For many years, CFOs were burdened with antiquated finance systems that had one core focus, closing the books and producing a set of historical financial statements for the month.
In many companies, finance and operational systems, such as manufacturing, customer service, payroll, time and expense and project accounting were run on completely different platforms. This created significant silos of information that too often could not be easily combined into a unified view of the company.
For any type of ad hoc or operational reporting, CFOs had to rely heavily on the IT department that was tasked with maintaining, supporting and backing up all of these disparate systems. Too often IT was far too busy to be able to turn around these requests in a critical time frame.
How did finance respond? Spreadsheets. However, too often these spreadsheets were filled with errors.
In fact, Ventana Research estimated that thirty five percent (35%) of all spreadsheets used in corporate finance had errors. You can download the full Ventana Research report here.
With the advent of new tools and technologies available through cloud accounting, the role of the CFO has transformed from a reporter of past results to a strategic resource. How ?
- Real Time Insights – cloud accounting systems are real time, providing up to the minute data
- Seamless Integration – all critical operational system feed data into the finance systems in real time so that all operational results and metrics can be seen at all times
- Robust , User Driven Reporting – financial and ad hoc reporting tools are easy to use and enable finance users to easily develop critical management reporting
- Workflows – help streamline previously inefficient manual processes and reduce errors
- Dashboards and KPIs – provide real-time metrics for Board level and upper management, so that the CFO can proactively inform, rather than reactively respond.
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