The marketplace for middle-market companies is changing rapidly due to several factors, including evolving technology, globalization and increased merger and acquisition activity. We consistently find a strong correlation between companies that are thriving and those that have a continuous improvement culture, especially in the finance function. It is now a requirement for the finance function to anticipate change and adapt to fluctuating customer and market demands.
Organizations often can’t make informed business decisions, because meaningful data is not available in a timely manner. We have a lot of data available to us but turning that data into usable information is often a challenge. Many ERP applications do not have robust reporting tools, organizations are lacking in training or data is needed from multiple sources. To solve that issue, we often see Excel utilized for complex reporting, while a great tool, when used appropriately, it doesn’t create real-time reporting.
Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software applications automate your reporting processes and enable companies to define, analyze and execute strategic goals relative to finances, operations, business modeling, analysis and key performance indicators. CPM tools typically reduce the reporting process by 50-70%.
Some of the benefits typically include:
- Reducing/eliminating manual efforts to prepare reports
- Reducing risk of incorrect calculations in spreadsheets
- Reconciling to ERP/data sources, reduces risk of incorrect data
- Consolidations, intercompany matching, allocations, eliminations, currency conversions
- Single version of the truth
- Allows time for analysis
- Delivery of more timely information
- Supporting the strategic direction of the business
Aligning your people, process and technology allows you to have confidence in the numbers, timelines, visibility and intelligence that is being reported.
Prior to implementing a CPM solution utilizing a software selection methodology will help guarantee the appropriate tool for your organization, it’s a good practice to consider:
- Strategy of CPM, what are the various type of data upon which you’ll report
- What applications will need to be integrated? Are APIs available?
- Review the current types of reports, step away from the “way we’ve always done it,” and what is really need to make decisions
- Match financial and operational data to strategic goals for reporting/monitoring
- What kinds of technology will our user’s use? Dashboards are great, but some prefer standard reports.
Modernizing reporting will allow you a synthesize data to information in a timely manner and to make informed decisions. Utilizing tools in lieu of manual reports is another step towards elevating the office of the CFO from record and reporting to strategic advisor.