Disruption is everywhere and the Office of Finance is no exception.  Have no fear, change is a good thing and technology disruption can drive amazing business benefits.  The CFO and Finance teams are often the ring leaders of disruption in progressive organizations that are embracing technology and new ways of doing things. Teams are being asked to do more in less time and provide solid insights and forecasts that drive business success.   

Disruption building accurate and efficient financial models 

Typically, an annual budget process or monthly forecast requires analysts to gather data, run calculations and provide insights with many iterations. With various data inputs, it can be a major endeavor. Subsequently, consuming considerable time and resources each month, quarter, and year. These activities tend to be manual, iterative and Excel-based processes, therefore affecting efficiency and overall accuracy. Besides, this is precious time spent away from doing what we want our analysts to do…. analyze.  Providing a connected planning tool automates data consumption, eliminates errors, reduces time and drives overall job satisfaction of the Finance team. 

Disruption in telling your finance story with technology 

More Finance teams are using dashboarding and advanced reporting to share monthly forecast results with Leaders. Most planning tools today provide users the ability to not only provide traditional reporting but include robust dashboarding capabilities.  Finance teams are now able to share their results using charts, graphs, and mapping.  For example, we have a customer who is even displaying operational metrics on monitors on their production floor to highlight performance. It also enables course corrections should key indicators require action. 

Disruption with modern data technology 

Some of the most liberating disruptions with technology for finance comes in the shape of guided selfservice.  For years Finance teams have been at the mercy of their IT partners to access data key to their financial models.  Let’s face it, businesses change and so does the need for data.  Modern data platforms are allowing new data sources and siloed data to be accessed directly by finance teams with minimal effort from IT.  The days of waiting for ETL processes to be built to consume a new data source are over.  With this technology, companies are able to better leverage their data assets and provide insights that were not previously feasible.  Consequently, this is not only driving forecast accuracy but also innovation and data curiosity for many analysts. 

At eCapital, we have a passion for modern financial planning and analysis. In truth, to move forward and embrace disruption, FP&A teams need to invest in people, systems and processes. It is also up to organizations to decide if they really are serious about surviving with the status quo or embarking on a new journey with technology. 

To learn more about Planning Analytics trends watch our video Dynamic Planning in 2019 . The webinar highlights ways to budget more efficiently and generate dynamic planning strategies. 

 

Michelle Collier

Michelle has a passion for making the impossible, possible. She is focused on driving analytics awareness and helping her customers solve their business challenges with technology. Prior to joining eCapital Michelle held various roles within accounting and finance at Target Corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and is an inactive CPA holder.

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