Along with the digital and Internet age, a whole host of technological advancements have come which are empowering and enabling the finance department like never before. Cloud computing, SaaS, and intelligent automation, for example, can contribute to make your monthly financial close process more efficient, accurate and leave you time to focus on qualitative tasks.
But are you taking advantage of these technologies, or are you still struggling to navigate the Excel jungle?
As PwC revealed in their global survey regarding finance and tax, the majority of finance departments are still, surprisingly, using spreadsheets. Just as “tax is very process-driven and document-intense”, so too is the Month End Close. So why are finance departments using out-dated technology and working in silos when there are technologies available to help streamline the process?
The PwC survey suggests it comes down to the attitude of the CFO. The use of antiquated technology is attributed to whether the CFO is “very much aligned and supportive of process improvements,” or if such process improvements are “more of an after-thought”.
So are you still using Excel spreadsheets for data gathering, data analysis, reporting and data storage with no support for streamlined processes? Unable to see the forest for the trees?
The right technology can help you escape the Excel jungle, enabling you to:
…..Drive performance – Automation software can do much of the heavy-lifting, giving you more accurate data to work with and more time to analyse data. Also, by removing the mundane data entry work from your manual processes, your highly-trained staff will feel far more fulfilled.
…..Free up time for strategy – The extra time also allows you to focus on all of those strategy ideas you’ve had but never got around to implementing – positioning your department as highly proactive within your business. By applying new strategies to finance department you can often realise even greater efficiencies, creating a positive feedback loop.
…..Standardise business processes – Applying the latest accounting technology helps to standardise the month-end close process. This means that when an auditor comes knocking you can simply hand over access to your archive, safe in the knowledge that everything will be accounted for and accurate. No desperate rush to find the relevant files and folders either in a room full of binders or tucked away somewhere on your server.
…..Help consolidate disparate accounts across departments/geographies – Using consistent software throughout your company means you can centralise your entire month-end close process. This is true regardless of how many departments or subsidiaries you have in how many different countries. With the right technology you can receive quick, real-time updates providing a complete overview of your company’s financial performance.
“There are CFOs that are very much aligned and supportive of process improvements… [but others] still have tax as a cost center and it’s more of an after-thought.”
With so many benefits coming from accounting technology, the question is: are you a forward-thinking CFO with aspirations of powering ahead of the competition and creating a modern and efficient workplace, or are you a stick in the mud, dedicated to outdated practices just because it feels comfortable?
Forward-thinking CFOs looking to streamline and digitise the monthly financial close process should get in touch today receive a free demo of our software.