There are two severe reasons why, and how CFOs need to find time to get BI right.
CFOs hold several key business critical responsibilities: implementing better Corporate Performance Management, Performance Scorecard, and Financial Consolidation and Profitability Management. Good Business Intelligence (BI) is essential to succeeding in fulfilling these responsibilities.
- But in spite of existing efforts from CFOs to streamline and develop this, ”organisations are still struggling to make progress with BI and Analytics”, Gartner concludes in one of its extensive surveys.
One reason, Gartner states, is the differing agendas of the Chief Intelligence Officer (CIO) and those of us working in the Finance Department. Finance departments and CFO’s needs to find time to bridge the gap between these different agendas and find some more common ground.
- But how can CFOs find the time with their heavy workload ?
Data quality and consistency
Another reason organisations are struggling with BI, according to the same survey report, is that they ”…don’t address the more fundamental issues of data quality and consistency”.
A recent Adra Match survey found that just 30% of CFOs trusted the reported numbers at financial close (and to be honest, the staff that actually carries out the month end reconciliation of accounts trusts them even less). Due to the strict regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002), this lack of trust becomes more significant considering the legal implications for the CFO of financial misstatement.
>>> Free survey download: Financial close benchmark report <<<
– Again, to fix these unrelenting and unfortunately persistent problems, CFOs need more time. But where can this time come from?
This seems an especially difficult question to answer given the heavy workload CFOs and the financial departments usually are under during the month end close process
Where is Finance’s time lost?
One area that is time consuming and contains a huge amount of manual work is the month-end reconciliation and close process. Why?
- The time-consuming use of error-prone spreadsheets
- Human error on data input and reconciliation between paper and digital sources
- Physical space taken up by binders of paper-based accounting which can be difficult to search through to track and spot possible troubles before the auditor finds them.
- Labour costs of data-checking and the time taken reconciling and matching invoices and receipts against ledgers.
- Finally: A lack of a consistent month end reconciliation and close process
Improve business performance monitoring and reduce costs
Each of these issues can be countered by automating various accounting processes. BALANCER, an automatic accounting reconciliation software, prevents many data problems caused by human error – matching accounts and flagging errors in seconds rather than days. Reports and analysis are delivered instantly as an overview and CFOs can “drill-down” to other levels in a few clicks instead of long-winded manual analysis, while all data can be archived in digital storage for easy searching later.
Each benefit delivered by automation provides cumulative cost-savings while also saving a huge amount of time for the finance department. This time can then be dedicated to providing enhanced BI insights and ensuring data quality and consistency across the board.
Why not check out a short video of enhanced balance sheet reconciliation software BALANCER:
- Gain intelligence on how to achieve certified accuracy in your financial reports
- Automate time-consuming reconciliation tasks to free up time for your Finance Department
- Produce the reports you need at the time you want them to fuel Business Intelligence information
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