution, you can make major strides in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis for your business.
Click here to register to our webinar on Friday 17th April at 10am about the role of the Finance Department in the COVID-19 economy.
About the Author
Brian Somers is currently a Technology Advocate for EPM and BI for Codec helping organisations adopt the correct solutions to improve and enhance their Enterprise Performance Management and Business Intelligence functions. Brian has worked for Codec for 28 years advising on technologies such as Oracle/Hyperion, Infor, SAP and Microsoft in multiple industries including Finance, Manufacturing, Transport, Local Government, Aircraft Leasing, Insurance and Education.